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ETRA meeting January 2022

January 12 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

This ‘Enhanced Tenants & Residents Association’ (ETRA) ‘meeting is a chance for residents to speak to Hackney representatives about issues on the estate e.g. cleaning, repairs, antisocial behaviour.

ETRA meetings happen on a quarterly basis in January, April, July & October.

MINUTES:

Residents: 22 attended  
David B (DB) TRA committee member & meeting Chair
Emley P (EP) TRA Chair and minute taker
(Other resident names removed for web version)  

 

Staff members:  
Annette Reid

Will Owen

Jackie Eastham

John Morris

Claire Williams (CW)

Clare Potter

Housing Officer LBH

Regeneration Team LBH

LBH Digital inclusion

Source Partnership

Building Safety Manager LBH

Councillor Brownswood Ward

Apologies: 2 residents  
  Agenda Item Lead Actions
1 Welcome, Introductions & Apologies    
  ●       Approval of minutes from last ETRA meeting (October 2021)

 

Minutes taken by JWM in Oct 2021 and checked by EP

Approved in this meeting by Phil M

Seconded by David B

 

 

David B

(Resident & Meeting Chair)

 
2 Housing Management Update Annette Reid (LBH)  
  ●       Digital skills update (late addition to agenda)

 

Jackie Eastham – Hackney Digital inclusion run a buddy service for support with tech needs e.g. installing software, aps etc. Can go to 2 Hackney libraries for support. Would like to have option available for people come to community centres once per month to help residents if we are interested.

Also training courses available for residents to help getting involved with the online world. Various services available.

Could also train people to be digital buddies – would get free DBS check. Need to volunteer 2hrs per week.

There is also a referral services for devices e.g. if isolating.

Training sessions a couple of hours at service centre

Can do IT courses and English and Maths courses too.

 

EP stated the TRA would be interested to have this available on Kings Crescent, will follow up

 

Additional update from Annette regarding pharaoh ants in Bramfield & Theobalds courts – residents will get a letter to inform that housing services will be coming w/c 17 Feb to arrange treatment

 

●       Fire Safety

 

Annette – when doing fire safety inspections, around the estate officers have been finding items stored in meter intake cupboards, flammable, ignitable, combustible materials being found. Store things inside property. Don’t store items on balconies and winter gardens. Some residents blocking access to intake cupboards e.g. with bikes. Anything being stored needs to be inside.

Gas pipes affected in Therfield. 7-day notices will be given then bikes will be removed. Weston bike locked against banister in stairwell. Items will be removed.

 

●       Motorised vehicles

 

Wallington Court had a motorbike in cycle storage area. Fire hazard with petrol and tyres. Will usually remove in 24 hours, this time took a bit longer.

 

●       Estate inspections update

 

Inspection every month, looking for any issues regarding cleaning, lifts, blocked drains, rubbish shoots, signage, lighting. Annette takes photos of issues to follow up.

●       Designated cycle storage units

 

Bikes need to be securely locked. Should only be used for bikes. Some have rusty frames, kids bikes etc. Helps if any residents using them ensure the store is kept tidy. If looks abandoned, unused will remove (will put notices on them)

 

Additional points from Annette:

If anyone from 1-5 floors of Therfield require a secure internal storage cupboard, please contact annette.reid@hackney.gov.uk

 

Window cleaning – would you be happy with external clean of all windows every year ? – New blocks only, would be included on service charges. Contact Annette.

 

   

 

Emley to follow up with Jackie regarding digital skills options for KC residents

3 Source Partnership Update

 

   
  ●       Update on phases 3&4 of Kings Crescent regeneration

 

Durkan has been appointed as the new contractor for the upcoming refurbishment of Southern blocks and next phase of new builds. Requested Durkan have some early conversations and TRA to see what community support is available. From March there will be some works starting in the hoarded area as need to have started before March to get the GLA grant for the planned social housing. However, in general Durkan will start on refurb first as promised.

There will be some ‘meet the contractor’ events, drop in style to chat to the Durkan team to discuss work programme.

Source have requested a refresh from MUF of the plans for the landscaping area for residents to get an updated view of what the plans are. It would also be a chance for residents to have a say in things that may not work, not practical etc.

 

●       Update on ‘Section 20’ (relevant to Southside leaseholders only)

 

Leaseholders have just been sent the second stage notice to inform of the refurbishment costs for the block. There were delays in the post, but EP confirmed receipt today.

Source helping leaseholders to coordinate concerns and representations regarding costs and 5-year clawback.

 

DB asked for clarification regarding the contract. John confirmed that it is all part of the same package of works – Durkan will be doing the refurbishment of Southside blocks and building the new blocks. Will happen in a phased way with the refurbishments of Southside blocks happening as a priority. For more details, please attend the events with the contractor to discuss their plans.

 

John Morris (Source Partnership)  
4 Service Charges (relevant to all leaseholders)

 

   
  Phil questioned if Will has been able to discuss our situation with Judith and ask her to attend the meeting. Will has not been able to do that and is not in a position to compel them to attend or respond unfortunately.

 

Management fee is expensive – not sure what this is for.

●       Annual increases are now becoming unmanageable for residents and are higher than most managed buildings in London!  Explanation is needed as to why

 

In 3 years they have increased by 21% (Phil ‘specifically but others similar). Average increase 10% per year. Frustrating when residents feel they are issues.

 

●       Irregularities in individual line items of service charge estimations

 

Block electricity £75, actual £20, estimate £85, actual £120, estimate £20, actual really high etc etc. Residents don’t understand how this could be, and don’t trust the system. Many line items just don’t make sense. Judith did explain some last year and promised to come back with further answers but never did and no longer responds to emails from Phil or TRA Chair.

 

●       Update/response to the increases in service charges, mistakes, lack of service provided for what leaseholders are being charged for etc

 

Last year there was a huge over charge due to human error but very little in the way of apology.

 

Will offered to email Judith tomorrow to request she attend the next meeting. Phil would prefer a separate meeting focused on Service Charges. Emley agreed that a separate meeting would be better. Will to help achieve this.

 

Phil M (resident)

Judith Morrison (LBH) was invited but did not attend

 

 

 

 

Will Owen to follow up with Leasehold team to arrange a Service Charges meeting and for the team to respond to all of the previous resident questions regarding service charges

5 EWS1 form and update on cladding (relevant to newer blocks only)    
  Issues to discuss:

●       21st – Dec letter. Explanation

●       Fire safety issue

●       Re-mortgage / selling issues

●       Who will be liable to pay for future work? More clarification

 

Claire Williams (building safety manager) in attendance

 

Karsten has seen EWS1 report – B2 rating. No leaseholders in affected new blocks can re-mortgage or sell flats at this point. Fire safety of cladding and timber on balcony was judged by inspector as being unsafe. Recent letter – next step is to get an independent opinion in order to reassure residents.

KH feels disappointment that Hackney has not acknowledged the direct link between EWS1 and fire safety. Unclear what will happen if the independent person says it is safe to reassure people, but leaseholders still stuck with B2 rating and unable to re-mortgage/sell.

 

Claire Williams: EWS1 B2 rating triggers a fire risk assessment. External façade within walls and balconies but fire safety also looks at risk management, fire escape etc.

 

With Kings Crescent, construction identified flammable cladding in cavity walls. If kept separate from a fuel/fire source then it is not such a high risk. Need further clarification of assessment to see if remedial works need doing. Is it something that can be done by usual contractor or is it a more complex specialist job. Need detail to know how to risk manage the programme of works and know what is needed.

 

Karsten – EWS1 report for Wallington Court confirmed B2 rating due to – Kingspan K15 – was material used in Grenfell. There was a recommendation change in Nov 2017 that this should not be used. Company contested this. But later proven as dangerous in buildings above 18 meters. (Post meeting correction: BBA certificate change on 24-Nov-2020, and not Nov-2017 as stated in the meeting)

 

CW – the K15 layer of cladding is surrounded by non-combustible materials (brick and concrete). The cladding is sealed in cavities. Building control signed off in 2013. Most construction was completed by 2017. It was after that that Grenfell happened and the issues raised about the materials.

 

Karsten – But understands that after Grenfell happened in

Jun-2017, fire safety was revisited before the Wallington

Court completion in the following months. Conclusion was

that the Grenfell material K15 was still safe to use and

Wallington Court completion proceeded.

 

Johannes – Can Claire confirm the exact date that Wallington

Court and other phase 1 and 2 buildings passed the fire safety

checks?

 

CW – does not know the specific dates of the fire safety sign-

offs.

 

Karsten – if remediation is needed will Hackney apply for government funding to cover this? Claire – yes, would apply. Gove’s government wants to make developers pay for the remediation costs. If it is defined as a latent defect, it can be pursued that way. Hackney aim not to pass costs of any remediation works onto leaseholders. No timelines available at this point.

 

KH – does the council acknowledge the dilemma leaseholders are in?! Firstly, residents need to be able to live in a safe building plus they need to be able to re-mortgage/sell properties.

Claire – Hackney does acknowledge the difficult position leaseholders and shared owners are in. Can’t make any comment regarding accepting responsibility for that.

 

Johannes – In the report it shows a photo of the metal sheet over the balcony – that is also an issue. States that there is an exposure of K15 insulation. Claire – the insulation is not exposed within the flat where a fire may occur.

 

Sarah was under the impression that the B2 rating was related to the balcony and not the external wall issue.

CW confirmed that the vertical run of balconies are the issue and caused the B2 rating, and not the external walls. Therefore, potentially, if the remedial work was done to the balconies then the rating could go up.

 

Sarah – the assessments and certificates only have been done on a couple of blocks but do they apply to all blocks? Claire confirmed that the certificates do apply to all blocks as they are similar construction.

 

Clare’s email address is in the letter sent to residents

Karsten H (resident)

Annette/ Will (LBH)

 

Claire Williams (CW)

EWS1 task force of residents to set a list of questions to send to Clare Williams
6 Heating costs and complaints (relevant to newer blocks only)    
  ●       This issue has been raised in ETRA meetings since March 2020, still unresolved.

 

●       Wael D has been trying to obtain an explanation about the energy providers raising costs since April 2021

New tariff application, was supposed to switch in July. No updates and still not on the new tariff.

 

Will – acknowledged the letter that went out to residents from Donna Bryce. Hackney are waiting for all the ADSL lines to be transferred from Higgins to Hackney, turned out to be more complex than expected. Only one outstanding now so should be getting accurate data imminently. New letter will be coming out about new charge and refund.

 

Issues with meters overcharging. Discussed with energy team – will put credit on meters. If residents have been significantly overcharged then Hackney are pushing that residents be given a cash refund by bank transfer refund. Awaiting final data then will send letters out.

 

●       Wael was told that heating prices are competitive and that experts confirmed that statement. He then asked for expert sources and figures to assess the statement and he has never been given any answers to his request

 

Told by Hackney that energy prices are the competitive. Experts claim they are competitive, if not happy then complain – so he did.

 

Paying management fees and concerns dismissed. No one is responding.

 

●       He was told by Donna Bryce to raise a complaint if he was still dissatisfied by her answers (or the absence of answers)

 

●       He has been trying to raise a complaint since September 2021 (ref: 1986845). Chased on 3 Sept, 13 Sept, 27 Sept, 4 Oct, 26 Nov and 6 Dec, and there has been no answer

Will – the matter is being dealt with by the top complaints manager at Hackney

 

David – the latest chase to ask Hackney for a response was on Monday.

 

EP affirmed that this energy issue was first raised in an ETRA meeting in March 2020 and that the TRA have not had any response from the energy team despite several emails to explain the situation of the residents of the newer blocks. The energy team have also been invited to attend these ETRA meetings multiple times but never come. Judith Morrison (Leasehold team) tried to follow up with the energy team on our behalf but didn’t get any further progress.

 

Will will chase the complaint. Can’t respond on behalf of the energy team.

 

Will regarding the overcharge – Lines went out a year ago. New charge came in in April. Then work has taken a long time to activate the new lines. Once gets data from the new lines being put in Hackney will be able to see the actual charges/costs vs what is actually being used, so can detect overcharges. Once the data is in and scrutinised refunds can be issued. Hackney are working on this and will write to residents as soon as they are able to.

 

 

Wael (resident)

 

Annette/Will/ Energy team (LBH)

Will to chase response to Wael’s complaint

 

 

 

Will to update David and Emley is there are going to be any further delays with the energy cost analysis and refunds

7 Lack of hot water / heating (relevant to newer blocks only)    
  Issues to discuss:

●       It seems to happen every year, when the cold season starts

●       Why is it not treated as an emergency by repairs team (babies, senior citizens)? Who, on behalf of the tenants & residents, agreed on such arrangement? Who decides on our behalf what is an emergency?

 

Annette:

If report 9-5pm it comes to main team. Otherwise out of hours it is an external contractor. If no heating hot/water it is within 24hrs. If report during day it is a 2 hour response. It is treated as an emergency.

 

Service standard is there within the council and within external contractor. Can’t speak to individual responses. Information on ‘repairs timescales’ here: https://hackney.gov.uk/repairs

 

EP asked if there is an acknowledgement within Hackney that there are hundreds of properties affected by an outage, rather than just a flat with a broken boiler.

Phil confirmed that this is an issue – when outages are reported residents are told that more than 10 residents need to report it for it to be taken seriously. Once on a Sunday evening residents were told to contact New Build as they would have to deal with it on Monday, but New Build were no longer involved in managing the blocks. This is frustrating for residents.

 

Annette will get a response from the relevant team before the next meeting

 

Cllr Potter – is there learning that Hackney needs to do to ensure teams are aware of the heating system in Kings Crescent?

Generally yes.

David (resident)

 

Will/Annette (LBH)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annette to establish process and response time for dealing with heating system outage

 

 

 

 

 

8 Any other business

Will – there will be a technical post occupancy survey done in Spring to look at how the buildings are working compared to the expectations when it was commissioned.

Learning exercise and it will be fed back to this group.

Cll Potter – want to continue improving from an environmental perspective

 

Karsten to Cllr Potter – 100+ members in leaseholder FB group. What is your response to the fire safety issue as emails have been sent to the Cllrs about this?

Cllr Potter – Cllr Bell took up that query, Cllr Potter will follow up. Karsten still not received any responses. Waiting for affirmation that costs will be covered by Hackney/contractor.

Leaseholders need to be able to re-mortgage. Not acceptable that Hackney is not supporting leaseholders.

 

Residents feeling outraged that new flats are going to be built when the first round of new builds are still not okay and more issues coming to light.

 

Cllr Potter will look into it. Bearing in mind it is a national issue. If the council didn’t think it was safe they would not have let people move in.

 

Karsten – leaseholder group will look to take further action if

Hackney/Higgins do not take full responsibility. It does not

seem right that Wallington Court and other buildings were

completed after the Grenfell disaster in Jun-2017 with a

material that was part of Grenfell and that was subsequently

deemed to be unsafe in buildings above 18 metres.

 

David to follow up with other residents regarding EW1S, fire safety and Judith.

David B  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cllr Potter to follow up with Cllr Bell and respond to the leaseholders email.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David to follow up with other residents regarding EW1S, fire safety and Judith.

 

9 Dates of next meetings

●       Community TRA meeting 9 March 2022 7pm

●       ETRA 20 April 2022 7pm

 

Close

David B  

The zoom link for this meeting was emailed to all who requested it (email kingscrescentn4@gmail.com)

 

AGENDA

Agenda Item Suggested

Timing

Lead
1 Welcome, Introductions & Apologies
●        Approval of minutes from last ETRA meeting (October 2021) 5 mins David B

(Resident & Meeting Chair)

2 Housing Management Update 15 mins Annette Reid (LBH)
●        Fire Safety

●        Motorised vehicles

●        Estate inspections

●        Designated cycle storage units

3 Source Partnership Update
●        Update on phases 3&4 of Kings Crescent regeneration

●        Update on ‘Section 20’ (relevant to Southside leaseholders only)

10 mins John Morris (Source Partnership)
4 Service Charges (relevant to all leaseholders)
●        Service charges annual increases

●        Irregularities in individual line items of service charge estimations, billing mistakes, lack of service and accountability

15 mins Phil M (resident)

Judith Morrison (LBH)

5 ESW1 form and update on cladding (relevant to newer blocks only)
●        21st– Dec letter

●        Fire safety issue

●        Re-mortgage/selling issues

●        Who will be liable to pay for future work?

15 mins Karsten (resident)

Annette/Will (LBH)

6 Heating costs and complaints (relevant to newer blocks only)
  ●        Wael D has been trying to obtain an explanation about the energy providers raising costs since April 2021

 

15 mins Wael (resident)

 

Annette/Will/ Energy team (LBH)

7 Lack of hot water / heating (relevant to newer blocks only)
  ●        Issue happened again this year

●        Why is it not treated as an emergency (babies, senior citizens)? Who agreed on our behalf agreed on not treating it as an emergency?

 

10 mins David (resident)

 

Will/Annette (LBH)

8 Any other business 2.5 mins David
9 Dates of next meetings

●        Community TRA meeting 9 March 2022 7pm

●        ETRA 20 April 2022 7pm

Close

2.5 mins David
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Details

Date:
January 12
Time:
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:
Event Tags:
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Venue

Online

Organiser

KC TRA Committee
Phone:
07926568497
Email:
kingscrescentn4@gmail.com
Website:
https://kingscrescent.org/