Sunday 19 January 2020

Minutes of the 2020-01-15 AGM

The minutes of the 2020-01-15 AGM:


Ben Jonson House AGM Meeting Minutes
15th January 2020

Present: Committee Members, Sheila Delaney (House Officer) and Residents of Ben Jonson House (total attendees: 24)

Apologies: John Murch

1. Reports and Minutes

The minutes for the previous AGM were agreed. The current agenda circulated for discussion.
Treasurer’s Report was read out and it was noted that we currently hold £1343.90 in funds.

The Chairman’s Report was read through – summarizing the key events in 2019. (See this post).

The Committee members were asked if they would continue in their posts for another year – all agreed except two: John Murch to step down from the Treasurer’s post and Bruce Badger to step down as Secretary.

Residents were asked if they would like to join the Committee, two people had already put their names forward.

The House Officer read her report.

2. Agenda Discussion·

We currently have 113 members listed (down from 125 last year), we need 15% long leaseholders to attend the AGM for us to be quorate, we have 24 attendees, so this point is covered. We therefore retain recognition as an RTA (Recognised Tenants’ Association) under the Barbican Association banner.

All residents are encouraged to join the membership listing – and the details of the blog address were distributed to the meeting attendees.

Proxy voting
This might be put in place so that residents can vote on behalf of each other on issues raised at the AGM. However, this must be announced 21 days before an AGM – so we were not in time to do that for this AGM. The meeting attendees were asked if they were interested in this being done in future. Only 6 people showed interest, so this will not be investigated further.

Communications and Good Neighbors scheme
Current communications between residents and the Estate Office are as follows:
Ben Jonson Noticeboards – which will be increased to two locked boards soon for important notices
Blog – for residents to check on current and archived issues around Ben Jonson and the barbican estate. Residents are encouraged to make comments on these, which can be taken forward at bimonthly meetings by the committee.
Estate -wide weekly email from Nabeela/Corporation of London website – what’s happening in the BA, the RCC etc. Giving a lot of info on council and Barbican issues.
Barbican website - for general information on the Barbican estate
Barbican Talk – for general opinions on what is happening around the barbican estate.

The Good Neighbors scheme has been tried in Andrews House and in Thomas More House. However useful this may appear – careful use of these groups is important, as it involves trust of neighbors etc. The model has been looked at, but many residents have been put off by the checks required and responsibilities involved. The meeting attendees didn’t show much support for trying this in Ben Jonson at this time.

Podium issues
If residents see any nuisance activities, such as skateboarders, dog walkers, parkours and bicycles etc. on the Podium they should phone the police, as this is a public problem. The CPAs are not authorized to stop this activity. Residents should also ring the estate office as Barry Ashton (the Security Manager) is keeping a log of these activities to use as evidence of problems faced inside the estate. It’s also advisable to send an email of the event with photos if possible, to the estate office (Sheila Delaney). There are notices of the bylaws dotted around the estate, but these could be larger and more obvious. Sheila will look into this being done and will send a copy of them to Bruce Badger for him to post on the Blog.

Carpet replacement
The blue carpets throughout the Ben Jonson block are now quite old and tired. Quotes for new carpets have been found by Sheila Delaney. However, the timing of the replacement should be given some consideration. We will have the external redecorations in 2021 and the internal redecoration in 2022. The residents voted to postpone the new carpeting until after the internal redecorations had been done.

Security/ blue cages
The car park doors give access to the main building. Only door 64 has a locking blue cage around the base of the staircase. The residents were asked to consider whether they would like to have similar cages put on the other three doors to improve security. The storage units in the car park area will be available to non-residents soon, which will mean increased numbers of people able to see the doors to the main building. However, the number of burglaries in the block (or on the estate) is very low. It’s more likely that the issue of ‘tail-gating’ and buzzing unknown people into the building is more of a security risk than the car park doors. The residents voted against installing new cages in the car park area. (8 out of 24 in favor).

3. Roundtable/AOB
  • Lakes – these are still under repair, the Arts Centre hope that they will be finished, and fountain reinstated, in the late Spring 2020
  • Smokers outside door 64 to Waitrose: This is still happening, the estate staff make smokers aware when they are passing, but it is difficult to enforce. Mostly the smokers are from Lloyds bank offices opposite, and the office manager has been informed.
  • Air-BnB – short term lettings are against the terms of the lease. Several companies have been canvassing residents by mail for them to join them in renting to short term clients. These have been brought to the attention of Sheila Delaney who then contacts the leaseholders to remind them of the lease conditions. There are sites online with Barbican flats for short term rent, however there have been no ASB – noise issues – as a result of these.
  • Barbican Exhibition Hall – currently used for exams and small conferences. There are no plans to make use of it in any other way currently.
  • Lighting on the east side of Ben Jonson/Breton is not working – this is a highways issue.
  • Lift 64 – has been out of order many times this last year. Are there any plans to replace it as it has more wear and tear than the other lifts (as it leads to Waitrose)? The lifts within Ben Jonson are inspected regularly for insurance purposes and have a KPI of 98% overall, but there are no individual stats for that lift. Sheila Delaney will investigate this and see if a separate report can be run to show the number of outages for it. The lifts are over 20 years old, but replacement is expensive. If a lift is reported as out of order, then the repair team is sent out as soon as possible. The Duty Manager is available 24 hours a day to take such calls. Residents’ thanks to the Committee for their work over the previous year.

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