Category Archives: Directors

Voting Information General Meeting 21st May 2023 4pm, Leek Rugby Club

From the list of directors provided in the formal notice by mail and/or email, you may like to know that a couple of Directors (as of today 12th May 2023) will not be re-standing for appointment..

If you have already sent in your voting form, please don’t worry your other votes still stand.


Last year it was put back in the Articles that the Directors resign each year and they and/or new Directors (7) are voted in.

So, what does it involve? You obviously need to let others know about you and how you think you can help. Learning from this year we would say:

  • It would better suit someone who was part-time employed or retired.
  • It can take, on average, 2 hours a week , sometimes more depending if you are arranging / working with contractors on site (it can take an hour and half to take a contractor round all the apartments blocks) . You may occasionally visit an owner if there is a query that is better sorted face to face.
  • More representation from owners of the apartments would be great as that will give a larger knowledge-base of Lease intricacies from the point of view of the owners most supported by the volunteer Management Company. Also, you are around to see how works are going and check up on work completed.
  • You don’t have to have ‘director’ experience to volunteer for this role. You just need to care about our Park and respect the people who live here.
  • If you don’t know much about the Leases and Articles of Association, there are people willing to help with this.

It may be judicious to let your friends and neighbours know beforehand the reasons why you are going to stand so that they can vote for you. The same can be said for making yourself known to those you don’t know! By all means PM a director for more information.


If you cannot attend the meeting a proxy form is enclosed where you can submit your votes for each resolution, or nominate a person to attend on your behalf. You can nominate ‘any director’ to vote on your behalf as desired. Please note that completed proxy forms must be received at the offices of Castle Estates no later than 5pm 19th (changed from the 15th) May 2023. You can also email your proxy vote – this must be sent only to , and must have the subject header ‘General Meeting Proxy Submission’.

Directors Update Question and Answer Session

St Edwards Park Management Co Ltd


  • Introduction to directors
  • Register for members wanting email communications
  • Outline of meeting

Activities since AGM


Installation of intercom systems complete.

Grounds maintenance update – New tenders asked for and to be agreed.

Gutters cleaned and will be reviewed annually (repairs still ongoing).

Fire safety inspections and remedial work for each block though Malloy still to be actioned.

Paving slab replacement underway – will continue into next year.

10 year plan initiated and being reviewed.

Internal decorating underway and will be finished before Christmas apart from St Edwards Hall & Martin House (s) which require Section 20 notices and will be started in the new year.

Website completed and launched, no charge. Notifications are posted here for communication from the Directors. There is also a Nature Blog there where Members can post pictures and sightings from around the Park.

Please use the Block Email address to report work needed doing in the Park. Random posts on Facebook are not usually helpful as they are not monitored by directors but the formal emails are. The directors can be emailed through the website too if you have something that has been reported and not being dealt with.

Outstanding Works/Issues

External decorating – update – New quotes are being sort and will be agreed in the new year.

Summerhouses  and grant – update – STILL waiting for response from council.

Internet Connections – ongoing with solicitors.

Grounds maintenance contract – For retender and decision in new year.

2023-24 Budget

Galbraith and missing funds – a local solicitor has taken this on on a no win no fee basis.

Answers to pre-submitted questions

Please can you tell when the bollards that have been knocked down on the speed restriction areas will be replaced? Some have been down for years now. Thanks

A director was in touch with the Council earlier in year with a picture. They sent someone out and said it/they were not a priority! They do still have it on their list though as I have since received an update telling me it still wasn’t a priority!

Re the grass areas behind Pebworth House, Amsden House and the bottom of Willow Drive, between the 2 summerhouses.  This area always seems to be a bit neglected now.  The gardeners are not clearing the leaves from here properly, they’re leaving them spread halfway across the grass rather than blowing them under the trees to leave the grass clear like Linc used to do. There won’t be any grass left if this carries on as the leaves are really thick now.       Also the paths leading off to both summerhouses are now almost indistinguishable from the grass, as the moss has been left to completely cover the tarmac. This needs to be sorted as well please.

We have had a very long Autumn (since August!) and as we live in woodlands there are a profusion of leaves around, dropping 24/7. Partly agree, but some areas have had to take priority when the contractors are on site, for example, the main pathways and the roadway at the top of Villa / Birchtree.

Yes, the leaves may still be blowing around even as they are being cleared, however, there is now a problem as leaves have been blown under the trees for so long. In theory, this is fine, but now we have the problem of a thick mat of soggy, gooey leaves that are now allowing them to break down and feed the soil; insects can’t penetrate them either.

The natural way is actually to let Nature sort them but moving  leaves form one area to another just moves the problem. Along with other work, the Contractors are removing these prolific mats of matter and taking them off site, not just dumping under bushes. Therefore, it may look more like a woodland area than normal but gradually the build-up is being cleared from all the Park.

Window cleaning. If you walk down any street, in any town, you really cannot see if people have their windows cleaned or not.   We suggest the window cleaning contract is terminated, and then it’s up to individual owners whether they get their windows cleaned.      In actual fact, quite a number of owners, including us, do pay a different window cleaner privately!

This cost is a very small amount per property. It does cater for members who work, as well as those that have first or second floor properties! The Maintenance costs are not meant to cover every eventuality of owning a property, so members are quite within their rights to get further cleaning done to suit their preferences. We are, however, trying make sure that when contracts are renewed that we are still getting the best service and value for money.

Internal Common area cleaning. Could this possibly be done by the owners, if not a large area to clean? The cleaners that I see go in the communal entrance next door to us, for 2 apartments, are literally in there for no more than 2 minutes. An extortionate cost!

A number of owners work and other properties are rented out so this may not be practical. The cleaners come every week, and it can seem that it is a high cost for a lot of money (but cost is spread per property) but members are generally happy with the service. The cost is shared between all parties as per the terms of the lease.

Again, we are trying to make sure that when contracts are renewed that we are still getting the best service and value for money. We are doing this within the constraints of being working volunteers, but we are residents too.

Communal electricity.   Not sure if all properties pay for this, or if it’s just split between the apartments with communal areas. Could the directors please confirm?  Due to the energy price rises, the heaters could be limited to a reasonable temperature, rather than set on maximum as does happen. The foyer’s don’t need to be like a sauna. A simple tweak like this could save a lot…whether that be for all of us or just those with a communal area?

The cost is shared between all properties with or without a communal entrance as per the terms of the lease. A vast amount of time has been spent making sure all blocks are being read of the correct meter. A lot of charges in the past have been estimates, but the directors are trying to read the meters more often so that actual costs are submitted. It can be an issue as some properties are rented and there is no incentive for them to switch the heaters down/off, but it is/will be for their owners! Please feel free to pop in for time to time and turn down if you feel it is excessive.

Gardeners. Without going through all the negatives, with the tendering process happening now, please could we take on a gardener who is basically on site full time, Monday to Friday! As we can all see now unfortunately, this is what the estate actually needs to keep it looking beautiful through all the seasons!

The rough cost for the current contract is around £40,000. If we had someone here every week it would be twice that.

Large site contracts like ours are normally carried out fortnightly. Different members have different ideas about what it means to have our home beautiful. We have to remember we are woodlands and that there are lots of parts of the site that are being looked after that someone over another side may not even realise.

HOWEVER, the current contractors have brought in Sue, who comes in every Monday & Tuesday, each week, to do the ‘down on the ground’ weeding and gardening. This is a game changer that they are doing as part of their existing terms.

Can something be done regarding the excessive lighting around the park at night.  Either dim the lights or have them on timers or sensors – they are affecting people’s sleep.

Sorry this has not been looked into yet, will add it to a Block maintenance email.

Recalculation of block energy bills.  When I spoke with the management company, they said that many blocks had overpaid by quite a large amount – when is this due to be refunded to our account?

The accounts for last year are in their final stages with the auditors and should be with members soon. Please also see above about electricity meters. 

Clarification of the use of paths/communal areas.  A while back I brought up a concern with the billing systems which seems to have maintenance of the parks and a lot of the pathways only paid by the development owners, not the estate.  Please can this be clarified and if so perhaps moved onto the estate charges as everyone on the estate uses and has access to these.

Grounds maintenance is covered by law under the terms of the Lease with percentage costs from Estate, Development and Apartments. It is, therefore, covered by all members in the park.

Dog fouling.  Please can some bins or doggy bag dispensers be placed around the estate to stop people from leaving dog waste on the pavements and pathways.  It’s disgusting, disrespectful and unhygienic. 

This can be a problem from time to time, even for other dog owners. There are bins paid for by the council around the Park that are emptied daily. A good suggestion about placing bags around the estate, but that could become an issue in its self with or tops them up (volunteer or more money) and possibly with them blowing around.

Not picking up after your dog is not acceptable. If anyone sees a dog on its own fouling (or with an owner), please report them. Members are welcome to write to the council about more dog bins being installed.

Windows.  Can a clarification be made as to who is responsible for paying to replace or mend rotten window frames which has happened due to a lack of upkeep by the previous management companies?  

Yes, under the terms of the lease the resident is responsible for the quality of the actual windows and window frames. The maintenance costs only cover the outside painting of the windows. If you have a particularly bad problem with an outside cill or frame, for now, please report it to Block/Castle as we are aware that when the External Painting contract starts around April, we cannot paint damaged wood. We are going to take a view on the woodwork, without prejudice but in good faith.

Open forum for Questions – these matters were raised by members.

Parking on the paths is dangerous and not permitted. This has become an increasing problem especially as vans and lorries on the Estate are now doing it, as evidenced by me asking one lorry to just park on the road when they next moved, he said “the cars are doing it.” This would need to be reported to the council.

Members Overdue Payments: The terms of the lease allow for charging of interest and costs in sending out overdue paperwork. Please note that monthly direct debit is available. We will be charging properties for outstanding invoices.

Matters brought up for referral to Block

Cleaning and/or repainting of the white paving slabs where bays are marked out for parking.

Cleaning of the Bin Stores.

Directors Update 02.11.2022

Directors Update

Further to the update posted on 7 October, the appointed contractor for the external painting was unable to confirm a start date due to unforeseen delays. We are now at the point that the time required to issue S20 notices and the winter weather makes it impractical to commence work or appoint another contractor as the paint will not coat or dry properly in poor weather conditions. We understand how disappointing this is for residents and we are in the process of re-tendering so that the works can proceed in March/April 2023.

Internal painting, however, has been brought forward, with three contractors selected and appointed due to begin work in November 2022. Only 2 blocks will require S20 notices due to the costs of the works involved, and these will be issued ASAP to prevent any delays.

Please note that members own apartment front doors and door frames are the responsibility of the Lease owner according to Para 2(A) of the seventh schedule and Paragraph 3:1. Residents are welcome to speak to the contractors about their doors/door frames. The front doors and service cupboard doors are included and will be painted.

We have tendered early for the grounds maintenance contract which to enable time to assess service level provision prior to the expiry of the existing contract on 24 April 2023. Further updates will be provided in due course.

I am pleased to confirm that the playparks are fully operational following the replacement of the duck on East Drive and making good the floor in Willow Drive.

The vandalised gate from Willow Drive play park has now been repaired and reinstalled.

Members Meeting

The directors are meeting on 18 th November to review the 10-year plan commissioned to assist in the planning of future maintenance works and for setting service charge budgets. Following this, we are looking to organise a residents meeting to provide updates and field questions, and this will potentially be at the Rugby Club on Sunday 20 th November. Final date and time will be notified ASAP.

One of the residents, Katherine Cooke, has secured a Christmas Tree to go in front of the main building which will be funded by voluntary donations to a Go Fund Me page “St Edwards Park Christmas Tree”. This is outside of the management company responsibility, and the directors would like to express their sincere thanks to Katherine and her family for organising this.

The Rugby Club have notified us that they are still experiencing problems with dog fouling on the pitches. They recognise that this is likely due to dog walkers who do not live on St Edwards Park. They now have CCTV installed on the ground and will be pursuing dog fouling with a £1000 fine. If you do witness any such dog fouling, please notify the Rugby Club directly.

Directors Update 24.09.2022

This is the Directors update for September. Both play areas are now up and running. Phil and Barb had volunteered and gone in to the Willow Drive play park to clear away the leaves and muck from the ground and made area safe. The replacement Duck on East Drive is taking a while re installation due to keeping costs down but should be installed soon now.

The Contractor to do both internal and external painting work is to start on 3rd October. There has been a frustrating delay with this due to the agreeing of costs happening just as previous Board finished; this caused a delay then with contractor who had to take on other work until this was decided.

Overdue Debts were reviewed and are reducing. 

Suzanne Lawson stepped back as a director and the board co-opted Carl Evans to fill the position. Carl was nominated very recently in last round of votes and was next ‘in line’. We all thank Suzanne for stepping up and the voluntary time she had put in.

Woodland Management – Phil & Andrea Walker have sponsored 12 bird boxes which have been bought from a local man. We will be setting up a work party in October to put the boxes up on deciduous trees in lower & upper woods. Volunteers would be appreciated.

The three-fold work on rooves and gutters should be continued next week with the cherry picker back on site.

There are a number of paving stones around St. Edwards Hall that need replacing and should be completed in next few months.

A Surveyor has been engaged to set out work required for a 10 year plan. This plan has now been received and the Board will have a separate meeting in next couple of months to look at this. 

Barb Davis has typed up the schedule and details for the grounds according to specifications from previous Park tenders. We agreed to use the schedule to ask Company’s to tender as soon as possible, ready to start in April 2023. The grounds are looking good and a number of members preferences have been addressed too.

Work is due to start on the summer house off the top of Willow Drive. This will be used as a ’template’ for structural repairs for the remaining summer houses.

The new intercoms are now all finished and will be tidied up after a short period of use/testing ie filling gaps and sealing them where the old units were larger.

Members Meeting

Many Members seem happy with the monthly updates from directors and all directors will make an effort to provide information from their areas for the website and Facebook page. A date will be arranged for a Members meeting mid/late November.

There are also a number of other works requests that are addressed relating to individual properties that are not reported which includes many conversations, visits and research by the volunteer Board of Directors. 

Directors Update – 26.07.2022

Date of meeting 29.06.2022

We considered a quote for jet washing the Park. It was only for the paving stones on paths, not drive ways or tarmacked areas. We all agreed £8,000 was too much money and asked for more quotes.

The gutters have now been cleared and members would have seen the ‘cherry picker’ machine on site. Assessment was made of gutter repairs, missing slates, growing plants and re-pointing. Quotes for these have now been received and will be considered this week. It is difficult to do both jobs at once because the contractor doesn’t know what they are going to find and/or which equipment and tools they need with them in the confined space of the basket on the picker. We will see if anything can be done differently on the next rotation in 2 years time.

Quotes have been received for replacing broken paving slabs to commence after all the repairs to the gutters and rooves has been completed.

There is damp in one of the stair wells in St. Edwards Hall. Gaining access to apartments to examine and repair has proved difficult but is still being pursued.

The starting of the external painting is taking longer than we would all like. It should have started at the beginning of the year but with the change of management board, the contractor took on other work to fill the gap in his diary. We should have more about this this week as our next meeting is 29.7.2022.

Garden Contractor – we met with them earlier this month and they advised a gardener was joining the team to tackle all the smaller items on the estate e.g. weeding, pruning etc. This is starting to make a real difference. The query over Wall Lane Terrace has still not been resolved.

Website additions continue to be made: . Further suggestions for additional pages were: historical information about the hospital, downloads of formal documentation/ members area, woodland and nature spotting blog where members and their family can record and share nature sightings. This will also help form a record of wildlife on the Park to help with the grant received for the woodland area. With the paperwork available to us, we believe the matters in relation to the previous grant over 5 years were met and work carried out. The existing grant is paid annually 2021-2025. A few of the directors are starting to work with this and the grant maker with a view to determining exactly what is required, record wildlife species, establish a bird watching area, put up bird boxes in the autumn. We may be looking for some help with this from members.

Summer-Houses – It was noted that the council meeting on 26 July 2022 was to consider the grant, CM confirmed that the regeneration officer required no further information.
To enable the surveyors to complete their report, a builder would be needed to confirm the roof construction of the summerhouses, as they were all different. The roof would need to be peeled back and tiles take down baseboards from the eaves. It was agreed that a quote to repair the first summerhouse would be sought to determine
whether to proceed regardless, this was approved unanimously.
It was also agreed that a display board showing the history of St Edwards Park in the first summer-house would be a useful addition.

Date of next meeting: 29th July 2022.