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. www.stedwardspark.org
Please use the Block Email address Block@castle-estates.co.uk 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.
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.
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.