Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms, 2nd Floor, West Wing, Guildhall

Contact: Julie Mayer
tel.no.: 020 7332 1410  Email: Julie.Mayer@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Elizabeth King, Frankie Leach, Andrew McMurtrie, Deputy Susan Pearson and Ruby Sayed

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 1.

2.

Members' Declarations under the Code of Conduct in respect of Items on the Agenda

Minutes:

John Foley declared a general, non-pecuniary interest by virtue of his membership of the Barbican Association.  Mr Foley had been a resident of the Barbican but not for the past 2 years. 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.

3.

ORDER OF THE COURT OF COMMON COUNCIL pdf icon PDF 95 KB

To receive the Order of the Court of Common Council from Thursday, 21st April 2022.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 3.

Minutes:

Members received the Order of the Court of Common Council, appointing the Committee and approving its Terms of Reference.

 

RESOLVED, that – the Order of the Court dated 21st April 2022 be approved.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Election of Chairman

To elect a Chairman in accordance with Standing Order 29.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 4.

Minutes:

The Committee elected a Chairman in accordance with Standing Order 29.  Being the only Member declaring a willingness to serve, it was RESOLVED, that – Mark Wheatly be appointed as the Chair of the Barbican Residential Committee for 2022/23.

On taking the Chair, Mark Wheatley thanked retiring Members for their contributions and welcomed new Members.  The Chairman also thanked Michael Bennett, the long serving Manager of the Barbican Estate Office, who had recently retired after 20 years of exemplary service, and welcomed Rosalind Ugwu, who would be standing in on an interim basis.

The Chairman thanked past Chairman and former Deputy Chairman, Michael Hudson, for his tenacity and attention to detail, which would be greatly missed. 

Finally, he thanked Christopher Makin, who would be standing down as Chair of the Barbican Residents’ Consultation Committee (RCC), having served 4 years in the role, working in partnership with the BRC.  Christopher had recently been appointed to the Court of Aldermen, which would have considerable demands on his time, and the Committee wished him well in the future

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Election of Deputy Chairman

To elect a Deputy Chairman in accordance with Standing Order 30.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 5.

Minutes:

The Committee elected a Deputy Chairman in accordance with Standing Order 30.  Being the only Member declaring a willingness to serve, it was RESOLVED, that – Anne Corbett be appointed as the Deputy Chair of the Barbican Residential Committee for 2022/23.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 171 KB

To approve the public minutes and non-public summary of the meeting held on 27th January 2022.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 6.

Minutes:

RESOLVED, that – the minutes of the meeting held on 27th January 2022.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Draft Minutes of the Residents Consultation Committee (RCC)

To receive the draft minutes of the RCC meeting held on 6th June 2022.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 7.

Minutes:

RESOLVED, that – the draft minutes of the RCC on 6th June 2022 be received.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

To appoint a Member to the Car Park Charges Working Party pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Chairman and Town Clerk to be heard - Terms of Reference attached.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 8.

Minutes:

Steve Goodman expressed an interest in serving. As there had been a couple of apologies for today’s meeting, the Town Clerk would contact resident Members after the meeting to seek further expressions of interest in respect of the remaining two positions for resident Members.

RESOLVED, that – Steve Goodman be appointed as a resident Member of the Car Park Charges Working Party.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

'YOU SAID; WE DID': Outstanding Actions list pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services,

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 9.

Minutes:

Members received the Outstanding Actions List.

Members noted that a quote for the Playground at Thomas Moore Gardens had been received of  approximately £60,000; i.e., £30 per flat.  Although not a legal requirement for this amount, a second quotation would be obtained to ensure value for money. Members noted that a lot of the works would concentrate on the surface area and the contractors were ready to start.

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Update Report pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 10.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the update report and noted the following updates.

 

In respect of the Brandon Mews Canopy, Members noted that the responsible officer would be the Assistant Director, Barbican and Property Services.

The Assistant Director advised that the City Surveyors Department  is responsible for the Wood Street escalators and agreed to ask them for an update in respect of the regular, intermittent faults.  Members noted that this matter would also be raised at the next meeting of the Planning and Transportation Committee and a Member of this Committee, in attendance today as an observer, agreed to update BRC Members after the Planning meeting. 

RESOLVED, that – the update report be noted.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Update Report: Arup Fire Safety Strategy Reports pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 11.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services which sought to update Members on the progress made by Arups in carrying out a detailed fire safety strategy audit on a representative sample of residential blocks on the Barbican Estate. The Assistant Director provided an update on the history and background of this project, for the benefit of new Members on the Committee.

 

 

 Members noted an update to the recommendations in the report in that the Executive Director, Community and Children’s Services, strongly recommended the addition of sprinklers to the three high rise blocks on the Barbican Estate, as had been the case with the City’s social housing blocks.  Members noted that they would receive further updates in respect of the action plan and feasibility study, and were encouraged to visit a trial installation in a flat on the Middlesex Street Estate. 

 

During the discussion and questions, the following points were noted:

Whilst it was very important to be transparent about the intrusive nature of the works, it should be strongly emphasised that sprinklers save lives. 

This report has also been circulated to the members of the RCC.  At their last meeting on 6th June 2022, the Assistant Director made a commitment to robust communication and consultation with residents. 

There is currently no budget for this work, as was the case with the fire door replacement project, and a special bid would be made.  It was noted that these works are categorised as improvements and Leaseholders would not be liable.

The Barbican is a listed estate, so there will be planning issues.  It was accepted that the works will be intrusive but would aim to conceal as much pipework and ducting as possible.

A ‘myth busting’ document had been produced for social housing and would

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Provision of EWS1 Forms pdf icon PDF 159 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 12.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services in respect of the City of London Corporation’s approach to the provision (or non-provision) of EWS1 Forms across the Barbican Residential Estate.

 

Members noted that there had been no issues as yet with the ‘comfort letters’ issued to mortgage lenders.  The Assistant Director explained that the EWS1 forms require a surveyor to inspect the whole building and a certificate is then issued.  Unfortunately, there is currently an industry shortage of surveyors.  A letter of comfort explains why we believe there is no need for a full EWS1 form and confirms that our buildings do not have ACM and MCM cladding, which has been identified as problematic.   It was noted that this policy would be consistent across social housing and the Barbican estate.

 

RESOLVED, that - Option 1 in the report be approved; ie  the Corporation will not  issue EWS1 Forms but provide ‘Comfort Letters’ for individual residents upon request

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Concierge and Barbican Estate Office Service Update

Assistant Director, Barbican and Property Services to be heard.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 13.

Minutes:

The Assistant Director provided some background on this matter, for the benefit of the new Members.  Members noted that, at the last meeting of the BRC, the Committee had been asked to approve the collection of an interim payment, from the leaseholders of terrace blocks, to enable further options to be considered in terms of savings targets and the Car Park Attendants. However, further legal advice had suggested that this might result in a challenge.  Therefore, the additional amount would not be taken at this stage, and other options were being explored to put to Members.

 

The Barbican Association and Barbican Residents’ Consultation Committee had agreed to a wholesale review of the Estate Office, which was underway.  The Leaseholders Service Charge Working Party would soon see a first draft, to present to a Special Meeting of the BRC.   The Town Clerk explained that meetings can only be held during the summer recess in exceptional circumstances but Members were very keen to see this matter resolved.  As the quorum is made up of voting, non-resident members, the Town Clerk advised that  it would be possible to run this meeting as a hybrid, with the resident Members joining remotely, provided that a quorum of non-resident Members was present.  The Chair thanked the officers and welcomed the progress on this matter, noting that the residents hold car park attendants in very high regard. 

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Barbican Estate Tower Lift Refurbishment - Gateway 1-4: Project Proposal and Options Appraisal pdf icon PDF 153 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 14.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services, which proposed a programme of works to replace all lifts in Shakespeare, Cromwell, and Lauderdale Towers on the Barbican Estate.  Members noted that there are nine lifts in total, three serving each Tower.

 

The Assistant Director explained that this is a service chargeable item, with funding being sought to engage with residents ahead of the design work.   Members noted that, when the matter was discussed at the RCC, the representative for Shakespeare Tower was invited to speak to officers, outside of the meeting, to share ideas and concerns about the works and interim lift performance.  The report presented a strong argument for replacement rather than refurbishment but the entire lift car would not be removed.  Members also noted that the works would enable the lift to be more efficient and reliable, offsetting future service costs.

 

RESOLVED, that :

 

1.     A budget of £50,000 be approved to engage a specialist lift consultant to undertake liaison with internal and external stakeholders, to formulate a specification to tender and cover staff costs.

 

2.The project budget of £50,000 (excluding risk) be noted.

 

3.The total estimated cost of the project at £4,600,000(excluding risk) be noted.

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Update Report - Beech Gardens (North West Podium) Waterproofing Project pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 15.

Minutes:

The Committee received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services which updated Members on the latest position with the City of London Corporation’s (the Corporation) Beech Gardens (North West Podium) Waterproofing Project, the subsequent issues that have arisen and the outcome of the steps taken to facilitate completion of the project.

 

Members noted that the Assistant Director had inherited this project six years ago, together with the issues set out in the report.    The report set out lessons learnt, particularly in respect of the drainage which will apply in Phase 2 of the Project, which is about to start.  Members noted that they would receive the close-down (Gateway 6) report at the September 2022 meeting, as there were no further legal grounds on which to withhold payments to the Contractor

RESOLVED, that – the report be noted.

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Blake Tower

Assistant Director, Barbican and Property Services to be heard,

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 16.

Minutes:

At the last meeting of the Committee, the Assistant Director had reported that communications with Redrow had been poor and residents remained dissatisfied.

 

It was noted that the City tends to be more successful in engaging with Redrow  than the residents, and Redrow had agreed to meet with the Barbican Association and Blake Tower Residents Association.  

 

The Assistant Director stressed that the Estate Office was still not in a position to take over the building but he continued to write to residents regularly to provide updates.

 

Members noted that the Fire Brigade had visited. and some improvements had been made. 

 

The Chair thanked the Assistant Director and Executive Director for their intervention in this matter and Helen Fentimen and past members Randall Anderson and Michael Hudson.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Working Party Updates

To receive the minutes/reports of the RCC’s various working parties.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 17.

Minutes:

The Committee received the following updates from the RCC’s Working Parties.

 

In response to a questions about the fountains on the lakeside, lower lake and the waterfall, which had been raised at the last meeting of the RCC, Members noted that leaseholders contribute 85% to the cost of  the maintaining of the lakes, the same proportion as for garden maintenance.  However, in the past, the cost of works such as de-silting had been shared between the Estate and the Centre; i.e.  at 42.5% to the Estate.  It was suggested that this might be inequitable, and the Member asked for consultation with the residents and for the position to be monitored.   Members also noted that the Lakeside area in front of the School and the Centre is not included in the service chargeable area. 

The Assistant Director advised that he would raise this at his next regular meeting with the Arts Centre. Members were reminded of the formal Section 20 Consultation, which would capture both residents and the Arts Centre.  However, Section 20 Consultation is fairly limited and consultation carried out by the Estate Office Consultation always exceeds this.

 

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

17a

Gardens Advisory pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Minutes:

17b

Electric Vehicle pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Minutes:

17c

Leaseholder Service Charge pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Minutes:

17d

Service Level Agreement pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Minutes:

17e

Asset Management pdf icon PDF 109 KB

Minutes:

17f

Underfloor Heating pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Minutes:

18.

Progress of Sales and Lettings pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 18.

Minutes:

The Committee received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services in respect of the sales and lettings approved by officers since your last meeting, under delegated authority and in accordance with Standing Orders. The report also provided information on surrenders of tenancies received and the number of flat sales to date.  Members noted that the 2 properties ‘under offer’ in the report had since been sold.

 

RESOLVED, that – the report be noted.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.

19.

Barbican Arrears pdf icon PDF 156 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 19.

Minutes:

The Committee received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services in respect of arrears on the Barbican Estate.  Members noted that a more detailed breakdown was available in the non-public report on this agenda.

 

RESOLVED, that – the report be noted.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

Questions on Matters Relating to the Work of the Committee

Minutes:

In response to a question about the Barbican Association’s recent request for a publication in ‘Barbican News’, which had been denied, Members noted that the Executive Director had responded directly and advised that Barbican News is intended for landlord/tenant communications, whereas residents have ‘Barbican Talk’ for other matters.   Members noted that that a review of communications was being undertaken across the department, looking at the criteria in terms of estate wide bulletins, and Members would  receive a set of principles at a future meeting.  Members stressed that the residents have very high regard for the Communications Officer and, given that the post is funded entirely by the service charge payers, they believe it is reasonable for the Barbican Association to use it. 

 

In response to a question about the staff rest rooms that were recently developed, in the Thomas More Car park, Members noted that the cost of  £235k had been funded from the Landlord account.  There was a delay in staff using the facility, due to Covid restrictions on staff congregating indoors, however, it is now being used by the cleaning staff. 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

Any other Business that the Chairman considers Urgent

Minutes:

The Chairman has agreed to admit the following items of urgent business.

 

In respect of the Rent Review, which had been missed off this agenda, it was RESOLVED, that – the decision in respect of the rent review be delegated to the Town Clerk, in consultation with the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Barbican residential committee.

 

A member asked the Environment Department could be engaged in the abandoned bicycles scheme.  The officer advised that many abandoned bikes  had been provided to charities over the years.  Officers were aware of the remaining ones and had checked the car parks this week.   The Member asked if it could be advertised in Barbican News, and a  generic in box provided for residents to make enquiries.

 

Officers agreed to arrange for new Members to visit the Barbican Estate.

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Exclusion of the Public

MOTION – That under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item(s) on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of the Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act.

 

Item                                             Paragraph

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 22.

Minutes:

23.

Non-Public Minutes

To approve the non-public minutes of the meeting held on 27th January 2022.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 23.

Minutes:

RESOLVED, that – the non-public minutes of the meeting held on 27th January 2022 be approved.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.

24.

Barbican Arrears - Non Public Appendix

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 24.

Minutes:

The Committee received a non-public appendix in respect of agenda item xx

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.

25.

Commercial Lease Renewal

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 25.

Minutes:

The Committee considered and approved a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.

26.

Housing Management System Upgrade

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 26.

Minutes:

The Committee received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.

27.

Non-public questions on matters relating to the work of the Committee

Minutes:

There were no questions

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.

28.

Any other Business that the Chairman considers urgent and which the Committee agrees should be considered whilst the public are excluded

Minutes:

There were no items.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.