Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Julie Mayer  Email:

No. Item




Apologies were received from Jane Smith (Seddon House) who was represented by Liz Simpson.

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


Members Declarations under the Code of Conduct in respect of items on the agenda


There were no declarations

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


Revenue & Capital Budgets - Original Budget 2023/24 and Original 2024/25 - Excluding dwellings service charge income & expenditure pdf icon PDF 392 KB

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

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


The Committee received a report of the Executive Director, Community and Children’s Services, which sought approval of the provisional revenue budget for 2024/25, for subsequent submission to the Finance Committee.  The report noted that the proposed budget for 2024/25 had been prepared within the resource envelope allocated to the Executive Director, by the City Corporation’s Resource Allocation Sub Committee, including a 3% allowance for inflation.


During the discussion on this item the following points were noted:


1.     Members noted an error in respect of the allocation of staff costs to car parking but this would not affect the bottom line. 

2.     Take up of car parking spaces had declined over recent years.

3.     Over one third of expenditure had been on fire equipment and servicing, sprinklers in the car park, drainage, petrol interceptors and repairs and ventilation fans.

4.     The officer agreed to circulate the breakdown on income for parking and storage  recurrent. 

5.     Two resident engineer flats had been surrendered, contributing to a reduction in income in the Landlord Account and a reduction in expenditure in the service charge account.

6.     Salaries for permanent staff are down, as a few vacancies are being carried. However, salaries for agency staff have increased. 



The Barbican Residential Committee (BRC) is recommended to :


1.        Review the provisional 2024/25 revenue budget to ensure that it reflects the Committee’s objectives and, if so, approve the budget for submission to the Finance Committee.


2.        Review and approve the draft capital budget.


3.        Authorise the Chamberlain to revise these budgets to allow for further implications arising from departmental reorganisations and other reviews including corporate projects.






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


Service Charge Expenditure & Income Account - Original Budget 2023/24 & Original Budget 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 524 KB

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

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


The Committee received a report of the Executive Director, Community and Children’s Services, which set out the original budget for 2023/24 and 2024/25 for revenue expenditure included within the service charge in respect of dwellings. The report noted that the actual amount charged to lessees would depend on the actual amount spent and the percentage set out in the individual leases.


The Chair presented the views of residents, noting their dissatisfaction in that the report had not been seen by the Service Charge Working Party and set out their concerns in that it appeared to show some discrepancies and lacked variance explanations.  They felt, therefore, that the BRC could not accept it in its current format, without a proper analysis, and given the complexity of the budgets.  


During the discussion the following points were noted:


1.      This is an annual report in the standard City of London Corporation format, showing budgets approved last year and charges to residents in June.  The variations are not far off of the approved budget, which had been considered by the Working Party and adjusted.  ‘Latest Approved Budget’ is the terminology used by the Chamberlain in the budget setting process. 


2.      Rents are down this year because some flats are empty.


3.      Chief Officers are responsible for budgetary control and approve virements  (in-year charges) on the nil balance.  The Executive Director gave assurance of Chief Officers’ obligations in terms of maintaining a very close budget.


4.      The most recent high level appointments had not been reflected, noting that 2 of the 3 are replacement of interims.   One of the appointments arose from an Altair recommendation in terms of contract management.  There was a significant number of agency staff this year, who are included, but they are expected to be replaced by fully employed staff in

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


Housing Governance Arrangements pdf icon PDF 121 KB

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

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

Additional documents:


The Committee received a report of the Executive Director, Community and Children’s Services in respect of the current governance arrangements and recommended how they might be provided in the future.


Members noted the following amendment, submitted by the Chairs of the RCC and the Barbican Association, and circulated ahead of the meeting:


The terms of reference for the Barbican Residential Committee should be reviewed to reflect it’s responsibility for oversight and scrutiny of the management of services and costs of the Barbican residential estate, and that draft terms of reference should be considered at the next meeting of the RCC and BRC.  It is recommended that the BRC Members approve the continuation of the current governance structure but with strengthened terms of reference and annual workplans of committees to enable the dedicated focus on performance and cost to embed and improve the resident experience. 


The BRC be recommended to :


1.     Agree that there should be no immediate change to the current governance arrangements because of the dedicated focus on improving operational performance with new management arrangements for the Barbican Residential Estate and the HRA.


2.     Delegate authority to the Town Clerk, in consultation with the Chair and Deputy Chair, to consider any changes to the Terms of Reference arising from the discussion, noting the comments set out above


3.     Agree that consideration should be given to options for the establishment of a separate forum for HRA residents, including proposals for a body comparable to the Barbican Residential Consultative Committee.


Note that Terms of Reference are routinely reviewed on an annual basis, and that there should be a further, more comprehensive ,review of housing governance arrangements in two years’ time, on the understanding that the dedicated focus on both the Barbican Residential Estate and HRA should have delivered significant improvements

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


Verbal Updates



Asset Management Strategy


The Interim Assistant Director reinforced the importance of an Asset Management Strategy and the involvement of residents in terms of choices in shaping future works.    The Asset Maintenance Working Party asked to be fully involved in the process.  The Assistant Director advised that the Strategy would bring together the Savills Condition Survey, work undertaken on window repairs, and other repair and maintenance pressures, to ensure they are managed strategically.  The Assistant Director further explained that the Department is has the relevant data and that an external analyst should be able to undertake the work without considerable expense.


The Executive  Director advised that, on 11th January 2024, the Court of Common Council had agreed to a variation to extend the Metwin contract for a further year.    Members noted that a session planned for 30th January 2024 would clash with an ‘all resident’ meeting and were asked if they might like to reschedule it.    Concerns were expressed as to the value of  further consultation, given that the problems with the repair and maintenance service had already been gathered, the cost implications of further interventions and the possibility of delaying the process.  


The Executive Director accepted these comments and gave assurance in that it would not impact on the timeline.  Furthermore, a procurement of this value and complexity would greatly  benefit from feedback from residents in terms of how it might look in the future.   The Executive Director  also agreed to look at the current version of the survey, to ensure it is more relevant and doesn’t repeat previous ones.   Members also noted that the same process is being undertaken for the HRA properties (Wates Contract) as they are subject to the same procurement exercise.   However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that there will eventually be two different contracts.

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


Asbestos Management and Remedial Works


Members noted that, in the week before the Christmas holidays, the Corporate Health and Safety Officer had found that follow-up work on the recent asbestos survey had not been done, affecting 46 properties on the Barbican Estate.  However, the Interim Assistant Director had actioned this immediately; working with Metwin and the resident engineer to seal the cupboards affected.  All affected residents were informed immediately and work is now underway to remedy the issue.   The Chair thanked the Assistant Director and her team for a very rapid response and the Executive Director thanked residents for their forbearance in a difficult situation.

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


Barbican Estate Office Transformation update


The new Assistant Director for the Barbican Estate would be starting on 11 March 20323 and Rosalind Ugwu was thanked for her hard work as Interim Head of the Barbican Estate Office.


The Committee thanked Anne Mason for her sterling work as Service Charge and Revenues Manager over a number of years, noting that she would be retiring in May this year.  The Executive Director thanked Anne for delaying her departure to allow for a full handover with her successor.  A Member raised the issue of the Energy Audit, which had been challenging and particularly valued Anne’s input to this complex area of work.   The Assistant Director advised of  a recent development in the appointment of an auditor.


In closing the meeting, Members noted that this set of minutes would be produced at pace and circulated ahead of the BRC meeting on Monday 22nd January. 

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