Only 15 households were represented at the AGM on 16th October – short of the minimum 17 required to hold an election for a new committee. So the AGM was held without a new committee being elected. The previous committee can carry on serving for a few months, but after that the association will be disolved, unless a new election can be held.
If PRERA ceases to exist, the voice of the residents will be weaker when dealing with the council or the council’s contractors. Good representation for residents will be increasingly important over the coming years as the council plans to spend millions of pounds carrying out much-needed major maintenance work.
Would you like the work of PRERA to continue? Can you help to make this happen? Do get in touch.
PRERA’s AGM for 2018 will be held at 7pm on 16th October. As in previous years, the venue will be Laburnum Hall on Cheshire Estate – just next to the Palace Road Nature Garden.
The committee will give a review of what has happened over the past year. There will then be an opportunity to vote for, or be elected to, next year’s committee. A council officer will also be present to give an update on a proposed new waste policy.
If you care how the estate is maintained, if you want to help organise events, or if you want to influence how your council tax or service charges are spent, come along!
At the end of August the Lambeth Council Planning Committee issued a decision notice on the application to build a new resource centre on Coburg Crescent. As expected, permission was granted, subject to conditions.
There are many important conditions, but a key condition for us, in terms of being able to use the new building, is number 22:
Prior to the occupation of the development hereby permitted a Community Use Agreement shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority confirming that the community space will be made available for hire and use by the local community and community groups, subject to the normal operational constraints of the day centre service and with due consideration given to the need to safeguard the users and residents of the Resource Centre. The development hereby permitted shall thereafte be operated in accordance with the approved details.
Given that this new development was only made possible by demolishing our community hall, we have argued strongly that we should be able to use the communal facilities in the new building (café and community space) freely and without charge.
The council have told us that they have £500,000 to spend in our local park, Hillside Gardens Park. They want a committee of local people to advise on how this money should be invested. Are you a user of Hillside Gardens Park? Would you like to get involved with this improvement project? There will be around seven meetings to attend over the course of a year. Get in touch to volunteer or find out more.
The council have proposed a policy for dealing with domestic waste on the estate – see below. Please let us know if you have any comments on it.
Domestic Bulk Waste Disposal
1. Domestic bulk refuse for everyone on the estate: we’ll provide residents with Pinnacle contact centre telephone number to agree bulk collection one day a week to mirror the service of the general council population but the only difference is that there’ll be no charge for council tenants and leaseholders. Residents will be required to leave bulk refuse no more than 2 hours before the pre-arranged collection. Any refuse or bulk left by any resident outside of this arrangement will be regarded as fly-tipping and will attract enforcement action ranging from fixed penalty charge, anti-social behaviour warning to eviction or lease forfeiture (in very rare but persistent cases).
This will be an appointment ONLY system for residents to dispose their domestic bulk waste. The system will:
eliminate random waste disposal and therefore make the estate look neater
encourage responsible behaviour
deny space or opportunity for fly-tipping;
residents will be clear of the arrangements in place for them to dispose domestic waste
increase opportunity for recycling
above all a clear arrangement will enable us to carry out enforcement and encourage residents to report irresponsible behaviour
Day to day Domestic Waste
2. Flats including Bushell Close – we do not propose any significant change other than to use the cameras on Palace Road to monitor the bin chambers to enable us to carry out enforcement action against fly-tipping by vans/lorries driving to the estate to dump wastes.
3. Houses on Coburg Crescent
a. A letter will be sent to residents asking them to store wheelie bins in their individual back gardens or in the wooden bin stores between collections.
b. Letter will also reiterate that all waste (refuse and recycling) should only be put out on collection day only and any departure will be regarded as fly-tipping. The draft letter will be prepared by Veolia and circulated to TRA for comments before being distributed
c. Green bins to replace clear bags for recycled waste have been suggested in the past and will be reviewed again now that improvement to parking and access to the estate has improved
d. If green bins are not possible option of a designated collection corral will be looked at. This is not something we’ll favour as it’s more likely than not to attract general refuse, bulk and fly-tipped material.
e. Moving waste presentation points for residents to the front of the property at the roadside to assist collections
f. Carry out bin rationalisation and also swap current black bins to 140l in line with Lambeth standard offer
Following a spate of fly-tipping incidents at the Despard House garages (often in broad daylight), the council has installed gates to make it more difficult for fly-tippers to discretely dump their rubbish. We have questioned the cost of these new gates and have been told that their installation is expected to be cheaper than the removal of dumped waste.
We have also asked why the gates have been painted yellow. This is apparently to make them more visible during the night. What do you think? Is this reasonable, or would a more tasteful shade of paint be more suitable, combined with reflectors? Let us know your thoughts.
All garage tenants should be receiving keys for the new gates within the next two weeks.
We have received an ‘indicative capital programme‘ for the 2019-2020 accounting year. This shows that the planned works for Palace Road Estate are in four categories: (i) externals, (ii) water tanks and boosters, (iii) communal heating / distribution / control and (iv) electrics. No other Lambeth estate has work planned in as many as four categories. The draft programme will go to the council’s overview and scrutiny committee for their approval.
Perhaps as a result of our request during the visit of Chuka Umunna MP to the estate, the council has carried out an inspection to see what work is required to renovate the external elements of the buildings. The report can be downloaded here.
The report says that the following work is necessary:
Total replacement of the roofs.
Replacement of windows, including patio/balcony doors.
Upgrading of doors to flats to meet fire safety standards.
Repairs to balconies, “including timber replacement and replacement or alternative glazing”.
This work, together with the necessary structural repairs, is estimated to cost in the region of £10.5 million. We have been told that this work will form part of Lambeth’s capital works programme over several years, starting in the 2019-2020 budgetary year.