PDF downloadable copy here: 08.11.17 Window meeting minutes
Maiden Lane Tenants and Residents Association
Windows meeting – Wednesday, 8 November 2017 at 7pm
Allensbury Residents Room, Allensbury Place, Maiden Lane Estate
Enquiries to: Deirdre McEvoy, Secretary
Committee members (present):
Deirdre McEvoy, Secretary
Council officers and contractors:
Anthony Rice – Senior site manager, Mullaley’s
Dean Reynold – Childsholden, window designers
Philip Smith – Arcadis on behalf LBC
Mike Monahan – Contract manager, Camden
Carly Brooker – Mullaley’s
Sharon Bone – Lead RLO, Mullaley’s
Residents in attendance in total: 23
Minutes taken by Farrah
- Window design
- Rear Doors (Barn Doors)
- Corner glazed units (On Maiden Lane flat and Elm Friar houses)
- AOB – Questions and answers:
- Window Sills
- Window Furniture
- Top kitchen windows and window opening furniture (winders)
- Security Grills
- Formalising Complaints
- Morgan Sindall
MINUTES APPROVED ON 21ST NOVEMBER 2017
In presence of: Deirdre, Farrah, Anthony, Philip, Mike and Carly
- Window design:
Philip reported the window panels are going back like for like. Anything that currently opens will be going back as open.
Resident (Christine) asked if the side window opening opposite the barn doors will open? Response from
Philip: They will be split. And where there are no heating pipes they are designing them to open. Where there are heating pipes in theory panels will be retrofitted to open after the heating work is done.
Mike: Said that they cannot make a promise that retrofitting will be done as he wasn’t here when that promise was made.
Deirdre: Pat O’Neill said that when the heating is done those panel would open.
Mike: Olden wooden panels will be renewed but will not be open where they are heating pipes.
Anthony: Mullaley’s were told that we were to design them shut.
Resident: Why are you resisting ventilation? It is possible to design our windows secure, waterproof and with appropriate ventilation.
Philip: They can go away and look at it again, provide feedback.
Deirdre: And have a separate meeting for those 15 houses affected by the heating pipes. Mike: Those windows never opened in those houses.
Resident (Christine): That is not true. In 1987 those heating boxes went in. They opened before then. We took our washing and the babies to the town hall and did our washing there. We got front page coverage. We had no heating or hot water for one year.
Mike: Would residents be happen if there was a 25% opening of the panels?
Residents majority answer: Yes.
Mike: He is sorry the scaffolding has been up for so long. That his track record is different, that he is sorry that residents feel that they haven’t had a previous good service and he cannot comment on the previous service. That he if the TRA can email him he can take it back to his bosses and decide if there can be a 50/50 – 25/75 opening for those 15 houses affected by the heating pipes.
- Rear Doors (Barn Doors):
Deirdre: The latest design sees the inset window opening the opposite way to the door. Can we change that?
Anthony: It is for security reasons, it stops people getting their hands through the inset window and opening the door handle.
Resident (Dave S.): Burglars can just smash it. How is that security by design?
Anthony: They are trying to limit the amount of time they can break into a house by making it as difficult as possible.
Resident: But the reason for not having a barn door was security by design. This inset window in a full door was Camden’s compromise to us. Is this security by design to stop us cutting our fingers or to stop burglaries? The beading will be in the inside of the frame so it does not make sense that this would be to stop burglaries as this method of inserting the beading on the inside of the frame applies to any window. There are companies out there that manufacture barn doors with security by design. It boils down to Camden not giving us 100% what we want.
Mike: What he is hearing is that residents are not 100% happy. That the TRA needs to write him an email and he will take it back to Pat O’Neill.
Anthony: Reported that a bit of light would be lost thru the new design.
Resident: The top half of the door is crucial for ventilation as we live in exceptionally warm houses. If you say it is security by design why have you compromised on the barn doors?
Mike: If Deirdre writes him an email that the majority of people do want a barn door he will take it back and tell the people further up that residents are unhappy; to head of services; Pat O’Neill.
Deirdre: Who would prefer barn doors by a show of hands?
Majority of residents put their hands up to vote for barn doors and not the latest design.
Deirdre: Who lives in a flat upstairs, do you have a full door that open inwards?
Residents who live in flats upstairs confirmed this. Resident: The sample window that you have brought is very small it doesn’t reflect a good example.
Resident: I thought the full door had to replace the barn door because you said it was security by design but then you changed this to an inset window and this left me wondering why are you making these changes? So it cannot be security by design.
Philip: Says they were given a brief and they do not have the power to change it. If they are told residents are not happy they will take this back. He could not comment on why the decision was made to get rid of the barn door on the other part of the estate (Phase 1). He also said that it might come back that they might need to keep the doors uniform.
Resident: How long will this go on for, these scaffoldings might be up for another 6 months at this rate?
Anthony: Said he appreciated the comment but they have had to do redesigns.
Mike: Pat O’Neill is accountable to this director. His director is accountable to the Head of Housing. Everyone is accountable to someone.
Resident: I think you do not understand how we feel. We have to live with this day in and day out. See it from our point of view. For you, you’ve been given this brief.
Mike: Said that he was sorry. That he wishes he was here from Day 1 as we wouldn’t still be here today.
Resident: I can see that you are trying to help but this has been going on for years. It feels like you are trying to make savings and budgeting and yet those new buildings are meant to be making money to reinvest in our estate.
Resident: I live in one of the top flat, why can’t you do the top flats instead of waiting, we are not affected by the barn doors.
Anthony: Because they need an agreement on wooden panels. Because those panels were meant to be shut in the top flats. Residents want them open. For them to go into manufacture they need everything agreed as it would not be cost effective. They would have to double transport, double work, double everything.
Resident: No one likes the scaffolding but if we want the windows done the way we want we have to stop moaning.
Resident: But when you live on the end corner you would not be saying that, we have ladders constantly going up against our house and sometimes being left all weekend.
Resident: Please tell us when you intend to finish the work?
Mike: Said it should be completed by April if the windows went into manufacture imminently. Said we could also formally complain if we were unhappy with this possibility.
Resident: Shall we just let them do it? The way they want?
Resident: How far do we fight?
Resident: Discussing time lines is pointless.
Mike: Barn doors are not scaffolding dependent. Asked the TRA to go away and discuss the 50/50 – 25/75 split on the panels so they could potentially start on the work and come back to discuss the barn doors.
Anthony: Said that they would be removing the tin roof in any case but the bottom half of the scaffolding would need to remain.
Carly: Said removing some of the scaffolding just would not work as they need access to complete the work in one go. There are other things that need to be done aside from the windows.
- 3. Corner glazed units (On Maiden Lane flat and Elm Friar houses)
Dean: They have been asked to match what is there which is single glaze. They are proposing to use double glaze but to match the existing design. There is a change to the fenestration.
Anthony: Those corner units never opened. Said there would be a corner capping on the corner of the windows.
Anthony then proceeded to show the sample to resident.
Anthony: Explained that this corner capping would take the sharp edge away. That they are recommending that the units go in double glazed.
Mike: Said that he needed us to tell him what we prefer. Single glaze or double glaze. That it was not possible to change the colour that he would have to go and get planning permission. The estate was built black, that is what they would deliver.
Deirdre: Asked residents to do a show of hands on what they preferred: single glazed or double glazed with corner capping?
Majority of residents showed they were happy with double glazed with corner capping.
Mike: Said he was happy that we are happy with the new design and that he had to ask us what we preferred as the corner capping changes the appearance of the windows slightly. That he didn’t think we would be against this change to double glazed.
- AOB – Questions and answers:
- Window Sill
Deirdre: We have window sills, will we retain them? Mike: You will keep them. Resident: Be nice if we could have new ones. The sills are as old as the frames and some of them need replacing.
- Window furniture
Deirdre: We will retain window furniture? Mike: Yes you will, let me show you, it is quite new. Deirdre: Can we discuss this another time as the meeting is about to run over, I could come to the office and you could show me them properly and discuss it further. Mike: Agreed.
- Top kitchen windows and window opening furniture (winders):
Resident (Christine): Will we keep our windows? We have different openings. Mike: Asked how big are the windows were and how high up? Residents point out top window of resident’s room kitchen with winder. Mike: Said if residents had something that allowed them to open their windows they would keep it. Resident: We need a way of opening that window. Some of us do not have winders or strings, they were never replaced. Originally all the windows had them. Mike: Said he would review the windows as required. Said that residents would not be disadvantaged, if they had openers they would keep them but that equally if a window does not have window furniture he would not be putting them in. Resident: Hardly anyone has them open. Resident: I use mine, just because you do not use yours. Mike: Said Camden did not want resident to be climbing unsafely to open windows. If a resident needed a window opener they would have to approach occupational therapy for an assessment and go down that route to get one installed. Resident: I have a cord. A cord is not costly, it is different and it is the original window opener furniture. Mike: Reminded residents that they would still be able to open the bottom window without the need of window openers.
- Security Grills
Mike: The fire brigade say that security grills on windows should not be installed. That the security grills will be removed. And that Camden would come back to make good the walls and the decoration within reason. And that if there is one grill installed that is not in the way of the work they have to do, they will leave it. Anthony: Confirmed that if grills are not in the way they would not touch them. If they are installed on windows they would be removed. They would offer residents the option to keep their grills or to skip them on their behalf. They would get residents to sign a disclaimer if they were skipped.
- Formalising complaints
Anthony: Said they will make good the work they do. But for resident to not expect too much. That they will make good walls but decoration within reason. Mike: Said to residents that if they felt particular about this then they need to go down the formal procedure of complaints. Resident: Are you joking? Mike: Said he wasn’t and that the reason people go down complaints procedure is that it gets investigated. It wasn’t him saying this as a way of saying he didn’t care that on the contrary, residents have to formalise their complaints to see results.
- Morgan Sindall
Deirdre: The reason we have a letter is because a lot of people have not had works completed or properties signed off. Mike: Said he spoke to Sayed and asked why they were now contacting residents with this, residents who have suffered with ongoing works for so long. Why were they writing to residents? He says that Sayed’s response was because a lot of residents have not had works done to their properties and that Keepmoat/Apollo have not been paid for works they have/have not done as they did not keep their books well. He also said to residents that they do not have to keep the designated appointment; that if residents were unavailable on that date on the letter they can tell Morgan Sindall to rearrange the appointment at a more appropriate time. And that if residents did not want a new kitchen they could refuse one. However, if they have electric work that needs doing that they would not be able to refuse this being done. This is not up to residents, Camden has to have the electrical work done. And that residents who opposed this would have to take it through the courts. And that this was a chance for residents to get the work done by Apollo/Keepmoat properly if it wasn’t done so the first time around. This isn’t to rectify/snags, this is a new contract with a new contractor.
~ Meeting Ends ~