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ian Dowsett posted a discussion

Weekly estate bulletin - 24 September 2021

Please find attached this weeks' estate bulletin.See More
12 hours ago
Christine Clifford posted a discussion

Furniture

Made.Com Sofa/Daybed - this unfolds to a low King size double bed. Good condition £50FREERetro Armchair   Bad cat damage at the back and underneath. Might suit someone with recovering skills. Of just staple the back and put a throw over it. See More
yesterday
Patricia O'Connor replied to Richard's discussion TV Signal
" Begs the question - what caused a seemingly estate wide power surge? "
yesterday
Christine Clifford replied to Richard's discussion TV Signal
"It sounds like it happened all over the estate. It was very shortlived. Our TV had no signal and our oven stopped working until be reset the clock. TV was fine next day"
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City of London

Golden Lane is falling down...the City of London do not care

The latest very serious events on GLE again illustrate the crumbling infrastructure we now live in. Years of neglect, penny pinching and incompetence on behalf of CoL will, I am afraid, result in injury or worse.

The best way to illustrate the CoL's commitment to providing housing services is to look at their favourite subject - money.

The CoL holds net assets totalling £1.045 TRILLION - more than the gross GDP of Gambia.

The CoL spent £100000 net on Housing Services in the last financial year, representing 0.1% of their City Fund spending.

The CoL spent £42.6 million net on 'Cultural and Related Services' in the last financial year, representing 29.9% of their City Fund spending, only Police funding is larger.

29.9% v 0.1% - I think we know where CoL's priorities lie.

I applaud the support of arts and culture, but is this really a balanced approach?

I think it just shows that the CoL do not really care about Housing and individual residents, and why should they? We live in a bizarre black hole of democracy where businesses can out-vote people in local elections by 3 to 1. Residents do not register on their radar, the most important elements to CoL are businesses and vanity projects.

So while we continue to enjoy Kazakh Folk music (no offence meant to Kazakh Folk music!) at the Barbican, forget any real funding for Housing from CoL.

CoL also holds £1.8 BILLION in a slush fund supporting and promoting business in the City, none of this is used to fund Housing Services.

All figures quoted in this post are taken form CoL's website, please read them, it really does bring home to you that they have no interest in Housing and I suspect they would be happy to get rid of all their Housing Estates.

https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/about-the-city/how-we-make-decision...

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It seems to me the issue is not how wealthy the COL is or how much it spends on the Arts. As I see it the Housing Department has in the past been run as a fiefdom, I say past because there is much talk of change. Operating a fiefdom means the housing department has for years been given autonomy to manage the £m's collected in rents and service charges. Elected members have very little clue as to how the money is spent, and until now, have not had to confront the scale of the dilapidation on the estates.

Recently I had cause to ask for a certificate to say that service charges and rents had been audited either internally or externally. Remember we are talking about huge sums of money. I had nievely assumed that this was basic good management and oversight. I discovered the service charges are not audited by an independent auditor nor are the COL obliged to get a suitably qualified local authority accountant to provide us with a certificate.

My conclusion was that the arms length , hands off ,fiefdom status enjoyed by the housing department has allowed mismanagement and poor value for money collected from residents. I take some hope from the new management commitment to improve things and to work proactively with residents. As for the accounts the councillors have a legal obligation for the management of the housing revenue and it is they who should ask why are the service charges not audited by an independent or local authority accountant.
Damien
Chair
PSLA.org.uk

To add to the ongoing discussions and reflections on the general state of the estate building fabric:

I left my flat in Crescent House yesterday to find a newly landed piece of concrete on the pedestrian route undercroft adjacent to the plaza.

The concrete including reinforcement as per the attached photo is 18cm long and weighs 0.5kg. More than enough to give someone a nasty injury.

I have been a resident in Crescent House for the last 5 years and attended a recent meeting following fires collapses and corrosion where the Estate Team attempted to reassure residents that everything was in hand and not to worry. Unfortunately I was not able to attend the evening meeting with presentation by the city's concrete specialist, but I'm sure it was very enlightening.

The problem the City has is not just their slow and under ressourced reaction, it is the long term underinvestment in surveying, analysis and maintenance of its building stock. 

Concrete has been seen by the ill-informed as a no maintenance facade material, but this is not the case and the estate and its residents will be paying the price for a long time to come.

I will be handing this lump in to the Estate Office and will read all the posts on the building repairs

Gavin Hutchison - Crescent House

 

Attachments:

Hi Gareth, could you please explain where the concrete fell from, I am not sure of the location when you say you found it on the pedestrian route undercroft adjacent to the plaza, I live in Crescent House and I would like to photograph where it fell from and add it to my collection,

thx

And, you certainly have a large 'collection' of mishaps, incompetent repairs, negligence etc Nathan!  Perhaps you should make up a file of it all to be presented to the C o L to remind them of their responsibilities.

I would keep the concrete and send the photo instead to management in the housing department, its evidence as are e-mails,

I am sure the estate office would gladly take any evidence from you, but don't expect it to be found in a months time.


Nathan, I have evidence on my mobile phone, showing just how bad the public have misused Hatfield House lawn, but being a computer idiot, I have no idea how to transfer them from my mobile to computer, as the evidence needs to be sent to the C o L.  Can you help me with this?  
nathan said:

I would keep the concrete and send the photo instead to management in the housing department, its evidence as are e-mails,

I am sure the estate office would gladly take any evidence from you, but don't expect it to be found in a months time.

Nathan,

It's pretty much at the midpoint between The Shakespeare and Cullum Welch on the East side, leading edge of undercroft. There's still bits of crumbled concrete lying around on the paving, photo attached.

Gavin


nathan said:

Hi Gareth, could you please explain where the concrete fell from, I am not sure of the location when you say you found it on the pedestrian route undercroft adjacent to the plaza, I live in Crescent House and I would like to photograph where it fell from and add it to my collection,

thx

Thx, Ill take a few snaps and post on here.

At least we have Simon Rattle to keep our spirits up as the windows in Great Arthur House fall out, Crescent House burns down, the garages are crushed by the collapse of the concrete above and the rest of the place slowly returns to the state left by the Luftwaffe in the 1940s.

Yes, Bosques, and apart from that everything is okay!  

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