Mr T Gee took the chair, all committee members were present with a further 13 society members present.
Minutes of the previous annual general meeting were confirmed and signed, proposed by Mrs J Bradshaw and seconded by Mrs J Taylor.
At the present time we have five empty houses. Three of these we are working on at the moment and our target is to have all of these properties tenanted in the current financial year. While the cost of renovating these houses is quite considerable, the properties, once tenanted, bring in a higher level of rent, and so help to increase our income.
Our intention is to renew all gutters, facias and downpipes and it is proceeding as expected and we have managed to complete part of Keyham Lane and most of Chestnut Avenue. The renewing of these features is beneficial in two ways, increased safety and reduced costs in the painting programme. As with all major new projects, we do tend to get some initial problems and it is fair to say that we have had a few with this one. Health and safety means that the houses must be scaffolded to renew the gutters and facias. Co-ordinating the scaffolding with the progress of work has been a problem, trying to get the work done during the winter with the appalling weather that we have had, hasn’t helped and we must apologise to those tenants who have had scaffolding against their houses for longer periods than necessary. Whilst the contractors initial work was satisfactory, we are not too happy with progress and will be using another contractor in the future.
It is nice to report that we are still in a fairly good financial position and our auditor, Mr Mee will give you all the relevant information in due course.
At our last quarterly meeting, we asked if there was anybody who wished to take on the running of the Hall on behalf of Anchor Tenants, and we are happy to report that a person has been appointed and all the bookings and other relevant matters, will be handled by Sian Bateman. Sian lives on the estate and we welcome her as part of our team and hope that under her guidance the hall will prosper.
As you can see, we have started to work on the land at the side of the hall. This has been cleared and all the rubbish that had accumulated over the years has been removed. The next step is to import some topsoil and sow grass seed. We intend to make this into a garden and recreation space that can be used by people who rent the hall and also the rest of the community. We have, once more, submitted an application for a lottery grant to help with the costs. We have taken onboard all the advice given by the lottery people with regards to the application and hope that this time we will be successful. I can now report that since preparing my speech, we have been contacted by the Lottery Awards for All and they have confirmed that we have been awarded a grant of £10,000.00 to enable us to complete the work required. We already have a plan of what we intend to do, and we welcome your comments on it. We have trees, shrubs and flowers to plant. This is a community project, and anybody who wishes to volunteer their help will be most welcome.
Condensation is still causing problems in some of the houses. This is something that effects, not just our houses, but many homes throughout the country. In order to combat this, we have started to fit electric fans in some kitchens and bathrooms and have found them to be of great help. If fitted, they should not be removed, as they are an important part of the condensation control. It is impossible to completely prevent condensation in the home, but you should aim to reduce it to a level so that it doesn’t cause problems. We have a leaflet that explains how this can be done and should you require one please let us know.
I would like to remind those shareholders who do not live on the estate, and also those that reside at home with their parents, how important it is that they notify us, should they change address. If they are on the housing list, how can we let you know that a house is available, if we don’t know where you are. We also have to send out notices of meetings etc and we still get some returned with “not at this address” stamped on them.
I would also like to stress that the contractors that we use should not be contacted direct by the tenants. All repairs and any maintenance problems should be notified to the office where a job sheet will be completed, and the relevant contractor dispatched as soon as possible. If the office is closed and an emergency occurs, a member of the committee should be contacted, and they will deal with the problem. Our policy of using the same band of contractors has sometimes been criticised. They know how we work, are policies and what is expected of them. It certainly paid dividends this winter. The damage done by the high winds, mainly the loss of roof and ridge tiles, were speedily fixed by the roofing contractor and also the latest cold spell, which caused problems with many of our boilers, all of which were dealt with quickly and efficiently by the plumber either the same day we were notified, or the next day.
We have been asked, many times, whether we can do anything about people parking on the grass verges and making a mess of them. The grass verges, roads and pavements, are the responsibility of Leicester Council and whilst we have written to them with regards to the problem they have always pleaded poverty and lack of time to attend to this. I understand now that they have a small team going around and photographing the worst areas. They then do any repair work necessary and send the owners of the cars parked there a bill for the damage. You have been warned.
In conclusion, it would be very remiss of me if I didn’t mention Janet Goodwin, who died earlier this year. We of course mourn all our members who pass away, but I think it is fair to say some will be missed more greatly than others. Janet will be one of these. She had been on the estate for most of her life and for a long time was a member and also chairman of this committee, until ill health caused her to retire. She was a staunch supporter of the ethos of Anchor Tenants and all we try to do. A lady of strong views and who was never afraid to voice them. She helped to keep the committee on its toes and she never missed a quarterly meeting. It is strange to stand here and not to see her sitting on the front row. Those of us who knew her well, will understand when I say “if there are ash trees in heaven, they will be quaking in their roots “. We shall miss her.
This concluded the chairman’s report.
|The result was as follows|
|Miss A Benning||196|
|Mr M Carter||73|
|Mrs L Osborne||165|
|Mrs P Smith||170|
As there are three positions to fill, Miss A Benning, Mrs L Osborne and Mrs P Smith are elected to the committee. There were five void papers this year. Mr Gee thanked everyone that had voted and Mrs I Gaten and Mrs J Taylor for acting as Scrutineers.
Mr Mee began his report by saying that the previous year the society made quite a lot of money, but this year it was spent.
With regards to the income received, rents are actually lower this is because the previous year was a 53-week rent year and 2017 was a 52-week year. But there was added income from the empty properties which were let, and a full years rent was received from them.
The hall had just started to be rented out and £2,419.00 was taken, but this will increase now that there is someone in charge and promoting the use of the hall.
In terms of the expenses, the running costs shows a small increase in wages, but the majority is on par with the previous year.
The roofing and building expenses were up this was due to new guttering and facias to 21 houses and also the re-roofing of 2 properties.
There were less empty properties in the year this meant that there was less spent on damp proofing and central heating installation.
More was spent on the electrics this was due to several occupied houses that required the wiring to be upgraded.
There was less spending on the hall apart from the new doors that were installed and the clearing of the compound.
Overall £40,000 more was spent in 2017 than the previous year which means that there was a small deficit of £1,522.
What has been generated in income has covered this year’s costs and as shown on the balance sheet £95,000 is retained in the bank accounts. This shows that the society is in a very healthy position and is able to afford and carry on doing improvements to the estate.
This concluded Mr Mee’s report.
Mrs R Newcombe asked what the wayleave was. Mr Mee said that it was the ground rent that the electricity company pay for the sub station at the top of Chestnut Avenue.
Mrs Newcombe also asked if it mattered not showing the true value of the estate on the accounts. Mr Mee said that as far as accounting standards go it is shown as an investment property, to get each property valued would come at an enormous cost, so the committee decision was that the cost of doing that would grossly out way the benefit.
Mr M Osborne proposed the accounts were accepted as a true record, seconded by Mrs J Bradshaw.
Mrs J Bradshaw proposed the re-election of Nixon Mee Limited as auditors for the coming year; this was seconded by Mr R Parr.
Mr Pawson said that as you can see the cost of the committee’s fees for last year were over a thousand pounds and he thought that this was vastly far too much. He went on to say that he didn’t think that there should be any remuneration and five pounds was too much, but the rest of the committee didn’t agree.
Mr Gee said that he didn’t agree with him and it is open to any committee member not to accept it.
It was proposed by Mr C Newcombe that the fees remain the same as the previous year, seconded by Mr R Parr.
Mrs Osborne said that there are two people on the committee, Mr T Gee and Mr I Pawson who come into the office to help the secretary out. They both spend a lot of time over and above their duties to help this estate and thinks that this should be minuted.
Mrs R Newcombe said that on the voting papers it gives a folio number this means the person who is voting can be traced. She went on to say that she understands that the folio number needs to be on the letter to allocate the number of votes that the person has got but, felt that it should not go on the voting paper.
Mr T Gee said that it is printed on to stop fraud because, if we have two papers in with the same number on the top we know that it is fraud. Also, nobody knows who the folio number belongs to, they would have to look at the share book and we would not allow that. It does stop fraud; the scrutineers do not know who the folio numbers belong to.
Mr I Pawson said that it does not have to be a secret ballot, nowhere in the rule book does it state that, we could print the shareholders full name, but we choose not to. By printing the folio number, it is no different to the card you receive with a number printed on it for voting in elections.
Mr T Gee assured the meeting that no one would know who a shareholder had voted for.
Mr M Osborne asked if the tenants are going to be notified that the council may be checking the grass verges.
Mr T Gee said that they would know if they read the minutes that will be sent out. He went on to say that they may come around.
Mrs Bakker said following on from the chairman’s report regarding gas electricity and boilers. She said that her boiler had broken down just before Christmas and she would like to say a big thank you for it being dealt with so well. She said that they could have been in a real mess over the holidays, but they were brilliant.
Mr T Gee said that people who are a little bit dismissive of this sometimes should go onto the landlords and tenant’s websites and see what other tenants have to put up with. Boilers breaking down, landlords not getting in touch for three weeks and people sitting freezing.
He said that he thinks that the service we give and try to give is probably the best in the country.
Mr C Newcombe said that they would like to second that as their boiler broke down over the holiday and D J B came out and did a temporary repair. Since that, they have now had a new boiler fitted. Mrs Newcombe said that they were brilliant and a pleasure to have in the house.
Mr T Gee said that it was nice to hear, and it would be passed on to them. He also said that they were fetched out at weekends over the holiday period and not once did they refuse to come out.
This concluded the business of the meeting and Mr T Gee thanked everyone for their attendance and hoped that more people would attend in the future before declaring the meeting closed at 7.30pm.
These minutes are the official record of what happened and not a verbatim account