Mr Gee took the chair, all committee members were present with a further 19 society members in attendance.
Minutes of the previous general meeting were confirmed and signed, proposed by Mrs J Goodwin and seconded by Mrs J Gamble.
The chairman commenced by saying the report, will in essence, be fairly brief. We are still only partway through the current financial year and the projects and work that we instigated are still on-going. We are keeping a sharp eye on the budget, but it looks as though we will make a loss again this year. This is inevitable because of the expenses involved in taking over all the heating systems and also checking all gas fires and chimneys. It might interest you to know that of the chimneys that have been checked, approx. 60 have failed to conform to current code. This will give you an indication of the problems we face. When a chimney is closed down we are willing to work with the tenant if they wish to keep their fire surround and opening, but this will depend on the chimney and the costs involved. We do expect that the major work in this area will be completed by the end of next year and we can then get back to some sort of normality.
One of the sacred cows we have had to forego this year is the painting program. This should have been Fern Rise, but we considered the money would be better spent elsewhere.
It is always very sad when we lose some of our older tenants, either through death or going into care and we have had our fair share this year. Hence we have had a number of empty properties to renovate. These we are dealing with as quickly as time and funds will allow. In order to speed things a little we did employ extra labour. 96 Laburnum Road has been completed and re-let. 15 Fern Rise is now complete and will hopefully be re-let soon. 12 Fern Rise will not be too long and we hope to make a start on 3 Fern Rise before the end of the year. This will leave us with 2 properties to tackle in the New Year
You will be pleased to know that more legislation is on the way in the form of the governments Green Deal scheme. This forms part of the new energy bill and sets standards of energy efficiency for all houses. We are watching this with interest in order to see how it will affect us. 2018 is the date set for all houses to comply and we will keep everybody informed as we get more information.
As far as the disputed land at the bottom rear of Lilac Avenue is concerned, we have resubmitted our claim and are now awaiting the decision of the land tribunal. Again we shall let you know the outcome when we know more.
We have had complaints about air guns being used in the gardens. We can in no way condone their use either for target practice or shooting birds or animals, all guns comes within the firearms law. It should be borne in mind by the shooter that the unexpected can happen and they could find themselves facing a civil action for damage to property or even injury to persons or pets. If a pellet leaves the boundary of the garden they are committing a criminal offence. All birds and animals are protected by law. It is often thought that birds and animals designated as pest species can be shot at any time and by anybody. This is not so, only authorised persons that is those who have proper permission, are allowed to do so. For this purpose the secretary of state issues a general licence each year. We therefore do not allow the use of guns on Anchor Tenants land.
I will finish with a little bit of good news. I reported last time on the retirement of our previous chairman, Mrs Benning and paid tribute to her contribution to Anchor Tenants over the years. It is nice to know that she still wishes to serve on the committee and we welcome her decision.
This concluded the chairman’s report.
Nominations are Mrs J Bradshaw, Mrs J Benning and Mr A Ridgway. As there are two vacancies and three nominations, a ballot will be required. Mrs P Smith and Mrs J Taylor volunteered to act as scrutineers.
Mrs J Gamble brought up what had previously been stated at the last meeting regarding out of hours repairs. She went on to say that not all tenants know where a committee person lives should they have a problem. She said would it be better to have contact telephone numbers. Mr Gee said that the committee would give that some thought. Mrs P Smith suggested a mobile number that tenants could ring.
Mrs J Gamble asked if air rifles come under the firearms law. Mr Gee said that all guns come under the firearms act, there is no distinction.
Mrs Bakker said that she had had a couple of people knock her door regarding loft insulation. She asked if it was something that the estate would want the tenant to have done. Mr Gee said that as there are schemes out for free insulation the estate would encourage tenants to take up the offer if there loft were not insulated or needed to be brought up to current standard.
Mrs J Gamble said that when there are a few houses empty would it not be better to get qualified contractors in to carry out the work, so that the houses could get done quicker. Mr Gee said that outside contractors are used, for example we have brought in an outside firm where there is a considerable amount of plastering required.
Mrs Newcombe asked if there is a separate committee to handle the financial affairs or do the whole committee chip in. Mr Gee said the whole committee have an input, and they work on the previous years outgoings and put a budget in place, bearing in mind that there are quite a lot of unknowns. We never know how many houses will become empty in a year, we never know how many repairs will come in, but based on previous years we have a fairly good idea of what the spending is going to be. We then look at it throughout the year and adjust it as necessary.
Mrs Newcombe asked if the estate gets in more than one plumber one electrician, one carpenters estimates, or is it practise to have three. Mr Gee said that the estate does not always get more than one estimate for a job because we pick the person we can trust, who has done the job for us before. We know that there prices are pretty reasonable, but having said that we do occasionally ask for quotes from other people, we do keep an eye on that. We have to bear in mind that we use people that we know and can trust and does good work, as these people are going into tenant’s houses.
Mr Ridgway pointed out that last year we brought in another door company, along with the one that we already use. This keeps the price competitive, we do this across all areas where we need to.
Mr C Smith brought back the subject of loft insulation, a discussion then took place covering empty properties and if permission is required from the estate for energy companies to carry out the work. Mr Gee said that tenants do not need permission, but some energy companies do require the landlord’s permission, this would be given if they contact the estate office. He also said that the committee were looking into insulating empty properties if they needed it.
This concluded the business of the meeting and Mr Gee thanked members for their attendance, before declaring the meeting closed at 7.20pm
Mr Gee Took the chair, all committee members were present with a further 19 society members in attendance.
The meeting has been called to discuss and vote the following changes to the Estate bye-laws
Rule 1 - The rents are to be paid monthly, by Direct Debit, on the day appointed by the Committee, or as otherwise arranged. No receipt is valid other than the Rent Book. Tenants desiring to leave must give notice according to the agreement of paying rent, i.e., weekly or monthly etc., as arranged between themselves and the Committee.
A brief discussion took place before the chairman asked for a show of hands. All members were in favour, motion carried.
Several members objected to the wording. The chairman asked for a show of hands.
Voting was as follows: 7 in favour with 10 against, with two abstentions, motion failed.
After a brief discussion the chairman asked for a show of hands.
Voting was as follows: 15 in favour with 4 abstentions: motion carried.
This concluded the business of the meeting; Mr Gee thanked members for their attendance, before declaring the meeting closed at 7.40pm.