Mr T Gee took the chair, all committee members were present with a further 21 society members in attendance.
Minutes of the previous general meeting were confirmed and signed, proposed by Mrs J Bradshaw and seconded by Mrs J Taylor.
As usual, the report will be fairly brief, as we are only partway through the year.
At the beginning of the year, we had 5 empty properties. Two of these have been completed and re let and we are well on the way to finishing the third one. We have also made a provisional start on property number four. In the meantime, another property has become vacant, and so the saga continues.
The houses are being renovated by an outside contractor. This is a new procedure for us and seems to be working very well. The houses are being renovated to a very good standard, and it releases our maintenance man to carry on with all the other jobs on the estate.
The committee have discussed the possibility of allowing those that are intereste, to view the next completed house. This would give them an idea of the work involved and the quality of the finished project. We are divided on this suggestion and maybe, at the end of the meeting, over tea and mince pies, you could give us your views on this matter.
We have finished the replacement of gutters and down rights on Chestnut Avenue. This program has now been put on hold to conserve money for the restoration of the empty properties, and it will be continued when we see how the budget is working out.
The community garden, at the side of the hall, is nearing completion. The grant from the lottery fund enabled us to go ahead with the fencing and make the area secure. I wish to thank all those who contributed to the project. In particular, all those people, who attended and helped to plant the trees and shrubs. The wonderful summer weather we had caused us quite a few problems and at one stage, it was touch and go as to whether we would be able to do the planting this year. But the heatwave eventually broke allowing planting to go ahead. I would also like to acknowledge the donation of two of the picnic tables. They were very welcome. We have also been asked about benches and we will be happy to discuss this with any interested parties at the end of the meeting. The opening day was very well attended and thanks to the Croft Silver Band and the hard work put in by the ladies of the committee and their helpers, a good time was had by all. The garden will be available for use from January next year and we hope it will help to promote the use of the hall.
In the past, it has been our policy to allow the installation of log burners and open fires by those tenants who requested permission to fit them. Unfortunately, we can no longer do this. Complicated legislation surrounding their fitting and use means we will not permit any new installations of these products. Our insurance company is none too happy with them either. We provide and maintain central heating systems and see no reason why we should get involved with all the problems that log burners can bring.
We have 143 houses to care for. As I have mentioned on previous reports, a lot of our work is controlled by legislation for instance, the gas safety check. We are obliged to do this on a yearly basis to conform with current laws. The penalties for not doing this are quite severe. In the majority of cases we have no problems. The logistics is quite straight forward. The contractor concerned makes an appointment and if it is not convenient, the tenant should contact the office, or the contractor and arrangements will be made to call another time.
Simple you might think. But too many times our contractors are calling to find nobody in or the door to open and be told it is not convenient. Apart from the costs in time and money, it is not fair on the contractor. With a little bit of care and thought this could all be avoided. I hope we will all take this onboard.
This concluded the chairman’s report.
Nominations are: Mrs J Benning and Mr W Gee. As there are two vacancies and two nominations, a vote will not be required.
Mrs Vernon said that she had always had admiration for the committee, but today she feels let down by them. Her son has now left the country and it appears that the committee want to take his shares from him.
Mr T Gee said that due to data protection it only allows us to discuss the affairs with the person concerned.
Mrs Vernon said why have the committee got this thing to grab back shares. Mr T Gee said that if Mr Ridgway wishes to appoint her as his representative and we would need it in writing she could come along to one of our fortnightly meetings and we will discuss this with her.
Mrs Vernon said that her son had sent an e-mail and asks that the committee read this and then invite her to a meeting. She said that basically is the taking back of shares that she objects to.
Mr T Gee said that we try to be fair with everyone concerned.
Mr Osborne brought up a point from the chairman’s report in relation to viewing an empty property. He said that he thought it was a good idea for tenants to look at a house once it has been renovated. You see contractors taking things in and out of houses and wondered what it is like once finished.
Mr Cort asked what the relevance was in doing this. Is it to see a house before and after. Mr T Gee said that it would be difficult to show beforehand. After further discussion Mr T Gee asked for a show of hands who would be interested in seeing a property once completed. Twelve society members were in favour.
Mr Fraser said he has a problem with the hedge along side the jitty. He has been unable to cut it for a while and would be obliged if someone could help him with it. Mr Cort said next year he would help him out and do the outside of the hedge for him.
This concluded the business of the meeting and Mr T Gee thanked members for their attendance, before closing the meeting at 7.16pm.
These minutes are the official record of what happened, and not a verbatim account.