Periodically. the LEMC Directors call an informal zone meeting - on a zone by zone basis. These meetings will typically be held in The Spitfire in Liberty Square, and they are an opportunity for residents to meet with us and each other to discuss any aspect of Lacuna Estate they like. The meetings are also an opportunity for us to give you progress reports, and to gauge resident reactions to any new initiatives we may have in mind. During 2017, we have been preoccupied with the problem of the Crest Nicholson flats on Lacuna Estate.
Meeting with Crest Nicholson Directors
Following the LEMC Directors meetings with Crest Nicholson Directors and separately with Crest Nicholson flat owners to discuss the future of those flats on Lacuna Estate that are currently managed by Crest Nicholson's appointed agents, Gordon & Co, we are pleased to confirm that we now have all the paperwork in place to take over the first tranche of Crest Nicholson flats.
In fact, one of our LEMC Directors, Pauline Marsh, set up a managing agent company - PMA - for this very purpose. PMA is working in partnership with LEMC, but other than that, day to day management will be done by Pauline and Jenny in the normal way. In the first instance, and until such time as they hand over to resident Directors, we will report to Crest Nicholson Directors who currently make up the Carters Grove Management company board.
We hope to take over the management of the other tranche of Crest Nicholson flats - the Burlington Place management company flats - in the near future.
Meeting with Crest Nicholson flat owners - October 2016
Around a dozen residents attended, so we moved into the private board room on the 1st floor.
We were dismayed to hear a litany of complaints, added to which is our concern as LEMC Directors that the exterior of these flats has not been properly maintained.
Crest Nicholson still act as Directors of these particular 28 leasehold properties (we refer to the flats situated mainly in Milton Lane, Ames Way, Spencer Place and Queen St). Crest Nicholson have advised us that they are currently finalising (handover) accounts with their appointed managing agents, Gordon & Co, and making amendments to the leases. They plan to appoint residents as Resident Management Company (RESMANCO) Directors for each block, and to be in a position to hand over responsibility as and when required.
We (the overall Estate Management Company or ESTMANCO Directors) are meeting with Crest Nicholson Directors on 16th November 2016 to discuss the details and timetable of the way forward, and we shall post results of that meeting here on this page of the website in the near future.
ZONE E MEETING REPORT - September 2016 Half a dozen residents turned out, a few others having made their apologies in the days preceding. So we were able to sit at a small table and have a couple of drinks, upstairs in the Spitfire. General landscaping Our new permanent landscaping team is now in place, and residents comments were broadly positive. One resident mentioned his hedge needed cutting, and we shall of course oblige. We remind everyone, however, that different people have different preferences; whilst our overall agenda is to do less trimming (thus allowing a fuller, more natural look), the whole thing’s a balancing act.
Zone E bench with flower area Concern was expressed re the yellow (dog urine) patches on the central grass triangle in Ames Way, and we put forward a suggestion of upgrading the area to have a bench around the central tree, and some sort of wildflower planting scheme (maybe with paths to the bench). Concern was expressed whether it would attract people to loiter, say late at night, but in the end it was generally agreed that this probably wouldn’t be a problem (and if it is - as a last resort - we would simply remove the bench)
Homeowner repairs We reminded the meeting that homeowners are responsible for their own repairs where they need doing in between redecoration programmes. At the time of the next redecoration programme, we will typically cost for any repairs to be done before the painting (and concern was expressed at the meeting that this did not always happen in the past) in consultation with the homeowner. We explained that each year, a percentage of each homeowner’s service charges are put into a bespoke ‘reserve’ that next time round will be spent on their bespoke redecoration programme (it will be specific to the needs of their own particular property). Homeowners can watch this reserve grow each year by looking at their service charge statements. In the future, homeowners will - in conjunction with LEMC - need to agree to the works, and sign off on them at completion. We commented that white boards need to be washed down in between redecoration programmes, preferably once a year, and the responsibility lies with the homeowner. We can have that work done for you, please contact us on email@example.com
Communal maintenance One of the Directors and another homeowner expressed a desire to have the lights (or some of them) shut off in the wee small hours. However, this idea was outvoted. It was generally agreed that we need to stay ‘lit up’ all night. We need to be mindful of shift workers, and the covenants which require the Directors to maintain adequate street lighting.
Any other business One homeowner expressed a wish to pay service charges by direct debit (where LEMC control the payment amount), but another expressed a preference to remain with standing order (where the resident controls the payment amounts). LEMC agreed to look at the costs of a direct debit scheme, and we have now concluded it is too expensive.
Accounts We commented that arrears collection was going extremely well. Out of 123 houses, only one is not cooperating (yet). The flats are making similar progress. We were asked how well we were minding the budget. Even though we are now spending on never-before-done initiatives (fence painting, plant replacement, paving repairs), we are going to put in a reasonable set of figures. The Directors do actually constantly discuss the budgets ... Pauline Marsh organises landscaping, estate repairs and maintenance etc, and she wants to spend money. Jenny Vanbergen does all the accounts and arrears collection, and she wants to save money. Budgets and actual expenditure numbers can be found on this website under the 'Accounts' tab.