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Outstanding Issues Update
The WERA Committee are currently pursuing a number of long-standing issues with the TMO. For the benefit of residents all updates on these issues will be posted on this website as and when they become available.
Update from Peter Maddison (PM) and Alex Bosman (AB) provided at WERA Committee Meeting held on 12th May 2015
PM explained that he was the TMO's Director of Asset Management and responsible for the TMO's Asset Management strategy - the long term maintenance and upkeep of the Council's housing stock - going forward. AB was responsible for the TMO's day-to-day repair service.
Capital Investment Programme
PM stated that the TMO's Asset Management Strategy had now been approved by the TMO Board. This had allowed the TMO to secure £25 million of additional funding from the Council. PM noted that work to put the strategy into practice was now underway and that a suitable programme of major/capital works was being put together.
AB provided a brief overview of the TMO's day-to-day repair service. Several Committee members described a number of long-standing and ongoing issues with the TMO's day-to-day repair service, including poor quality repairs and missed appointments.
A document listing a number of proposed remedial/pre-emptive repairs to the estate's lifts had been distributed to Committee members in advance of the meeting.
Several Committee members expressed their dissatisfaction with PDERS. AB noted that PDERS had won the lift maintenance contract as a result of a lengthy and complicated tendering process governed by a substantial amount of legislation and that the TMO did not believe it was in a position to terminate and re-tender the contract at this time.
AB ran through the list of proposed remedial works. AB noted that some of the proposed remedial works were not covered by the exiting service/maintenance contract and would result in the TMO incurring additional costs.
AB reported that the programme of proposed remedial works had already commenced. It was noted that PDERS was sub-contracting some of the work. The Committee asked AB to consider accelerating the programme of works given the poor state of some of the lifts. AB said he would consider doing so once he had received a progress update from PDERS.
Soil and Ventilation Stacks
AB explained that the TMO had carried out an exercise to map and trace all of the soil and ventilation stacks on the estate. They needed to do this prior to carrying out any further works. AB reported that the TMO now planned to carry out a survey of the soil stacks within each tower (in two stages) as well as all the walkways and then being planning a programme of cleaning, descaling and repair works. AB expected to have the results of the survey within 3 months and to be able to report back to WERA within 4 months (end of September?).
AB noted that there was a significant risk that the remedial works deemed necessary following the survey might be so complex or significant as to have to be carried out as part of the TMO's capital works programme (and thus subject to S20 consultation and recharging).
AB stated that the TMO intended to switch off the communal heating system on the 18th of May. He agreed to review the matter closer to that date and advise the Committee of what the TMO planned to do.
Several Committee members highlighted issues with the estate's communal heating system, including poorly sited external temperature sensors, the prevalence of stuck radiator valves within individual flats, and that the automated control system was often unable to cope with even slight variations in weather patterns and outside temperatures often resulting in blocks which were either too hot (e.g. Ashburnham, Berenger) or too cold (e.g. Blantyre). The Committee believed that all of these issues could be easily addressed and that in many cases had been mitigated by the previous contractor, S&F, but were clearly not being addressed in any way with by the current contractor.
AB noted that the TMO had experienced difficulties in identifying and appointing a contractor to carry out the "sample" repair to a section of Triflex in one of the estate's communal walkways. He now expected the "sample" repair to be carried out shortly and would advise the Committee once it had been completed.
Car Park Gate
AB stated that a repair order to replace the car park gate's controls, sensors and motors had been raised.
Several Committee members stated that they believed the gate had been damaged by a large vehicle, most probably a van, and noted that incidents where TMO contractors (an in particular Apollo) were bringing large vehicles into the car park had been reported to the TMO on numerous occasions and apparently ignored. It was believed that one of these vehicles had damaged the car park gates and the TMO was asked to look into passing on the cost of the repair to those contractors found to be parking excessively large vehicles in the car park.
It was noted that the car park gates had originally been reported as damaged on the 12th of April and were not expected to be back in service until mid-June; a period of over 2 months during which the car park had remained insecure. AB was asked to investigate the possibility of issuing refunds to car park users given the length of time the gates had been inoperative and in particular given that the permits issued by the TMO did not allow car park users to park elsewhere (e.g. on the street or any other TMO managed property).
Several Committee members asked the TMO to look into the removal of the numerous car parking notices put up by Wings across the estate over the years. Many were clearly out of date. They would not be required under the new parking arrangements due to come into force shortly in any case.
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