St George’s Fields Notice Board

Sunday 30th June at 3pm for 3.15pm start
St George’s Burial Ground Talk
FREE here in our SGF gardens,
sponsored by our SGF Social & Community Committee

Colin Fenn, cemetery historian, will entertain us with tales of old St George’s Fields’ graveyard, of thousands buried, Superstars & from Tyburn Gallows, of body snatchers hauling skeletons over our double walls, a flashy chapel, mysterious crypts, tennis & archery combats, plans for a high round-tower, why & how our flats were built, and much more!

A one hour presentation, plus questions & contributions.

SGF garden bench seating on lawn behind Park Steps, near Albion Mews – perhaps come with your own cushion or personal chair.

Herbal & fruit beverages; and if possible Bring Your Own Mug.

Earlybirds get to view maps & drawings showing our fields over several centuries; and compete to identify a dozen SGF garden flowers.

Please RSVP to SGF Reception reception@sgfestateoffice.co.uk, for seating numbers.

Looking forward to seeing you all.

Queries/offers of help please to yolandeyates2@gmail.com.

2019 AGM – Voting Results

1 – The resolution to approve the minutes of the 2018 AGM.

Resolution Approved with 1 abstention

2 – The resolution to approve the Report of financial statements for 2018.

Resolution Approved

3 – The resolution to reappoint Simpson Wreford & Partners as auditors.

Resolution Approved

4 – The resolution to authorise the Directors to determine the remuneration of the auditors

Resolution Approved

5 – The resolution to combine the Directors’ fees and expenses for the year ending 31st December 2019 for an overall total of £19,028 pa which is to be shared between the directors.

Resolution Approved on a poll vote with 56 votes For and 1 vote Against

6 a and b – Matthew Austin and Liz Hewitt were duly (re)/appointed Directors on a poll with the votes as follows:

Matthew Austin – 57 Votes
Liz Hewitt – 52 Votes

Total Votes cast: 57

Window Cleaning

On Thursday 11th July 2019 the window cleaners will be attending to carry out window cleaning to individual flats. This will include the inside and outside of the windows. Payment must be made in advance and there are many ways you can pay.

If you wish to pay by cash, cheque or bank transfer the individual window cleaning prices (including VAT) are:

Steps Blocks
1 Bed Flat – £24.00
2 Bed Maisonette – £30.00
2 Bed Penthouse – £36.00

Rise Blocks
Studio – £18.00
1 Bed Flat – £24.00

Cheques should be made payable to: St George’s Fields (No2) Limited.
Direct bank transfers should be made to: Account Name: St George’s Fields (No2) Limited, Sort Code: 20 65 89, Account Number: 60845833. Please include your property as a reference (eg. KS02).

If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity, then please let the Estate Office know by telephone on 020 7723 7728 or by email to reception@sgfestateoffice.co.uk letting the office know how your apartment can be accessed internally.

On Thursday 11th July 2019 the window cleaners will be attending to carry out window cleaning to individual flats. This will include the inside and outside of the windows. Payment must be made in advance and there are many ways you can pay.

If you wish to pay by cash, cheque or bank transfer the individual window cleaning prices (including VAT) are:

Steps Blocks
1 Bed Flat – £24.00
2 Bed Maisonette – £30.00
2 Bed Penthouse – £36.00

Rise Blocks
Studio – £18.00
1 Bed Flat – £24.00

Cheques should be made payable to: St George’s Fields (No2) Limited.
Direct bank transfers should be made to: Account Name: St George’s Fields (No2) Limited, Sort Code: 20 65 89, Account Number: 60845833. Please include your property as a reference (eg. KS02).

If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity, then please let the Estate Office know by telephone on 020 7723 7728 or by email to reception@sgfestateoffice.co.uk letting the office know how your apartment can be accessed internally.

On Thursday 11th July 2019 the window cleaners will be attending to carry out window cleaning to individual flats. This will include the inside and outside of the windows. Payment must be made in advance and there are many ways you can pay.

If you wish to pay by cash, cheque or bank transfer the individual window cleaning prices (including VAT) are:

Steps Blocks
1 Bed Flat – £24.00
2 Bed Maisonette – £30.00
2 Bed Penthouse – £36.00

Rise Blocks
Studio – £18.00
1 Bed Flat – £24.00

Cheques should be made payable to: St George’s Fields (No2) Limited.
Direct bank transfers should be made to: Account Name: St George’s Fields (No2) Limited, Sort Code: 20 65 89, Account Number: 60845833. Please include your property as a reference (eg. KS02).

If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity, then please let the Estate Office know by telephone on 020 7723 7728 or by email to reception@sgfestateoffice.co.uk letting the office know how your apartment can be accessed internally.

2019 AGM Documents

The Annual General Meeting of St George’s Fields Ltd (the “Company”) will be held in the El-Alamein Room, Victory Services Club, Seymour Street, London W2, on Wednesday 18th June 2019, at 7pm for the following purposes:

  1. To approve the minutes of the 2018 Annual General Meeting (“AGM”)
  2. To approve the Directors’ Report and Financial Statements of the Company for the year ended 31 December 2018, together with the report of the Auditors.
  3. To re-appoint Simpson Wreford and Partners as auditors of the Company to hold office until the conclusion of the next AGM.
  4. To authorise the directors to determine the remuneration of the auditors.
  5. To combine the directors’ fees and expenses for the year ending 31 December 2019 for an overall total of £19,028 pa which is to be shared between the directors.
  6. To elect TWO directors to the board from those listed below:

            (a) Matthew Austin

            (b) Elizabeth Hewitt*

*Current director seeking re-election

BY ORDER OF THE BOARD

Alan Seymour – Chair

NOTES

  1. Any shareholder may stand for election as a director of the company provided he or she is so nominated in writing by another shareholder. The proposed director must also indicate his or her willingness to stand for election and signed documents to this effect must be lodged at the Estate Office no later than 28 days before the meeting.   The Board can confirm that the nominations of Directors seeking election included within this notice have been received within these timescales.
  2. Each member who is entitled to attend and vote at the Annual General Meeting is entitled to appoint a proxy to attend and vote in his or her place; such proxy need not be a member of the Company.  A proxy form is enclosed
  3. This form of proxy should be returned to the Estate Office, if in writing by no later than 5.00pm on 18th June 2019 or two hours before any adjourned meeting, or if contained in an email to reception@sgfestateoffice.co.uk by no later than 7.00pm on 16th June 2019 or 48 hours before any adjourned meeting.
  4. Please bring with you to the meeting an adequate form of identification (e.g. driving license, passport, credit card etc).
  5. 2019 AGM Documents for download:

The electrical works are now moving on to the apartments that are accessed at 5th floor level.

The wiring and trunking for these apartments is hidden above the suspended ceiling at 3rd floor level.

Therefore, please do expect disruption, mess and noise while some ceiling panels are removed to allow access to the trunking. It is quite probable that ceiling panels will be kept down overnight as works progress through each of the Steps blocks.

Please accept our apologies for the appearance but we hope to put the ceilings back as soon as possible.

If you are a landlord, or have another agent manage your property, please forward this email to your tenant. If you allow SGF2 to manage your tenancy, then we will ensure your tenant receives this and future newsletters and notices accordingly.

Gareth Targett

St George’s Fields Ltd

One of the outcomes of the AGM in 2018 was a request for the Board and Management of St George’s Fields to review the parking arrangements at ground floor level. It was observed that parking was haphazard, inconsiderate and, on occasion, without a permit.

Since the AGM, Management have been more rigorous in reminding offenders of the parking rules with the use of stickers. Many residents have fed back that there has been an improvement. However, there are still repeat offenders. Some of the offenders are residents, not just visitors or contractors. As a response, Management have developed a new parking administration tool and revised the process for parking at ground floor level.

From Monday 4th March, Residents and Visitors will no longer need to obtain a paper parking permit and can instead book parking sessions online by visiting the St George’s Fields Website and completing the online form. This new system is accessible 24 hours a day and at weekends. Management have an oversight of who has and has not booked parking and will place stickers on those parked vehicles that have not followed the process. Details on accessing the parking booking form will be shared next week.

If you do not have access to the internet, or have unexpected visitors arrive and cannot book parking online, then please get in touch with the Estate Office and we will organise this for you. Alternatively, your visitor can still pop into the office to organise parking or call in advance during the Estate Office’s opening times.

Parking is only available on the West side of the tunnel areas to the Step blocks – this is on the even door number side to all Steps blocks.

If there is no parking available, then please park outside the estate. Parking in a haphazard fashion may impede an emergency service vehicle’s access.

If you have a car parking space, please do use it as often as possible. I appreciate that, on occasion, it is more convenient to park at ground floor, but, as space is limited, you are asked to use the space allocated to the apartment.

If you are a tenant of a landlord who has not rented the car parking space with the flat, then you should not be using the ground floor to park your car for extended periods of time.

Parking for up to 1 hour is permitted without booking parking.

Contractors will still be required to visit the Estate Office to obtain a contractor parking permit. As a rule, contractors should only be onsite when the office is open.

Parking at ground floor level is subject to a fair and reasonable use policy. One should not abuse the facility by continually parking on consecutive days out of fairness to all. If Management observe the same individual abusing the process, then they will be asked not to, using a sticker reminding them of the rules.

When reviewing the policy and processes for parking at ground floor level, one of the options that the Board and Management considered was to contract with an external parking enforcement company who would issue incorrectly parked vehicles with a Parking Charge Notice to fine offenders. The Board preferred not to take this action but want to put all Shareholders and Residents on notice that, if there are further and continuous abuses of the parking rules or there is a constant refusal by some not to adhere to these rules, then the Board will be left with no alternative but to employ the services of an enforcement company.

The Board and Management would like to remind everyone that the rules are in place for perfectly sound and reasonable estate management reasons. Therefore, you are asked to respect the rules that are in place to allow bona fide visitors and contractors access to the estate while preserving access for attending emergency services if needed.

If you are a landlord, or have another agent manage your property, please forward this email to your tenant. If you allow SGF2 to manage your tenancy, then we will ensure your tenant receives this and future newsletters and notices accordingly.

Gareth Targett

St George’s Fields Ltd

Background

As has recently been written, there have been a number of break-ins/attempted break-ins within St George’s Fields. Management asked the Safer Neighbourhood police officers to attend to provide some help and advice on SGF’s security measures. They attended a meeting with the Board of directors and provided some insight to what had happened, their progress and helpful tips and advice for SGF and residents. This security notice has been encouraged and approved by the Police

What has happened?

The police have received reports of 7 break-ins/attempted break-ins between 15th December and 3rd January. As many of the break-ins were to apartments where the occupants were away over Christmas, they are unable to be more specific about dates.

All break-ins were to ground floor Step block apartments and at each break in the point of entry was through the balcony. The stolen property has been recorded by the Police as x2 laptops and x2 coats.

Following the breaks-ins, forensic officers attended and have gathered evidence to assist with crime detection and aid future prevention. They are also reviewing CCTV footage that they have requested. Although they cannot be certain, the Police feel that on the balance of probability it is the same individual and that from their experience burglars act alone. The police are content with both the number of CCTV cameras and quality of images at St George’s Fields, but will visit again to check that the coverage is adequate.

The police produced statistics for the local area that confirmed, apart from this unusual spike, St George’s Fields has a very low crime rate. However, there are increasing numbers of online deliveries and food deliveries which means more people are gaining access to St George’s Fields and are aware of the estate. As has been pointed out to me, professional burglars are not necessarily put off by gates or CCTV and residents should not be complacent.

What can SGF do?

The Board of directors listened to the advice of the Police and Management and are taking the following steps:

  • Introducing signage regarding the filming and recording of CCTV.
  • Removing the automated closing mechanism from the main pedestrian gate so that it closes quickly behind individuals. It will still work with the intercom but requires a pull or a push and will close on the mag-locks on a self-closing mechanism.
  • Trimming the hedges to ground floor balconies to discourage any potential break-ins.
  • Installing some sensor lights on motion detection to darker areas of the estate.
  • Asking residents not to walk through the main vehicle gate as it keeps it open for longer than it should. I have asked the School to remind their parents of the same requirement.

What can you do?

Do what you can to protect yourselves and your neighbours. Whilst SGF will be working on measures and advice to help, it is ultimately a resident’s own responsibility to address their own security.

The Police recommended notifying every one of the following:

Make sure you lock all windows and doors when you go out, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

Make your home look and sound occupied. Leave a radio on – preferably a talk radio channel. Purchase timers for lights and lamps.

Do not advertise your possessions. Always keep valuables out of sight.

On your balconies, arrange garden furniture and pots so that it is more awkward for potential burglars to gain access and they would need to move items. In so doing they could potentially leave good forensic evidence for the Police to gather.

If you are going away for lengthy periods, let your neighbours know. If you have let them know and there is an unexpected noise, your neighbours will be more aware and may call the Police if necessary. You can also let the office know that you are away if you like.

Tailgating – When you drive through the main gates wait. Once past the opening ground sensor stop outside the school gate until the main gate closes behind you. I realise that visitors, contractors and delivery drivers will not do this but the more people that do will assist with preventing those that should not be in the Estate getting in. This same broad principle applies to all the pedestrian gates to make sure they are closed behind you.

Challenge anyone waiting at a gate – Ask them whether they live here, which flat. If they are visiting, who are they visiting? If you feel uncomfortable doing so, use an alternative gate yourself.

If you see a crime taking place call 999 immediately. Do not call or email the Estate Office first. Do so once you have called the Police.

Similarly, if you see or hear anything suspicious call 999 immediately. Do not call or email the Estate Office first. Do so once you have called the Police.

If you return home and disturb a burglar in the middle of the act do not engage with them or attempt to stop them to protect yourself from coming to any harm.

With thanks to a shareholder who researched some of these security measures, the Police were very supportive of the following:

This lock wraps around the handles of a sliding patio door. These are easy to secure yourself.

Here is a link to Amazon where you can purchase.

These types of locks are installed at the top and bottom of the sliding door into the frame so that the doors are secured but also cannot be lifted out. Simon Tarpey can help fitting these.

Here is a link to Amazon where you can purchase.

This is a door jamb preventing the patio door from being slid open unless you remove it first.

These are easy to secure yourself. Here is a link to Amazon where you can purchase.

Motion detector LED lights on your balcony. It does not have to be the make or model in the image.

You might need an electrician to fit these and help with the sensitivity settings. It should be set up in such a way that it does not shine onto/into neighbouring windows

Should you need an electrician, HMS Electrics know the estate well and Mark can be contacted on 07801 745 146.

An Indoor Security Camera that works over your WiFi can also be a step in the right direction to help with crime detection.

If you decided that you wanted an external camera to cover your balcony, please remember that it should be set up in a way that does not film neighbouring properties/balconies.

When you purchase these cameras, they usually come with a sticker that you can place on your balcony window to state that you are recording CCTV images. This will also act as a deterrent.

A set of retractable security grills as some ground floor flat owners have installed will be an excellent deterrent.

You can source these quite easily, but Barry Brothers on Praed Street can assist with this. Their telephone number is 020 7262 9009.

Finally, if you do happen to be the victim of a burglary, call the Police immediately, not the Estate Office.

Do not touch anything and resist the urge to tidy up as the Police may be able to get good forensic evidence. Let the Estate Office know once you have called the Police.

Gareth Targett

St George’s Fields Ltd

Electrical Infrastructure Renewal Work at St George’s Fields

 

What is the background to the need for renewal of the electrical infrastructure?

The Board commissions an asset management review (carried out by Arup) approximately once every three years.  The review is a fundamental tool in planning long-term major capital expenditure at SGF.  Arup recommends strongly that the electrical infrastructure is at an age where renewal is needed and indicated that such work might cost about £750,000.

The Board decided to commission a more detailed report from MHBC, who have an electrical engineering background, to establish a more accurate estimate of the cost of renewing the electrical infrastructure, and crucially to find out where the boundaries of responsibility lay between SGF and UK Power Networks (UKPN).  UKPN came to the Estate and it was established in the report that the cost of renewal is entirely the responsibility of SGF.  It also says that although there is no indication that there will be a failure of the current system in the immediate future it is prudent to plan to avoid the increasing likelihood of such a failure.

What will be the cost of the renewal work and how will it be paid for?

MHBC estimates that the total cost of the work including VAT and contingencies will be approaching £1,000,000.  The Board recommends that the cost of this work be paid for out of reserves.  We have built up high levels of reserves to pay for just this kind of eventuality.

When will the work be carried out?

The work will take approximately 35 weeks and it is proposed to carry out the work between the beginning of March 2019 and the end of October 2019.  The coldest winter months are being avoided because there will be short periods when apartments will lose all power.

What will the effects of the work be on shareholders?

Cables running from switch rooms located in the garage will need to be replaced.  Within blocks most of these cables run through under floor containment trays or in voids at ceiling height.  Replacing the cables will of course lead to a level of disruption.  Crucially, there will be three separate periods each of up to 4 to 5 hours when an individual apartment will have no electricity supply when power is disconnected, then connected to a temporary supply board, and then finally connected to the new supply system.  Therefore, it is proposed to carry out the work to avoid the coldest months. It may be possible to have the scheduled power outages contained to the mornings when the underfloor heating would not be on in any event.

Could the work be phased over some years to spread the costs?

The Board did consider in depth the possibility of carrying the work out over several years.  There is a saving in doing the work as one exercise.  It is also very difficult to justify upgrading one part of the estate before another with shareholders rightly demanding to know why their block is at the back of the queue.

What would be the effect of carrying out the electrical infrastructure renewal work on the Cayford project (to upgrade the appearance of the estate)?

It was reported at the AGM that any decision on Cayford was dependent on the cost of the electrical work.  Sadly, there will need to be a postponement of the Cayford project until there is some recovery in the reserves.  In addition, management could not be expected to oversee two major projects at the same time and with yet further disruption.  The Board is committed to the Cayford proposals in the long-term given the strong shareholder support for such improvements once it is practical and financially viable to do so.

What are the next steps?

The Board will now commission the preparation of a schedule and programme of works to obtain competitive tenders.  Then there will need to be the usual robust consultation with leaseholders as required under statutory legislation.

How may I comment on this document or ask questions about it?

This can be done in writing or by email through the estate office and we would ask that you make any comments by 1st August 2018.  There is further information below for interested shareholders which goes into technical depth about the nature of the proposed works.

What are the Works proposed?

At underground level there are several sub stations. These sub stations are locked and are UKPN property.

Immediately adjacent are the switch rooms and these switch rooms convert the high voltage supply into a lower voltage then distribute the power from the feeder panels up to the individual apartments. The switch rooms, in the main, distribute power to 1 or 2 blocks.

Depending on whether it is a Rise block, or a Step block then things become a little more complicated.  The cable runs that feed the blocks are either hidden under floor in containment trays or in voids at ceiling height. It is these cables that need to be replaced along with the various distribution boards peppered around the Estate. The ground floor maisonettes and some ground floor Rise apartments are served from distribution boards in the garage.

To undertake these works to the whole of the Estate will likely take approximately 35 weeks at a preliminary total cost, including VAT and contingencies, of £1,000,000.

The works would be undertaken in such a fashion that leaseholders’ apartments should not be without power for overly lengthy periods. There will be specific planned and notified times when power will be lost but this will be minimised to 4 to 5 hour periods and if works are undertaken then they will commence early spring to early autumn when the dependency on heating will be not be so great.

It is expected to achieve this by providing a temporary supply run at high level or in locked cupboards.

The old supply will be disconnected and the apartment connected to a temporary supply board.

The old cables are then removed, and the new cabling is run through the same cable runs as present.

Once this is tested and confirmed correct then the apartments will be disconnected from the temporary supply and connected to the new supply.

All the temporary supplies and their temporary containment areas will then be removed and any decorative making good undertaken. 

The supply for the fifth and sixth floor apartments in the Step blocks is in the ceiling voids in the third floor corridors and these areas will be ‘bird caged’ so people can pass underneath, and contractors can work overhead.

Gareth Targett

St George’s Fields

Leaks from one apartment’s plumbing arrangements into another apartment or to the common parts can on occasion be quite damaging.

There is a regulation contained in the fifth schedule that intends to ensure leaseholders have their water systems inspected by a competent person annually and any defects found made good, but it may be that even by undertaking this annual check it will not always prevent leaks occurring.

The information handbook at pages 11-12 tells leaseholders the procedure and what to do in such an emergency.

When a leak occurs into your flat or you spot one occurring into the common parts, and the Estate Office is open, please let us know. If we hold the keys to the flat and have the permission of the owner, we can enter to turn off the stop cock which will stop the leak pending the leaseholder repairing the fault.

If a leak occurs in an out-of-hours situation, then the steps you must undertake are also contained in the handbook at pages 11-12. Please also email the office to let us know if a leak occurs in an out-of-hours situation.

Leaseholders can help protect each other by ensuring that the office has a complete and up to date, working set of keys to your apartment and instructions to any additional security measures you may have installed. If you have not given the office a set of keys, then please reconsider this decision.

If you are relying on the Estate Office to provide any contractors with keys to your flat for works you wish to undertake, please impress upon your contractor the importance of returning the keys at the end of each day.

A recent incident of a contractor holding onto keys overnight meant that the office did not have access to turn off a stop cock that could have prevented a leak spreading and getting worse.

Please click this link to view the St George’s Fields Renovation Study Report:

St George’s Fields – Renovation Study Report

Dear Shareholders,

In my letter of 14th September, I informed you that the Board had created a brief for design architects to rejuvenate and modernise the estate and I said that Cayford Design, the architects we had appointed, were keen to solicit the opinions of shareholders by way of a questionnaire.

The Board and Management are very grateful to those shareholders – over 70 in number – who completed the questionnaire that I attached to my letter.    Both Cayford and the Board took careful account of the responses in moving to the next stage which has been the preparation by Cayford of a Renovation Study Report designed to set out the possibilities for a coherent plan for future work on the estate.   

Having considered the Report, the Board are excited by it and wish to share it with you all in the hope that you will share their enthusiasm. As the document runs to some 16 pages clicking the link will take you to an online version. If you would prefer a printed copy then please come to the estate office to collect one or ask us to post one to you.

As I explained in my letter of 14th September the reason for the appointment of design consultants is with a view to ensuring that there is a cohesive long-term plan for the overall “look and feel” of the estate. The attached report touches on all aspects of the estate and the possibilities for improvement. It does not go into any detail but provides a “roadmap” of how to proceed.

The next task for the Board will be to work out an order of priority with a view, initially, to identifying two or three projects on which more detailed design work should be undertaken. In the meantime, I would like to reassure you that:

  • the Board remains determined to manage our budgets sensibly and avoid any significant impact on the service charge with the prudent management of your money.
  • we will consult you before committing to any project(s).

I should make it clear that the attached report is sent to you to keep you informed and not by way of formal consultation.    However, if you have any immediate thoughts or ideas you are of course welcome to send me an email or note of your observations.  

 

Gareth Targett

St George’s Fields