Letter from the Chair, March 2014

I’m writing to update you on the progress of the major works. The good news is that phase 3 is almost complete. It has passed off without incident and within the budget we’d set.

We can now proceed to undertake phase 4 – the refurbishment of the rear of the Grantully block – in the summer. To do this, we will be raising the fourth and final special contribution. This will be £175.000 and we will collect this in two phases, with half due with the March service charge and the balance with the July bills.

With phase four ready to invite contractor tender, we are now considering alternative options for the future running of the estate in 2015 and beyond. We will be able to discuss these further at the AGM

The outstanding questions are (1) whether to in-source building work through the hiring of an estate manager and (2) whether we want to finance all work through quarterly contributions to a reserve fund or to make irregular but possibly quite large demands as and when necessary.

Porter/caretaker

Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey. The results indicated strong support for option 2 – an enhanced service provided by non-resident porters.  You can view the full results with flat owner’s comments here.

Caretaking options

We have given notice on the porter’s flat to Freshwater and begun drawing up job descriptions for one full-time Head Porter and one part-time Assistant Porter. The part-time porter will also clean the common parts. Many of you will have met Sean, who has been working for us since Daron’s illness. Sean has done an excellent job but has told us that he plans to move away from London and so doesn’t want to be considered.

Heating and Hot Water

We are still on track to turn off the central heating for the final time in May. After this date, flat owners will need to install their own boilers and related pipework for both warmth and hot water. According the schedule circulated by the Heating Committee you should now be in the process of finalising quotes and selecting central heating/boiler installer in preparation for submitting plans to KFH in April.

If you don’t know what you need to do, please contact the Heating Committee or Linda Foss at kfh.

Superfast Broadband

We have been approached by a new broadband company with a proposal to install cabling to Ashworth Mansions for up to 1 Gigabyte connectivity, at their own expense. They are currently carrying out a survey and will make a formal proposal. Details will be circulated to residents when received.

Yours faithfully

Geoffrey Barraclough

Chair, Ashworth Mansions Ltd

Geoff@ashworthmansions.com

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2 Responses to Letter from the Chair, March 2014

  1. Andrew says:

    Hello Geoffrey,

    At the last AGM the residents seemed to have a strong preference for longer hours over a live in caretaker and with this were looking to have additional services such as a parcel delivery service. This was validated by the recent survey too.

    In speaking to Linda, she mentioned the assistant caretaker to be hired will be working during the day at the same time the main caretaker is working. She also mentioned the service will finish around 5pm. This is earlier than most working people can get home to collect any parcels which have been delivered during the day.

    As discussed at the last AGM is there a way to check the cost to have two non-resident caretakers cover both the pre and post work hours (e.g. 7am – 7pm, 8am – 8pm or 8am – 7pm). This would enable residents to interact with the new caretakers both before and after work rather than just before work as was with Daron. It would also make more sense to not have the two caretakers working at the same time (other than a hand over), to further extend the hours.

    With the AGM coming up it would be good to make sure the proposed solutions of a 5pm finish meets the needs of the residents who are asking for extended hours, especially when the two caretakers are working at the same time.

    Kind regards
    Andrew

    • Andrew
      It’s taken longer than expected to find a new full time porter and we’ve not yet got round to the details of the rotas. However, we do still intend to increase the overall working hours at Ashworth Mansions so that residents can speak to the porter(s) before and/or after work.
      Best
      Geoff

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