AGM – 30 June 2014

Dear Flat Owner

Annual General Meeting

I would like to invite you to the AGM that we’re holding on Monday 30 June at 7pm in the Paddington Sports Club on Castellain Road. I’ve attached the accounts as well as an explanatory note that draws your attention to the key points.

Directors

It’s with sadness that we will be saying goodbye to Michael Elliot at the AGM. He is retiring from the board after 22 years service, having been instrumental in liberating Ashworth Mansions from the previous freeholder. Michael has been Company Secretary (at no charge to the flat owners) and his advice will be sorely missed.

We have co-opted two new directors; Renee Marais and Nick Parker. Both Renee and Nick live in Ashworth Mansions and have made significant contributions to the success of both the Heating Committee and the Neighbourhood Watch. Their election will be put to a formal vote at the AGM.

Major Works

After the hiatus in 2012 caused by the unexpected works needed to the front of block 6, we completed Phase 3 – the rear of Elgin Avenue – in 2013 on budget. We can now proceed with Phase 4 – rear of Grantully. We have tendered the work and selected a contractor.

We are optimistic that work will commence in a few weeks. The rears of the blocks tend to present fewer surprises than the frontages and we hope the scaffolding won’t be up for too long. Residents on the Grantully side will receive direct communication from the contractors in due course.

Central Heating

I’m delighted to be able to let you know that the central heating has been turned off for good. All affected flats have until October to install their own independent heating and hot water systems. The Heating Committee has sent out details of what you need to do but, if you’re still in any doubt, please get in touch with them as soon as possible: heating@ashworthmansions.com.

Lease extensions

Now we have completed the necessary changes to permit the decommissioning of the heating, we can now move to offer extended leases to flat owners. We are reviewing this with our lawyers and will probably look to modernise the wording at the same time as extending. We haven’t yet decided the price for the extensions.

Hyperoptic

We are still in discussion with Hyperoptic regarding their proposal to provide fibre broadband to the estate. We hope to revert to you shortly with news.

Security

I’d like to ask you to remain vigilant. Please don’t buzz anyone into the building without checking their bone fides and always close the doors and garden gates behind you.

If you would like to receive regular updates from the Ashworth Mansions Neighbourhood Watch, please drop an email to neighbourhoodwatch@ashworthmansions.com

Caretaking

Following discussion at last year’s AGM, we decided to move to a live-out porter, offer extended hours service and to in-source the cleaning. This will involve recruiting one full time and one part time post and KFH is sourcing candidates for us at the moment. In the meantime, I would like to thank Sean who has been acting as a part-time porter since Daron’s illness.

Daron is doing well and will be at the Garden Party.

Future Plans

With Phase 4 scheduled to be completed this year, we have begun thinking about the long-term management of the estate. We will talk about this at the AGM but I wanted to give you the context for the discussion.

We intend to use 2014/15 to finish a couple of smallish projects; notably some work to the main doors to improve security and reduce noise and to conclude (one way or the other) the necessary repairs to the vaults on the Grantully side.

We will also commission a new 10 year plan for the estate to incorporate at some stage:

  • Another four year external refurbishment cycle
  • A comprehensive redecoration of the stairwells
  • Refurbishment of the paving either side of the garden

We have looked at options for funding the maintenance plans and have opted to continue the existing arrangements, a regular quarterly reserve fund contribution supplemented by additional special contributions in the years in which major works take place

We are still evaluating options for managing the estate. Hiring our own estate manager remains a medium term possibility but we don’t feel that, at present, we have the resources to in-source this work. For the moment, we will continue using SHW as surveyors and will tender contracts to reputable contractors.

Party

The Annual Garden Party will be on 12 July in the afternoon. I’d like to thank KFH for sponsoring and, especially, to Pamela Knudson for organising once again.

 

Yours truly,

 

Geoffrey Barraclough

Chair, Ashworth Mansions Ltd

Geoff@ashworthmansions.com

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