Minutes of the GPRA AGM 28th August 2016 at The Lodge, Graylingwell Park
Committee members: Susan Shord, Sue Cressey, Grace Taylor, Barbara Howden-Richards, Chris Waller, John Eagles, Rob Norris, Paula Miller, Irela Strachan
Invited guests: Trudie Hudson Grange Management, Clare de Bathe CCDT
Apologies: Committee members Sandie Jenner, Emma Ainsworth, Sarah Langmead (standing down)
Residents: 33 other residents attended – 3 from Lloyd Road; 20 from Longley Road; 10 from Penny Acre
Susan Shord thanked all those present for attending and introduced members of the committee. Sarah Langmead has stepped down from the committee, but will still run the Saturday Café.
Clare de Bathe (Director of CCDT) and Trudie Hudson (Grange Management) were also introduced.
Joint Chairs’ Report
Susan explained that there has been a change of personnel at Linden and that there will be a new contact for Affinity Sutton although, at present, the GPRA do not have a name. Clare de Bathe is now covering the CCDT work previously undertaken by Jane Haskins. Trudie Hudson is still in place at Grange Management, as is Alan Wyper at Graylingwell Energy.
The new personnel at Linden have been in place since April/May:
- – Head of Customer Service (Robert Caister)
- – Senior Technical Manager (Daryl Roberts)
- – Senior Planning Manager (Robin Pearmain)
The GPRA strives to:
- – have a finger on the pulse of Graylingwell
- – listen to, and communicate with residents
- – work with partners – Linden, Grange, Affinity Sutton and Graylingwell Energy
Since the last AGM, some problems have continued but are now being addressed. These include:
- – poor customer service
- – inadequate infrastructure
- – irregularities with car parking
- – delays in delivery of section 106
The new personnel at Linden are keen to build bridges and form a strong relationship with the GPRA and the Graylingwell community. However this will take time. All three will attend quarterly meetings in order that they can become familiar with any issues and deal with them in a timely manner.
Sue explained that the quarterly meeting is one of the most important that takes place since all parties attend: Grange Management, Linden Homes and Affinity Sutton together with two or more representatives from the GPRA. Our aim is to find out who is responsible for the various issues that arise and to hold them accountable. The last meeting was held on the 22nd June and the minutes from it, and indeed every meeting are posted on the website. As this was the first meeting with the new Linden Homes Managers, the first two hours were spent walking around the site so that the GPRA could point out areas of concern. The minutes for this meeting were prepared by Linden Homes and we were pleased to see that all relevant items were covered.
At our next meeting, on 23rd September, we will review all the minuted items. It will take time to rectify all problems as some of these involve third parties. We are interested in seeing small positive steps and feel confident that we can work with the new management team to improve Graylingwell for all residents.
The first meeting was held in September 2014 and meetings are held every 6 months to discuss billing, charges and outages. Alan Wyper has done an excellent job at sorting out all the initial problems that arose when the first residents moved in. We have asked for Graylingwell Energy to work towards an interactive Internet site in the near future.
Changes this year include:
- New metering system
- New billing company
- New maintenance company, Veolia, who are situated on site, thus providing a prompt response to problems.
- Institution of a Vulnerable Customer Register
- Open day at Energy Centre – Sept 2015. (We hope to have another open day soon.)
Meetings are held with Linden, Grange and CPM to discuss issues as necessary. At the most recent meeting, it was agreed that residents who are using temporary parking spaces (blanks), will have their permit number shown on those spaces.
There is still a problem with some residents who are using Visitors spaces for their second or third cars.
Speeding continues to cause concern. Trudie is going to arrange for bollards to be situated in Lloyd Road in the hope that these will slow down those who persistently speed and also prevent further damage to kerbstones.
Meetings are held with SCS, the gardening contractors when required. They have had some trouble keeping on top of the gardening this year due to inclement weather conditions. Trudie commented that only 2% of residents have complained about the standard of the gardening.
Some examples of the GPRA’s achievements over the past year
- – Bike and bin stores: Some residents moved in to discover there were no bin stores. The bin stores were then erected but there were no dumpsters in them. Eventually this was resolved but then the bins were becoming overfilled because the back bins were not being used. Trudie has now arranged for the bins to be rotated every Friday. There has also been an issue with bike thefts. Trudie has arranged a trial of using locking nuts to secure the hoops to the ground so that they cannot be removed. Daryl of Linden has assured the GPRA that, in future, all hoops will be set in concrete.
- – Litter bins in the park: There is an ongoing issue with litter. Committee members and other residents have undertaken regular litter picks. It was felt that some university students were responsible for a significant amount of the litter. Sandie Jenner approached the university and they have agreed to provide two litterbins with Grange Management providing a third. It is hoped that Linden Homes will also provide a bin. Initially they will be emptied once a week. Another litter pick will take place in September/October and the date will be published in the next e-newsletter.
- – Parking: The parking will be rationalised to allow a more even distribution of visitor parking spaces. The Hot Topics page of the website has information about parking.
- – Signage: Linden have agreed to improve signage on the cul-de-sac sections of Longley Road, including numbering and no through road signs.
- – Planning: Rob Norris, working for the GPRA, put together a very professional response to Linden Homes’ application to build additional houses in Penny Acre, as well as near South Lodge and on the eastern airing courts. CDC rejected the application. We are keeping an eye on Lower Graylingwell and the development of land to the east. Rob has also had meetings with the major players.
- – Summer Garden Party: The GPRA supports CCDT in its work and was responsible for the parking during the Summer Garden Party.
Trudie Hudson (Grange Management)
Trudie explained that the management company only come on board when Linden have handed over a stage to them. Their remit is to maintain, repair and renew and they deal with communal issues only, defined as where two people or more benefit. Residents pay for every service that they carry out via the management charge. This includes window cleaning for apartment blocks, landscaping, replacing bollards and lighting repairs. Surplus is offset against next year’s budget, deficit is charged to residents and collected within a short timeframe.
Clare de Bathe (CCDT)
Clare explained CCDT’s role in the community, which is to develop activities to bring the community together. They are a registered charity and completely independent. At present they are funded by section 106 but this will stop as community buildings, for which Linden are at present responsible, are handed over to the CCDT for community use. Buildings they will be in control of include: the Chapel, the Marketing Suite, the Studios plus a small area of the Water Tower. They also work at Roussillon Park and will be responsible for new facilities in Lower Graylingwell.
The Chapel will come to the CCDT early 2017. The developers were charged with making the building fit for purpose and then handing over the keys. It will now be passed over with a sum of money that will allow it to be designed so that it is truly fit for purpose. The community will have a say as to how the Chapel should be designed.
The CCDT’s new office will be in the Water Tower. Clare invited residents to drop in and also encouraged everyone to pick up the CCDT newsletter and to visit their website.
Susan explained that the GPRA is here to listen to residents and to try and keep everyone informed. There are a number of ways that they do this:
- – Saturday Café – every third Saturday at the Lodge. Members of the committee are available so that residents can discuss any issues they may have.
- – Website
- – E-newsletter
- – News digest on noticeboard
- – Hard copy leaflets
Susan gave a short presentation running through the different sections of the website pointing out: the useful contact numbers section; who’s who at Graylingwell and the newsletter. She encouraged attendees to sign up for the newsletter and demonstrated how easy it is to do so from the website.
Annual Accounts (Treasurer)
Current funds stand at £917.02 due to grants and donations. The accounts run from August to July and will be audited by the community liaison officer at Affinity Sutton by the end of September. Expenditure includes: supporting the website, printing leaflets about the AGM and donating bouncy castles to summer events. At present income exceeds expenditure so it was suggested that some of the surplus is spent on the community. This will be detailed in the next newsletter and Susan will welcome suggestions from residents. .
Election of Officers (Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer) and Committee Members
Elections took place for committee officers and members. All nominees were elected unanimously. Sue Cressey was re-instated as Chair with Rob Norris as her deputy. Chris Waller remains in the post of treasurer and Susan Shord will undertake the role of association secretary. The GPRA was pleased to welcome three new committee members: Sophie Egleton, Paul Rolfe and Brian Baker.
Amendments to Constitution
Susan Shord requested an amendment to Item 3 of the GPRA Constitution and proposed the removal of the final sentence relating to a membership list being maintained by the secretary of the association, since all residents are automatically members. This was passed unanimously.
Susan again thanked people for coming and the meeting ended at 8.05pm.