Estate AGM Minutes: 2011


Trustee Trustee Trustee Trustee
Mr M Amos Mr NV Williams Mr JG Cook M Saligova-Smith
Chair (Outgoing)) Treasurer Secretary
Ian Balanza-Davis Mr JG Cook N Burn
87 Kenilworth Ave 27 Kenilworth Ave

Annual General Meeting
The Grange Church - Circuit Lane
5 May 2011

NOTE - The Annual levy is due on 1 April each year.
If residents have not paid this year's £80 levy, it is now overdue. Please pay the treasurer or your relevant Committee member. If you have any problems with making payment, please let the Treasurer know.

Residents of Winser Drive and Monks Way are informed that:
As part of the planned work set out in the minutes, spot spraying of weeds with a herbicide will be done in late July/early August on the paths before they are resurfaced. Please trim any garden plants and hedges that overhang low down over to the path in good time to ensure they are not damaged. We will endeavour to provide more details and specific dates nearer the time

All Residents are reminded to:

  • Cut back foliage overhanging pathways
  • Refrain from parking on the grass verges and where possible park on driveways and not in the roads.
  • Remember the speed limit on the estate is 20mph
  • Water newly planted trees in periods of drought
  • Clear fallen leaves to prevent drain blockages
  • Keep dogs on leads when walking on the estate

Meeting opened: 19.30
Apologies were received from 7 residents

1. Chairman's Report

The Chairman welcomed residents to the 2011 AGM.
He noted that it had been a quiet year with the main issue for the committee being the delay of the footpath resurfacing due to the poor weather.
He noted that Norman Williams had decided to retire from the Committee having been a member for 38 years and a Trustee for 34 years. He led the members of the AGM in giving a warm appreciation of Norman's dedication over many years.

2. Agree Minutes of 2010 AGM
The minutes of the 2010 AGM were accepted as an accurate record.

3. Matters arising on the minutes
There were no matters arising from the minutes

4. Nomination and voting for Committee posts
John Finnerty resigned from the committee during the year and Ian Balanza-Davis confirmed his intention to stand down as Chair.

There have been no nominations for the position of Chair so the question of finding a replacement and managing the vacancy will be discussed at the next Committee meeting.

Nick Burn was re-elected Secretary (proposed...and seconded). John Cook was re-elected Treasurer (proposed...and seconded)

The 13 other current members of the Management Committee were also re-elected by a show of hands. They are: Mark Everett, Andy Sims, Barbara Brown, Mark Bowden, Pauline Sharpe, Tony Dunne, Christine Hurn, David Booth, Annabel Vasseur, Alan Gow, Gina Roberts, Mike Amos and Marie Saligova-Smith

5a. Financial Update
The Treasurer updated the meeting on the current financial situation. He started by noting that there was only one house in arrears for payment of the 2010/11 levy. This is a rented property and although the owner is known, his address is not. As soon as he can be traced notices will be sent to collect the debt.

Last year's audited financial statement was circulated with the agenda. The Treasurer noted:
- The end of year balance was £48,409. Income was £16,11O and expenditure £6,289
- £780 was spent on repairs to street lamps which although significant, is considerably less than the option of a maintenance contract. The costs will continue to be monitored.

5b. Projected Income/expenditure
- The balance of the road maintenance costs comprised the sweeping of the road and cleaning of gullies - done in November.
- The legal fee was incurred due to the need to change a named Trustee
- Honorariums and Insurance appeared higher than usual because payments included part of the previous year's cost.
- 17 trees were planted during the year. The cost also included pruning throughout the estate and stumping of removed trees. Expenditure included the replacement of two newly planted trees that died in the long dry period last year. This highlights the need for residents to water newly planted trees outside their properties during prolonged dry spells.
- Interest income was minimal due to the type of the account available to organisations like us. The Treasurer had previously approached HSBC to enquire about an account that would pay interest, but without effect. However, Alan Gow recently found that the Monmouthshire Building Society has an interest paying account that should be available to us and an application has been made.

Future expenditure - 201 1/12 and beyond
The Treasurer circulated a spreadsheet to show projections for expenditure over the next six years. The main cost over the next 3 years will be resurfacing of the footpaths. He noted that the price has increased due to the rise in cost of materials related to the oil price.

In answer to a question about whether this needs to be done, the Chairman noted that it was last done 30 years ago (between 1980 and 1984) and that we have a responsibility to keep the estate in a good state of repair. If it is not done soon, there is likely to be a larger bill particularly if the foundations of the paths have to be renewed. As there have been bills for patching every year, some savings will be made on these.

Two quotes have been obtained for resurfacing of Winser Drive and Monks Way this year. Another informal estimate was also received. Hazel and Jeffries quote was the most competitive. They have been asked to start this year. Work is scheduled to start in August. The cost of spraying weed killer is not currently included.

In response to questions about the high cost, Mark Everett noted that it has been diffîcult to get people to quote because many contractors don't want to do 'fiddly jobs' where it is difficult to get machinery in. Hence the cost does not simply reflect the surface area.

In answer to questions about the order of the works, it was explained that Winser Drive is in poorest condition. The current balance in our account means that we also can afford to also do Monks Way this year. Due to cash flow, Kenilworth Avenue will then be done in two halves over the following two years. The contract includes a new 30mm surface layer and raising of 'iron-works' which is understood to include the plastic water meter covers. The committee will check this and also clarify what warranty would be given. Other concerns raised included maintaining the direction of drainage toward the gulley and the joins with paths outside the estate.

Setting the levy for 2012/13
In light of the major expenditure on paths, it was proposed to increase the levy to £1OO in 2012/13. After some debate, the proposal was accepted by 22 votes to 6 against.

Concern was expressed for those not able to pay this increase. The meeting was informed that anyone on means-tested benefits can get the levy paid by the Dept of Works & Pensions. It was also noted that for those in financial difficulty the levy can be paid in instalments.

The Treasurer drew attention to the fact that a further increase (at least to _1 20) would be needed for 2013/14 to complete the path resurfacing by 20t4/15. Even with this, the level of reserves will fall to about £3,000 - way below the £30,OOO that is normally kept for emergency costs. The figures for resurfacing the paths on Kenilworth Avenue are estimates so the levy will have to be reviewed when the exact costs are known. However, it was noted that if the levy is not increased, this work would have to be delayed by a year to build up funds - with the risk that costs may further increase.

6 futureworks

This item was covered under discussions on item 5

7 Any Other Business

- A request was made that ivy at no. 44 Winser Drive needs to be cut back as it is over-hanging the pavement. The Treasurer will ask the landlord to deal with it.

- Following complaints received about a damaged wing mirror, residents were requested not to park in the turning circle where Winser Drive joins Kenilworth Avenue.

- Mrs Aldridge from 5 Monks Way had requested the planting of vegetation to screen the houses from Southcote Lane and the Elvian School. This was discussed at Committee it had been thought that maintenance of vegetation thick enough to form an effective screen would be problematic in the future. An additional flowering cherry was planted outside no.5 and the committee agreed to see if there is room to plant another tree.

- Residents in Kenilworth Avenue complained that a silver birch had been recently planted despite an earlier decision only to plant flowering trees. Although it is understood not to be a large variety of birch, the Committee agreed to ensure that flowering trees are planted in future.

Approximately 44 residents and 12 Committee members/Trustees attended the AGM.