Estate AGM Minutes: 2012

SOUTHCOTE PARK ESTATE MANAGEMENT

Trustee Trustee Trustee Trustee
Mr M Amos Mr NV Williams Mr JG Cook M Saligova-Smith
Chair Treasurer Secretary
Vacant Mr JG Cook N Burn
87 Kenilworth Ave 27 Kenilworth Ave

Minutes
Annual General Meeting, 26 April 2012
The Grange Church - Circuit Lane

NOTE - The Annual levy is due on 1 April each year.
If residents have not paid this year's levy (100), 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.

All Residents are reminded to:

  • Keep to the speed limit of 20mph
  • Water newly planted trees regularly
  • Refrain from parking on the grass verges; where possible park on driveways
  • Cut back foliage overhanging pathways
  • Clear fallen trees to prevent drain blockages
  • Keep dogs on leads when walking on the estate

1. The meeting opened at 19.30 with a welcome by the Treasurer

2. Minutes and Matters Arising
The minutes of the last AGM were agreed by the meeting. There were no matters arising.

3. Committee Report to Residents - Treasurer
Role of the Committee - John Cook reminded the meeting of the role of the committee - which is the agent of the Trustees. The Trustees own and are responsible for the common areas of the estate and the Committee organises the necessary maintenance and repairs, using the levy which is collected for this purpose. The Committee also serves to provide a barometer of views of the residents. John reminded the meeting that the Trustees have no authority over what happens on individual plots.

Footpaths - The main work carried out this year has been the resurfacing of paths in Monks Way and Winser Drive. It was widely agreed that the contractor, Hazell and Jeffries, did a good job with the construction and were courteous to the residents. H&J did warn that weeds would appear in places and this has happened in a number of places, particularly in Winser Drive. H&J have agreed to treat the weeds and make repairs, which will be done in the next few weeks. However, as the roots have been growing for many years, it is likely a few will continue to emerge over the summer, so residents are requested to spray these as they maintain the verges.

Trees - about 10 new trees were planted this year following the removal of dead or diseased trees. Further discussion was left for the proposal to be made later to the meeting. A strong request was made to all residents to water recently planted trees well every week during dry periods, over the next year at least. (Notes will be put through doors alerting residents who have a new tree outside their house).

Lights - A number of repairs have been made over the year. A new top was needed for the lamp outside 46 Winser Drive. It was impossible to match the existing lamps and a new style had to be purchased. A new contractor has been found who it is hoped will be cheaper than SSE. Repairing lamps as needed is still much cheaper than an annual contract.

Signs & traffic - the Committee is still trying to get reasonable quotes to replace a number of signs which is problematic due to the low number required. However, a new Give Way sign has been installed at the western end of Kenilworth Avenue. We recognise that this is a dangerous junction and the committee initiated discussions with the Council to request traffic calming measures in Southcote Farm Lane. To date this has not been successful. As no actual accidents have occurred the Council were not convinced of the risks. We will continue to look at options to improve safety and residents are requested to inform the committee of any near misses in this area.

4. Nominations and voting for Committee posts John Cook (Treasurer) and Nick Burn (Secretary) confirmed they were willing to continue in these roles as were the remainder of the committee. However, the recent resignations had left two vacancies. 58 Kenilworth and 55 Winser volunteer to join the committee. All posts were nominated, seconded and approved by a show of hands. No nominations were received for the role of Chair and the Treasurer appealed for someone to take this on. Residents were reminded that job descriptions for these roles are available from the Treasurer or Secretary on request.

5a. Financial Update The Treasurer explained the main points of the Income & Expenditure statement (which has been audited). He noted that at the end of 2011/12, all levies had been paid. The footpaths have been the main expense over the year. All other costs have been as expected and similar to previous years. Compared with the almost non-existent interest received in previous years, about 600 was received this year resulting from switching reserves from HSBC to the Monmouthshire Building Society. The financial statement was accepted by a show of hands

5b. Projected Income/expenditure - the Treasurer circulated a spreadsheet showing projected income and expenditure over the next 8 years (attached). This includes inflation increases on the usual expenses as well as the cost or resurfacing the footpaths in Kenilworth Avenue. H&J provided an updated quote for this and there was a small increase from last year. However, it will be about 2,500 cheaper to do both sides of the road at the same time. Although reserves are not sufficient to pay for this in the current year, H&J have agreed that payment can be split between September 2012 and April 2013 - at no extra cost to the Estate. The work will therefore go ahead in late summer 2012. Learning from last year, trimming the verges and weedkilling to be done in advance.

5c. Agree Levy for 2013/14. The Committee proposed increasing the levy to 120 next year in order to pay for the footpath work and this was accepted by a large majority of those present. The Treasurer noted that by March 2014 the bank balance would fall to about 4500 - much lower than the normal reserves. This means that if there were to be a significant unforeseen expenditure, a special levy would have to be raised. A proposal that the levy should then return to 100 from 2014/15 for at least 3 years was withdrawn, since constitutionally, the levy for the following year must be set at the preceding AGM. However, the Treasurer thought that a level of 100 would be realistic if the projected of costs prove to be realistic.

6. Proposals from Residents
a) Repainting of Lamp Posts. A proposal was submitted by 72 Kenilworth that 'The lamp posts should be repainted black or dark green to bring a sense of uniformity to the estate'. Two quotes were obtained to give an indication of the costs - SSE Contracting standard price is 87.56 per lamp post totalling almost 3,000 for the 34 posts on the estate (although they may reduce the price for painting all of them). However, a local painter (Oliver Tiller) quoted 1,105. A question was raised whether there would be an ongoing maintenance cost once they had been repainted. It was felt that this was likely although apart from electrical work, there have been no maintenance costs for the lamp posts for many years. While most of the posts are in good condition, there are a few that need repainting. Two people supported the idea in order to smarten the appearance of the estate, but given the financial situation, the meeting voted not to repaint all of them at this time. Meanwhile, the committee agreed to check the condition of the posts and get the worst ones repainted in silver.

b) Tree planting: It was proposed that 'to decrease the likelihood of loss of trees, all tree replanting in future should be done in the autumn (October-November)'. Although the preference of the current tree contractor was to plant in spring he accepted that autumn planting was also valid. The case was made that as November is often the wettest month, trees planted in autumn will be better established and have a greater chance of surviving a dry spring and summer. It was noted that although all the trees replanted in the spring 2011 are alive, several have signs of die-back due to lack of water. Given the difficulties in getting the all the trees watered sufficiently, the meeting accepted this proposal by a show of hands. The importance of residents watering newly planted trees for at least a year was again stressed. In future, the Committee will put notes through the doors of houses where new trees have been planted, reminding them to water.

AOB.

Resident's Association: Annabel Vasseur noted that as the role of the committee is limited to the maintenance of the estate, she wondered if there was interest in forming a Residents Association that would take a role in building a stronger sense of community on the estate. Annabel asked that anyone interested should e-mail her (Annabel.vasseur@gmail.com) with ideas of what they would like a Residents Association to do.

It was noted that a website was set up as a trial by Paul Sharpe and that a Residents Association could make use of this and develop it further.

Queen's Jubilee Party: This will take place on Monday 4th June (10am - 4pm) and is being organised by Julie Hoather (43 Kenilworth).

The meeting ended at 9.00 (Attendance - 30 people representing 24 properties)