Estate AGM Minutes: 2013

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, 24 April 2013
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 (£120), 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. Committee Report to Residents - Treasurer
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.

Footpaths - the main expenditure this year has been the completion of t.he footpaths in Kenilworth Avenue the first time these have been done in over 30 years. Although the work was done in September/October, the payment was split with half now due in April 2013. It was generally agreed that the work was well done and a couple of problems with damaged fences were rectified by the contractor, Hazell & Jeffries. Although weed killer was applied before the work, some weeds have come up through the tarmac. This was to be expected as many roots were already present and well established. Residents are asked to spot spray these with Round Up (Glyphosate).

Trees - Six trees were planted in late January - three at the top of Kenilworth Avenue, one outside 93 Kenilworth and two at the bottom of Monks Way. Planting was delayed due to the contractor but fortunately with the rain, the ground was wet and they are now doing well. However, they will still need watering to ensure they survive this year. Up to now tree planting and other maintenance has been done by Garnet Hill. Another contractor, lan Kendrick was asked to quote for certain work and his prices are comparable or lower. lan maintains the trees in Balmoral Drive, Caversham, a similar private road, and comes with high recommendations. After surveying the estate he recommended clearing a small circle of the grass around each tree to reduce the chance of damage from mowing and the committee will consider having this done. If all the trees survive there will not be any need for further planting in the next year and as the trees are in good condition, costs for maintenance are expected to be low.

Street Lights - we have continued to use a local contractor rather than SSEB to keep costs down and this remains cheaper than a maintenance contract.

Drains - 10 drains were cleaned and one blockage in Kenilworth Avenue had to be dealt with.

Signs & traffic - A question was raised about damaeed road signs and John Cook explained that the Committee had discussed these but not yet taken a decision on whether to replace the large signs, which were not popular with some residents. Paul Smith offered to cement the two No-Enty signs at the top of Kenilworth Avenue which are leaning.

4. Minutes and Matters Arising
The minutes of the last AGM were agreed by the meeting. Two matters arising were noted: The proposal to repaint the lamp posts was not accepted but the committee did survey the lamps to see if there were any in poor condition that needed painting. However, it was found that they are in a reasonable state and the expense was not felt to be justified. The proposal regarding the timing of tree planting was taken up and has taken the lead on tree maintenance on the estate. A question was raised about residents parking on and damaging the grass verges (particularly at the top of Kenilworth Avenue) and blocking the pavement by parking on the crossovers. The Committee has put out notices this year to remind residents not to park on verges and will continue to do so. However, it is impossible to enforce this. Residents were encouraged to respectfully remind others of the estate regulations when they see this happening.

5. Nominations and voting for Committee Posts
The post of Chair of the committee remains vacant but no volunteers have been forthcoming. John Cook (Treasurer) and Nick Burn (Secretary) confirmed they were willing to continue in these roles as were the remainder of the committee and all posts were confirmed with the unanimous agreement of the AGM. Residents are reminded that a job description for the role of the Chair is available from the Treasurer or Secretay on request.

6. Financial Update
a) The Treasurer noted one error on the financial statement that was calculated - the expenditure for honoraria was omitted. This will reduce the accumulated fund to £8,843 which matches the current assets. The revised Income b Expenditure statement has now been audited. The Treasurer noted that for the year 2012/13, one levy remained to be paid and the Trustees have already instructed solicitors to pursue the debt. It was also noted that all lines of expenditure have either remained the same or have reduced compared to last year as the committee have sought to keep costs as low as possible, Good interest continues to be received from the Monmouthshire Building Society although this account will have to be closed if the balance of funds falls below the £5,OOO minimum balance needed. The financial statement was unanimously accepted by the AGM.

6b. Projected Income/expenditure
- the Treasurer circulated a spreadsheet showing projected income and expenditure over the next 8 years (attached). This încludes inflation increases on the usual expenses. The only concern is that the balance at the end of the year will be low (estimated £5673) which could mean a special levy in the event of exceptional, unanticipated major expenditure. The Treasurer pointed out that this was vey unlikely, but that even the slight risk should be made clear.

6c. Agree Levy for 2013/14.
The Committee proposed decreasing the levy to £100 next year; no major costs are anticipated and routine costs were expected to be low. This was agreed unanimously by the AGM.

7. A.O.B.
There were no further formal items of business but Julie Hoather had requested time to publicise two community events that are planned.
a) Eden Project Big Lunch - Sunday June 2nd. This is planned as a follow-up to the successful Jubilee Street party last year. It will be in the same location as the Jubilee party (junction of Winser and Kenilworth) but over a smaller area. Residents are invited to bring their lunch out to eat with their neighbours.
b) Playing Out - to be held on Friday afternoons after school between 3.30 and 5:OO. Children will be encouraged to come out and play safely under the supervision of parents. The roads will not be closed so residents will be able to reach their houses in their cars, but signs will be out to warn motorists who will be guided to pass through the play area by the parents. It is proposed to start on 1O May. Julie will make residents aware in the area affected. The 'Playing Out' website (www.playingout.net) has more details of the scheme.

Pauline Sharpe reminded people that a website managed by Paul Sharpe (www.southcote-park-estate.co.uk) provides information about the Estate, It can also be used to share information - for example, on services that residents provide.

The meeting ended at 8:45 (Attendance - 38 people representing 27 properties)