Residents Association Newsletter
Dalston Square Residents Newsletter
Developments in the Square
We are told that the Co-op has exchanged contracts on the premises by the main entrance to the Station, but as yet we have no information on exactly when it will open. The site of the rumored Mediterranean Restaurant is still under offer according to the estate agent managing commercial properties in the Square. The Library Café is due for a new fascia board soon to replace the plastic banner currently in place. Watch this space for future developments!
Consort getting some repairs out of Barratt, but…
The new dialogue between the residents’ Building Sub Committee, Consort management, and Barratt is paying off more in some areas than others, and the process can seem very slow. It is difficult at times to know if it is Barratt or Consort who are holding things up. The Buildings Committee meets every 6 weeks with Consort for a site walkabout to assess progress on what needs fixing. Consort says that they are chasing Barratt and we hope that they are now being properly held to account and repairs are being made. If you have concerns let the building committee know. (This is best achieved via our Forum.)
The following are the result of the Associations pressure.
- Roof gardens have been freshly weeded and with the help of rain are looking better, if not as they should be according to original planting.
- Water outlets have now been installed on roof terraces so that plants can be watered. (Anyone willing to help with the upkeep of the planters is very welcome to volunteer! Please speak to Gerry Hayes, Consort’s Site Manager.)
- New locking arrangements are to be installed so that Ocean and Dekker residents cannot lock themselves in the bin rooms.
- The stonework outside Collins has been re-leveled to stop the puddle forming. (We are aware that this has only been a partial success and we are again chasing for more work to be done.)
- Glass roof panels (between Gaumont and Collins Towers) to be fixed following battle between Consort and the building insurance company. (Frustratingly, the repair has again been held up by the installation company, which Consort is chasing as we got to press.)
- Barratt have yet to step up and deal with the flooding that follows heavy rain in the underground parking. The Building Committee will keep pressing for this.
Consort’s Service Charges for Next Year… An open book?
There are ongoing concerns about the level of service charges as well as transparency of calculations. There is a general crisis of confidence in how fees are arrived at. The Residents’ Association plans to meet with the Consort Regional Management Team ahead of the next round of budgeting to discuss next years’ charges.
E.on Heat Charges
E.on have a monopoly on Heat, which is a challenge. Ben Collins has written to Barratt’s about the nature of the Heating contract originally negotiated with Eon when planning the complex. Barratt’s response was posted to this blog Here.
Many residents have moved their electricity supplier from E-On. As far a heating is concerned many have found that it is best to pay a lower standing charge and higher per unit charge. On behalf of the Residents Association, Mark has been in discussion with Eon about getting better information to residents about how to cut their fuel bills, and his findings can be read in his forum post Here.
Right to Manage
Many residents remain unimpressed with Consort’s performance and ability to run the complex efficiently and effectively. As we have pointed out before, the law allows flat owners to replace a management company if 50% or more of the leaseholders vote for that change.
Urang, a London based property management company, have been invited by a group of residents to consider taking over the management. The company has a reputation for efficiency and prompt delivery. Urang are now completing the lengthy research needed to contact all leaseholders, or their agents. Following this, and working with a group of resident ‘Directors’ from Dalston Square, Urang will contact all Dalston Square owners to seek approval for taking over the management from Consort.
Thanks to Mark, we now have a Dalston Square website (used for DSRA announcements and information), and a Forum (for resident discussion and communication). Register on the website to receive all new posts directly to your email (guaranteed no spam… Ever… We promise), and register on the Forum to participate in the discussions (you can read the posts without registering, but not make your own contribution).
Residents’ ‘Get Together’ – A roof party at the end of the summer
The Easter egg hunt at the Eastern Curve Garden was a great success. Marked by its youthful spirit when even adults couldn’t resist searching out eggs in the higher brambles! This event is to be followed by a ‘roof social’ for all residents, planned for Sunday 9th September on the 9th floor roof terrace of Gaumont Tower. This coincides with the closure of the Paralympics. The stadium is very visible from the east-facing roof so we hope for a firework display, although the Olympic committee has not yet fully responded to our request!
Join us! Watch for posters in August. If you would like/are able to help with organisation, please get in touch via the Forum.