Hello neighbours. Just wanted to, firstly, remind you all that the DSRA have a committee meeting this evening to which all residents of the Square are invited: Owners, renters, long-time DSRA members, and those who have never attended a meeting before. Whether you have something to say or just want to listen in, every resident is invited and welcome to join us: 7.00pm, 69 Gaumont Tower. See HERE for the agenda
Secondly, an update regarding the new parking permit system for the underground parking at Dalston Square. Due to many owners/renters having not yet collected their permits from the concierge guys, the implementation of the checking routines will be delayed by a couple of weeks. Consort will conduct a second round of posting notices on all parked vehicles to advice everyone of the new system (to catch anyone who may have been overlooked in the first round), and then full implementation of the new system will start in a couple of weeks time. Once that new system starts, any vehicle found parked that is not displaying the correct permit and/or is parked in the wrong parking bay, will receive a parking ticket (just as you would if parked illegally on any public road). Checks will be conducted several times each day by an independent contractor who will accept no excuses for illegal/incorrect parking. And Consort will not be able to help you if you feel you have been incorrectly ticketed: You will have to appeal against the ticket in exactly the same manner as if incorrectly ticketed by a traffic warden. Friends and neighbours, if you own or rent a space in the underground parking and have not yet got your permit, get it soon: Being caught without one will soon become very expensive. You have been warned.
Hello neighbours. Firstly, Gerard Hayes, our on-site development manager from Consort Property Management, is holding another surgery to answer any questions you may have for him: Wednesday 1st August, 6.00pm to 8.00pm. To reserve your 10 minute slot contact Gerard by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone on 0207 2490896.
Secondly, a plug for a charity event. I am sure most of you are aware of Oxfam, and the incredible work they do around the world. Most of you will also be aware that they have a shop here in Dalston at 514-518 Kingsland road (just 2 minutes from the Square and recently declared London’s best charity shop for books and records by Time Out magazine – click HERE to read the article). Now, just for the sake of transparency I will tell you I volunteer one day a week to work in the shop (volunteers are always needed to help process donations and keep the shelves and racks on the shop floor stocked, so if you can spare a half-day or more each week, please do drop in and speak to a staff member). Also, instead of contributing to the local land-fill, please consider donating your unwanted items: No electrical or electronic goods please, but clothing, books, music & movies, general housewares and any other unwanted goods in good condition are always welcome.
And so to the special event. Over the past several months the guys at the shop have been saving the high-fashion and quality designer and vintage clothing and accessories that have been donated. These will go on sale at a special late night shop opening on Friday 3rd August. Titled ‘Oxfam Chic’, the sale will run from 6.30pm to approx 9.00pm. There will be light refreshments and nibbles available, and Steve, the shop manager, will be donning his DJ hat to supply some cool tunes. There really are going to be some amazing bargains to be had, so get yourselves along there! Click the pic below to see the full-size advertising poster (designed by the Squares own Stephen Humphries – thanks Steve).
Hello friends and neighbours. I have received another event flyer from Cory Defoe, Town Centre Manager from the Regeneration Delivery Team of Hackney Council, to share with you all. This flyer covers the course of, and events surrounding, the Olympic torch through Hackney as a whole. There is a Dalston specific flyer in the works and I will share this with you as soon as I receive it. Click the thumb-nailed images below to see the full size version.
As you may or may not know, Dalston Square is the largest public space created in London since the 1940s. What you probably do not know is that the local council are very keen to make the Square a place for the whole community to enjoy (not just the residents) and, to this end, have created ‘The Dalston Square Culture & Community Engagement Forum’.
Though the Square is still some way from finished (early 2013 is the latest estimate I have heard for this), some small events have already happened: You surely saw the kiddies climbing wall some weeks ago, and if you were lucky you caught one of the 2 contemporary dance performances a couple of Saturdays ago (I have to say dance is not normally my thing but I thought it was great: Very clever and imaginative).
Anyhow, the Engagement Forum held a meeting a couple of weeks ago and I have been sent a copy of the minutes of that meeting, by Lucy McMenemy, the Cultural Programme Officer for Dalston at Hackney Council, so I could share them with you all. I for one am very pleased to know that the local council are serious about making the Square not just a great place to live, but a public space the whole community of Dalston and beyond can enjoy.
Hi folks. A new alert from Consort that will be very important for all those phase 1 residents who use the underground bicycle storage facilities:
Bike Stores – Phase 1
Please note lock codes are changed as of to day. Please contact Concierge for new codes Labyrinth/Raddon/Gaumont.
Gerard Hayes, our on-site Consort Manager, is holding another surgery for residents with questions about any aspect of Consort’s management of Dalston Square on 4th July between 6pm and 8pm. To reserve your 10-15 minute slot contact Gerard by email at email@example.com, or by phone on 0207 2490896. This works on a first come first served basis so be quick to get the slot that best suits you.
Hello neighbours. Just a quick post to advertise our next meeting: Wednesday 20th June, 7.00pm, 61 Gaumont Tower. As per usual the meeting is open to any resident of the Square who is interested in getting involved in our little community. These meetings usually last for an hour and a half or so, and our planned agenda is as follows:
Hello again. Two new Customer Alerts from Consort today, the second of which is really very important. The first concerns the replacement of the broken panels in the canopy above the passage between Gaumont and Collins Towers (from the Square through to Beechwood road): We have received further apologies from the supplier (technical problems with their glass ovens) but been assured the 2 broken panels will be replaced next week.
The second alert is both important and troubling. Over the last 3 weekends, 3 residents from different towers (one each from Collins, Dekker, and Thomas) have had laptops stolen from their apartments. The thieves (not residents) have been identified from CCTV footage, and this footage has been passed on to the police. The thieves M.O. is very simple: They (2 young guys) hang about outside their targeted block until a departing/arriving resident gives them access. They then move from apartment to apartment, trying every door until they find one to be unlocked and walk right in. If there is someone home and attentive to their opening door, the thieves apologise and leave claiming they have the wrong apartment. If there is no-one home, or the resident is perhaps in the bathroom or in a bedroom, the thieves grab what they can (laptops seem to be their main target), and scarper double time. Dear friends and neighbours, it is easy to be lulled into a false sense of security with fob operated tower entrance doors and CCTV cameras, but do not forget we are in a relatively poor area of East London here: Keep your apartment door(s) LOCKED at all times. You have been warned.
Hello neighbours. Ben Collins, Chair of our residents association, recently wrote to Barratt Homes with a number of questions regarding our contract with E-on to supply heat to the Square. Steve Thompson, Technical Director for Barratt Homes (East London Division), has sent a reply. As this is a subject that affects us all, we felt you would be interested in this response:
Thank you for your letter dated 14 May, 2012, and received by this office on 22 May, 2012.To respond to your letter, I have considered the questions you have raised and my response follows:· Is E.ON fully responsible for the running and maintenance of the CHP system in our building?E.ON is contracted to undertake the operation and maintenance of the entire communal heating system at the Dalston Square development up to and including the Heat Interface Unit within each apartment. This responsibility includes for the replacement of any defective plant or plant which has reached the end of its service life during the course of their contract.· For how many years does the current E.ON heating contract for Dalston Square run?E.ON are contracted for a period of 25 years. The term of the contract is in line with similar ESCo Contracts being placed in the market place at this present time. Some are actually for a longer period. The principle reason for this is in order for the Energy Service Company to operate and maintain the communal heating system efficiently, and to ensure that the risks associated with plant replacement in the long term can be adequately financed. It should be borne in mind that one of the principle benefits of an ESCo is that residents are not subjected to unforeseen and substantial costs associated with major plant replacement.· To whom is E.ON accountable?E.ON is accountable to the residents as part of their direct contract for the supply of heat to each resident’s property. Additionally, E.ON are responsible to the landlord of the Dalston Square Development which currently is Barratt Homes. Should Barratt Homes dispose of its interest in the future, E.ON’s responsibility would transfer to the new landlord. However, E.ON also have an affiliated responsibility to the Building Management Company who maintain the building on behalf of the landlord.· Who at present monitors E.ON’s performance as the heat generator for our buildings?Part of the contract obligations on E.ON require annual reporting which covers the running of the system to ensure compliance with the development’s planning obligations. Additionally, as part of E.ON’s Guaranteed Standards for heat supply they commit to reporting to customers on an annual basis.· Who, at present, negotiates with E.ON over the price set for the hot water/heat energy?The contract with E.ON places stringent controls on the methodology for establishing the heat price. There are two variables within the formula for ascertaining the heat price which include for the variable gas tariff as purchased by E.ON, together with the ability to increase the price annually based on RPI relative to E.ON’s Management costs only. Heat prices are set annually on 01 April and are calculated in accordance with a heat price formula which is set out within customer contracts. The price formula provides strict rules on how E.ON can change prices and ensures transparency. In addition to the price formula, E.ON provide a price comparator to demonstrate how heating bills compare to heating similar properties via a standard gas boiler system. E.ON have informed us that based on this comparator methodology, residents at Dalston Square are currently achieving savings of over 30%.· If Barratts agreed the original contract for the hot water supplied by E.ON, what information was brought to the table by E.ON and Barratts to use to establish a fair price for heat energy in first instance?The original heat price and pricing formulas as referred to in the point above were set to provide savings to residents. This methodology was thoroughly tested throughout the contracting process via industry experts. This price formula methodology coupled with the price comparator is designed to provide residents with both price protection and transparency. It is worth pointing out that the price covers the full service to residents including maintenance of Heat Interface Units within apartments and therefore, the comparison is against a similar complete service cost for gas heating.I trust I have addressed your concerns, however, please do not hesitate to contact me should you wish to discuss further.Kind regardsSteve Thompson
Hello everyone, hope you are all enjoying the warm, sunny weather. Just a quick post to advice you of a new Customer Alert from ConsortPM. If you have any complaints, or questions, with regard to the management of the Dalston Square development, this is your opportunity to speak directly with Gerard Hayes, Consort PM’s on-site manager. Book your 10-15 minute slot soon to get the one you want. 😉
The message (edited to correct atrocious punctuation):
Dalston Square surgery on May 30th, 6-8pm. Reserve a 10-15 minute slot via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or telephone 0207 2540896.
Consort Property Management
Hello again. We have had a very interesting post (interesting to regular internet users anyway) in the forum today from resident Paul, which I thought warranted a post here. I quote:
Noticed a poster up on Gaumont Tower’s notice board about a month ago that has since disappeared. It was advertising a high speed fibre optic broadband service for the Dalston Square development with speeds of up to 1Gb per second. The company is called Hyperoptic and you can register your interest at www.hyperoptic.com. I dropped them an email and they told me:
“If we get 55 requests for service, we will move Dalston Square onto our priority list for installation and then we will engage with the Freeholder. Installation commences within 6 weeks of signed wayleave. (This can take weeks or longer.) Service will be live about 4 weeks later”.
They also said they had already conducted a feasibility survey with the Development Manager which was positive & to date had received about 15 requests for service, so if we can get another 40 then we can look to go live with this service. Please register with them if this is of interest to you!! www.hyperoptic.com.
Now, I will admit that at £50 per month this is not cheap. But, 1Gb!! They also offer a 100Mb connection for £25 per month. If you use a lot of bandwidth on a regular basis, or are simply a geek (like me 🙂 ) this is an awesome connection at a very reasonable price.
Hello friends and neighbours, three things to mention.
Firstly a customer alert from Consort PM: The Main entrance door to Thomas Tower will be fixed tomorrow, 17th May. Parts had to be ordered which is why it has been out of action for the last few days.
Secondly, there seems to still be some confusion regarding E-on’s supply of electricity and heat to residents on the Square. To hopefully, finally, clear this up I have made a post over at the forum explaining exactly how it all works and offer advice as to how you can reduce your bills. You can read my post HERE. You do not need to be registered at the forum to read this, but will need to register (if you have not already done so) if you wish to comment or ask any questions.
Finally, the latest DSRA meeting was held Thursday of last week, and the minutes of this meeting are available for download from the Document Depository in the DSRA specific section of the forum HERE. To even see the DSRA specific section of the forum you must be registered AND have left me a message (and of course received an answer) in the application section HERE.
After a discussion with Gerard Hayes (Consort’s development manager here at the Square) yesterday, I have learned that only a relatively small percentage of residents receive Consort’s ‘Customer Alerts’. These can arrive via email, SMS, or both, and advise residents of anything from reactive issues such as lift or water pump failures (including updates on their repair), to planned maintenance (e.g. window cleaning or gardening). As a service to you, dear neighbour, I will from today publish all alerts here on the blog. I will make it clear that these are Consort’s ‘Customer Alerts’, so if you have any questions regarding them you will need to contact Consort direct (I suggest Gerard would be your best first point of contact). Should you wish to sign up to Consort’s contact list and receive them directly yourself, this can be done via their website at www.consortpm.co.uk (you will need to register with them and then sign up for the alerts).
So, here is the first:
Consort Customer Alert:
GYM at Dalston Square:
Some Residents are switching off the air con units. We have just had them serviced and costs will occur if they are tampered with.
Please leave them alone and avoid costs to the Development.
Thank you for your anticipated assistance in this matter.
Consort Property Management
Hello again neighbours. Two more things to mention. We now have a date set for the next Dalston Square Residents Association Meeting: Thursday 10th May, 7.00pm. The venue is yet to be decided but as usual will probably be a residents apartment: I will advise you as soon as I know. Secondly, it seems that while full-ownership residents have seen a small decrease in their service charges for the coming 6 months, shared-ownership residents have seen a large (sometimes very large) increase in theirs. If this applies to you and you would like to join other affected residents in voicing your outrage, drop an email to Carmen at email@example.com.
Just a quick post for those of you not on Consort Property Management’s mailing list. Consort are holding a resident’s surgery to answer any questions/concerns you may want to put to them. Here is a copy of the communication I received:
Residents Surgery on April 25th 2012 from 6 pm to 8 pm in Development Managers office. Reserve slot 10 to 15 minutes via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or tel. 0207 2490896.
Consort Property Management