The Annual General Meeting for St Benedicts (Tooting) Management Company Limited was held at 7.00 pm on Thursday 7th December 2017 in the Function Suite, St Boniface Church Hall, 185 Mitcham Road, Tooting, London SW17 9PG. St Nicholas and Trident Business Centre no longer take evening bookings.
Papers for the meeting were sent to shareholders (property owners) at least 14 days before the meeting as required by company law and links are provided below.
Attendance and proxies
The two directors, a representative of Wandle Housing Association (WHA) and owners of two properties attended along with a proxy for another owner (from item 6 onwards). Two owners had appointed the chairman as proxy, one in a personal capacity, with discretion on voting but, as there were no contentious matters, these votes were not cast. The Rendall and Rittner property manager and assistant property manager also attended (but cannot vote).
1. Approve Minutes
To receive and approve the Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 17th November 2016.
There were no comments and the resolution was approved by 5 votes to nil.
2. Adopt Report and Accounts
To receive and adopt the Report of the Directors and the Accounts for the year ended 30th June 2017.
It was explained that, under current accounting standards, the Company Financial Statements now contain very little. Most details are in the Service Charge Statement provided for information. Because the Management Company is now taking advantage of all exemptions and its accounts are no longer being audited, as approved at the 2010 AGM (PDF, 37kb).
It was also explained that there was a small surplus on the Estate and flats budgets with actual costs only about 3.5% different from the budget, as the company is non profit making. The arrears were largely due to two flats, one had been sold and the amount recovered and the other is with solicitors. Now we are part-way through the maintenance cycle and reserves are being built up, loans from the general flats reserve to the individual flats reserves are being repaid.
There were no questions and the resolution was approved by 4 votes to nil.
3. Contracts and Maintenance Report
To report on contracts for services, maintenance and periodic work funded from reserves.
The Directors reported that:
- All leasehold flat communal hallway bulkhead lights had now been fitted with LED lamps.
- The former flat block cleaning contractor declined to continue on the same terms, so a new contractor was appointed.
- The gardening contractor wished to cease waste work so the cleaning contractor was appointed to take this on.
- Sewer work was carried out by 31-36 Abbey Drive and sewer repairs were needed below 14-24 Limetree Walk.
- The programme to replace all obsolete entryphones has been completed.
- The 5-yearly landlord electrical testing has been carried out.
- After inconclusive results at 2-24 Limetree Walk, the trial to fit grilles to air bricks to deter mouse entry was extended to 1-71 St Benedicts Close.
- Further high level work was carried out at 1-11 Limetree Walk to prevent squirrel entry and may be done on other blocks with similar issues.
- In addition to planned tree work, after a large branch fell, additional safety work on small trees was carried out from the Estate reserve.
- The health & safety inspection, with increased focus on fire safety, recommended fitting brushes to some communal fire doors to resist smoke, which will be done, and an area of uneven paving near 39-45 Church Lane will be repaired.
As this item was for information, there was no vote.
4. Road Signs
To consider new suggestions for improved road signage and, if these are approved, to authorise the Directors to implement them, noting this reverses a previous AGM decision.
The Directors described possible requests to Wandsworth Council to move road signs, provide an extra sign in Carlisle Way and erect Estate signs opposite the Carlisle Way and St Benedicts Close entrances to increase clarity and try to reduce deliveries to the wrong address. An owner present at the meeting had requested this and explained the issue. Images illustrating the proposals were shown as set out in this document (PDF, 457kb).
Each proposal was discussed. There was agreement that the Council will be asked to move signs as proposed. The owner suggesting extra signs will ask his neighbour for consent for another Carlisle Way sign in front of his garden and, if given, the Council will be asked to provide this or, if it does not, the Management Company would. The additional lamppost sign opposite the St Benedicts Close entrance was approved but that opposite the Carlisle Way entrance would only be obtained if the additional road sign had been put up, otherwise it would be confusing.
The Directors were authorised to spend up to £1,000 on the proposals agreed by those present by 5 votes to nil.
5. Estate Security
To discuss security on the open-plan Estate crossed by public rights of way including resident suggestions.
The Directors explained that there have been various issues with groups of youths loitering on the Estate, especially over the summer. The Estate is crossed by rights of way that the Council required when the Estate was built so it is impossible to prevent free access. The house owner who saw a firework being let off at someone and called the police described the incident and how he contacted the nearby school, whose head attended to catch pupils misbehaving on the Estate.
A number of proposals that had been suggested during the year and further suggestions from those present were discussed:
- The house owner living opposite 17-27 Carlisle Way had suggested metal fencing to prevent entry by his house behind that block but was only willing to pay a fraction of the cost and the proposal was abandoned when he offered the house for sale.
- A resident of 121-135 St Benedicts Close had suggested private security patrols to deter issues behind that block but this would be very expensive. It was suggested at the meeting that patrols for a few days in the summer holidays might be effective.
- A house owner at the meeting had suggested CCTV. When Director investigated this before, the basic cost of installation on our large Estate was estimated as around £25,000 before additional costs like maintenance, so this was unaffordable without very large service charge increases. The owner suggested reducing other services, but the Directors explained the property legal agreements required these. The property manager and WHA representative advised that CCTV was ineffective in their experience.
- It was confirmed that the police are called regularly and that we liaise with the police safer neighbourhood team. It was suggested that the anti-social behaviour team also be contacted, undercover patrols requested and that the police be asked to install temporary CCTV as done previously for drug dealing. The Council lamp post opposite 4 Carlisle Way was most suitable.
- Motorbikes are being ridden on footpaths. Following complaints to a councillor, the Council had previously undertaken a study and decided that no action was justified, although we had suggested a chicane barrier. The Management Company cannot take action as these are public rights of way.
- The issue of waste was raised and the Directors explained that it had been an issue for 35 years, all options suggested had been investigated and none was feasible. Council lorries do not accept wheelie bins under its current contract, which would be the most suitable improvement.
- When queried, the Directors explained what services houses pay for, which are also set out in the service charge statement with the accounts.
The Directors agreed that all suggestions would be investigated except CCTV. A vote was held on the CCTV proposal and it was rejected by 4 votes to 1.
6. Election of Directors
To deal with the election of Directors.
Directors do not now need to retire by rotation and both Mr Ravi Joshi and Mr Kevin Herrmann were willing to continue serving as Directors. When asked, those present raised no objection to their continuing and there were no other volunteers, so no vote was needed.
7. Any Other Business
To deal with any other business.
There was no other business. The matter of waste had been raised under item 5.