All of our Housing Liaison Board meetings are open to the public and all are welcome.
Chair welcomed all in attendance, this was followed by introductions.
Minutes of the previous meeting were approved as accurate and an update was given on the inappropriately dressed contractor that had been reported previously whilst out on a job.
We had a very good update report from our Contractors Mears and Willmott Dixon.
Mears – Phil Ross
Phil Ross introduced himself and gave some background information about Mears:
Mears are sub-contractors for AWG. Mears work as though they are paid by Birmingham City Council.
Performance is much improved and they have not failed the KPI (Key Primary Index) this month, Gas Servicing is 100% on programme.
The Contract finishes in September 2015, but Mears have already applied for all Aspects of the contract… it is an on going process.
Dave Kendrick introduced himself and updated as follows :
He worked on the same team as Phil,
Performance is good and works well with Gary Nicholls team (District neighbourhood caretakers)
Phone is on 24/7
Is glad to say that he has had no calls at unsociable hours for several months, which is a reflection that everything is going as it should be.
The first appointment letter that states call out time will be between 8am-5pm invites customers to call in and make a more specific appointment.
The group discussed customer service satisfaction returns and how statistics are recorded. Overall customer satisfaction is in the high 70’s. It was agreed that Mears would attend bi-monthly. Chair thanked Phil and Dave for attending.
Willmott Dixon – Dean Brough reported as follows :
Willmott Dixon has received a Gold Award for their work, WD had good KPI’s for July.
They are in the red due to void major void works (empty properties) regarding 28 Voids across the whole contract.
Customer satisfaction figure is 96.2% .
Still a major shortage of fencing and this is still creating a small backlog with problems.
More voids are coming in, which require either / or both a new kitchen or bathroom.
Dean confirmed that once a void had been inspected and deemed a major void, whatever work will go ahead. Smoke detectors are fitted as part of the voids work. He also advised that not all boarded up / sitexted properties are long standing voids; that can be down to temporary accommodation, the local team instigation the abandoned procedure ect.
Dean went through the HLB projects. Everybody discussed them. Dean is to check the situation in relation to security gates in Birdie Close and the hold up of not doing the works. Also metal fencing handrail at Melrose Close needs to be checked as a mistake with the length occurred when measuring the project.
Arron asked Dean if they could check a handrail project at in Shannon Road as it was extremely chipped and as it is new, it looks a sight and it liable to rusting already. Dean will email Nadeen with his findings.
Dean addressed the issue of a contractor complaint, and gave an update and feedback re this issue. The Chair stated that it was an issue for Willmott Dixon and appreciated it was being dealt with and that was the end of the issue for the group.
Carl wanted it noted that although he has not always been a great fan of WD, he is only hearing good things about them from local residents. Chair thanked Dean for attending.
West Midlands Police, via PC Marj Levy
Unfortunately there was no update as Marj was not in attendance, but Arron offered to submit updates via social media.
Community Projects and Budget Discussions
Arron issued everyone with the current spread sheet showing HLB Projects and at what stage they are at. It was reported that the major works on the Wychall lane Estate shops at around a cost of £6,500 was now underway. Bringing re assurance and help to the residents and helping to reduce ASB to the area.
Projects that are agreed and have jobs raised are currently for a Social Cohesion project with young people within Kings Norton. The installation of a metal bow top gate to the rear of properties in Spoon Drive to help reduce ASB and provide extra security for residents.
Installing metal gating to garage site entrance on Masshouse Lane, after several garages in the location have been broken into, the area is prone to fly tipping and vandalism.
The replacement of wooden gates, that ideally should be replaced with metal gates on Walkers Heath road with the provision of keys as it backs on to communal gardens of several properties.
Loweswater, Waltham and Sandhurst Houses – Clarification is needed regarding the windows and cleaning of these properties in the communal areas.
Westcroft Grove project consisting of updating the door entry system with the provision of fobs to all residents will improve the safety of residents and reduce ASB as it is currently operated by keys. This was unanimously agreed by all the members.
Bentmead Grove, Grange farm Drive, the HLB rejected proposals for the removal and re trunking of all internal cables until a further investigation ascertained whether it was the responsibility of BCC to replace or the Cable/TV companies themselves.
A Greaves Square Hall proposed project had been removed from the funding spread sheet, from HLB and was looking to fund it through the empowerment budget.
Shannon Road Blocks of flats consisting of – Heather House, Lavender House, Barberry House, Burdock House.
It was agreed that the Board is to request a quote for the funding of the door openings on both sides of the block to be blocked off. These areas are being used as toilets by members of the public. They are also a potential hiding place for muggers/ASB. There is a door on the inside of the openings but they are no longer in use and have been blocked off. Residents would like the door openings to also be blocked off to alleviate these problems.
Arron handed out a multi-sports extra flyer which advertises funding activities in Kings Norton.
Nadeen thanked Arron for his hard work. Nadeen explained more fully that a Greaves Sq/ Lisa Storey proposal for the funding of internet broadband access was a great idea, but would does not meet the criteria for HLB funding projects. Nadeen will look for funding from elsewhere.
Performance Update – Natalie Potter (Housing manager Kings Norton).
In Natalie’s absence, Sue ( KN Housing Officer ) very kindly handed out photos of benches at Cornerway which Gary Chalke ( District neighbourhood caretaker ) has dismantled and rebuilt, at a saving of around £3,000 if they had been fully replaced.
Photos of an area in Marans Croft that Gary and the other Estate Based Neighbourhood caretakers have cleared due to reported ASB.
Carl asked for his and the HLB’s great thanks to be passed on to Gary and the team. Carl also raised the issue of the Meadowsweet walk way. Sue is to contact Carl and arrange a site visit. Sue also told everyone that Natalie had been shortlisted for the Leadership Chamberlain Award and Russell Davies, neighbourhood cleaner had been shortlisted for the local hero award.
Lisa Hopkins (ASB Team) has 8 severe ASB Cases that are either with, or due to go across, to Legal Services. On Bonfire night the team will be out with the Police and Fire Service across the area to disrupt any potential bonfires.
HLB Walkabout/Estate Assessments
Ron and Sue confirmed Estate Assessments have been completed. Fleet and Waste have collected some green waste from main roads.
Social Media Update
A report was given as follows :
OUR HLB twitter account @KingsNortonHLB now has over 400 followers.
HLB meetings are being tweeted i.e details of meeting times and meetings ect. Arron said he was still publishing the HLB minutes on B31 Voices. Other local area issues are also being updated and published as and when.
Despite several more emails to BCC Cabinet Members and Resident Involvement we are still not getting satisfactory answers regarding BCC use of Social media.
Councillor Peter Griffiths gave notice of the most recent Kings Norton Ward Meeting and that John Burke, Fleet and Waste would be in attendance.
Arron raised concerns about the City HLB.
Pam Dean Kings Norton Housing Liaison Board Chair said she would like to stand down as City HLB representative. This was agreed and she proposed Arron be KN representative and Ron Lees to be deputy. This was agreed unanimously.
Nadeen said she would inform Yvonne Wager.
Many thanks to Sue for update and information provided.
Next meeting date : Thursday 30th October 2014 6.00pm – 7.30pm @
Melrose Close Sheltered Housing Scheme, off Dornie Drive, Foyle Road Kings Norton.