May 2012 – General Update

My apologies for the lack of regular news postings here, rest assured that things have been progressing, just that lack of free time (and a two week holiday abroad) has limited my ability to post here. A short summary of recent events:

April committee meeting

This went ahead on the 18th of February, discussing issues such as fly-tipping, the external paintworks / refurbishment, and development lighting. Full minutes are still being written up, and I hope to have them posted within a fortnight.

External Paintworks

This item was highest on our list of needed refurbishments: the paintwork on almost all of the external doors of the development has decayed badly, and we were concerned that waiting any longer would result in damage to the woodwork. Aspect have provided an acceptable quote (roughly £15 per property), and work is due to commence on the 11th of June. Further notices will be put up around the stairwells to be painted to alert residents of the work.

There are other external paintworks planned and not yet approved by the committee; namely the painting of the external railings surrounding the estate, as well as the painting of the building exterior balcony rails. The cost, specification and expected timescale for these refurbishments is still under discussion.

Fly-tipping / refuse issues

In mid-May, some inconsiderate residents parking so as to obstruct the council refuse lorry’s access to the bin store by 19 Sinclair Place meant that those bins were not emptied. While we can’t control non-residents parking, please can all residents avoid parking outside of their allocated spaces at all times (not just on refuse collection days). Obstructing the car park means that emergency vehicles will also have trouble gaining access to properties.

We have also had a glut of people fly-tipping furniture and bulky items by the bin stores. I have written up a general advice page here, but to sum up:

  • Fly tipping is illegal, and costs us all to deal with it. If you see someone dumping, please report it to Aspect.
  • If Aspect arrange collection, it is considerably more costly. Instead, please arrange collection of the items yourself and the cost will be re-imbursed to you by Aspect.
  • If you aren’t prepared to do this, please contact Aspect to alert them to the items, and they will contact a committee member so that a pickup can be arranged.

Bike Shed Lock Change

As agreed at the January AGM, the bike shed locks will be changed on or around the 1st of August. The new keys will be secure, and cannot be copied by proprietors. Proprietors / residents should contact Aspect to purchase a new key, at a cost of no more than £13.60 per key.

Keys requested by 9th of July will be delivered prior to the locks being changed, so if you don’t want to be without access to the sheds, it’s important you contact Aspect in advance of that date.


Aspect have migrated to a newer, more capable software system to handle the development billing. The first quarterly invoice using the new system was inspected by the Treasurer as per the previous agreement, and no errors in apportionment or figures were found, which is great news.

Subsequently it has emerged that there has been a minor glitch in the handling of monthly standing orders, please contact Aspect if you find that payments made to your account are not reflected in your statement. Aspect have assured us that the problem will not recur on the next invoice.

May 2012 – Garden Improvements

The eagle eyed amongst you will have hopefully noticed the various changes to the gardens around the development. As mentioned in the February committee meeting minutes, we agreed a planting budget of £500 for the Roots n’ Shoots team to start filling in all the unsightly bare patches around the gardens.

New plantings

This, combined with the increased maintenance budget that means the gardeners will be on site much more often (every week instead of every fortnight), should get us some much needed improvements all around the estate.

More new plantings

We’ve already done one walk-around with the gardeners and factors, to agree on the work that needs tackled most urgently (mostly replanting of bare areas and replacing dead plants, and attending to the fountain in Sinclair Gardens). The intention is that a gardening sub-committee of sorts will do more such walk-arounds over the summer, until we have a clear list of areas we think need improving, that the gardening team can attend to over time. If any residents have any comments on the gardens, or particular areas they’d like to see tackled, we’d be eager to hear them. Please do comment on the general mailing list with your thoughts, and let us know if you’d like to get involved in the gardening discussion.