We were advised by Bellway in the summer that all highways related remedial works were to be finished by the end of September. It would seem that there is still much work to do. There are two safety bollards on pedestrian access ways that have been missing for many months, weeds are growing everywhere again and there are still sunken manhole covers and other issues that have not yet been addressed.
We chased Bellway who have advised that the contractor has unfortunately been pulled onto another project. As such works are planned to commence again from Monday 18th October for circa 2 weeks after which Bellway will arrange for a further Highways inspection to get the roads on the mandatory 12 month maintenance period.
As reported a couple of weeks back, there were 7 lamp columns across both phases which required remedial work due to being damaged, an incorrect column or where the mounting height was incorrect. Bellway have advised that the lighting work has been completed and all lights should now be working. If you believe that any lamps are not working, please report HERE.
Traffic Regulation Order (TRO)
Earlier in the year there was a public consultation which included proposals for a 20mph speed limit across all of Channels, traffic calming measures and extension of double yellow lines around the bus route.
There were a small number of objections to the extended double yellow lines (mainly from residents on Albatross Way which runs between Croudace & Pompadour) however the need for extended double yellow lines is clear as the roads are often blocked around the bus route, an example of which is shown in the picture below along Brassie Wood:
County Councillor Mike Steel provided an update at the Little Waltham Parish Council meeting held on 5th October. Due to the negative feedback received via the public consultation, a compromise approach was discussed with Highways with the aim of keeping traffic flowing, even with buses stopping, whilst still allowing residents to park outside their houses. Our understanding is that the compromise solution tends to have restrictions just on one side of the road and at junctions.
If there are no further queries following the new proposal going to Cabinet (elected members), it is this version that will be taken forward in the form of a new TRO. We have not seen the revised proposal.
We are also aware that Bellway are continuing to discuss revised traffic calming and safety measures with Highways and as these formed part of the original TRO, it is not clear whether this will lead to a further delay. It is therefore unlikely that changes will be introduced any earlier than the end of this calendar year.
Unfortunately there were no suitable venues available on or around the originally intended date however as a face to face meeting had been promised, a new date of 6th September has been set to facilitate this.
Please ensure that returns for the meeting (specifically if you wish to stand as a director or appoint a proxy) are delivered to Remus no later than Tuesday 31st August 2021.
If you wish to stand as a director it is important to understand that as an officer of a limited company, you must:
Tell other shareholders if you might personally benefit from a transaction the company makes;
Directors are able to hire other people to manage some of these things day-to-day (for example, Remus or an accountant) however it is the directors that remain legally responsible for the company’s records, accounts and performance.
To ensure there is sensible and practical governance in relation to the running of the RMC, the following will be proposed at the AGM:
To limit the number of directors to 7;
To use dedicated sub committees where necessary;
To assign each director specific roles;
A member must be up to date with their service charge payments to stand as director and regular attendance at board meetings is mandatory.
Directors look forward to seeing members on Monday 6th September at the Annual General Meeting.
As the water level in the ‘fountain lake’ has fallen significantly, the fountain has been turned off temporarily. As the fountain is very powerful, it draws in silt from the bottom when the water level is low and there is a risk of damage to the motor.
Geese Droppings (Clean Up)
We have determined that the geese droppings do represent an environmental hazard and that simply jet-washing the pavements and paths is not an appropriate way to clean the droppings away.
Remus are currently obtaining quotes for a ‘clean up operation’ by specialist contractors however they need to visit the site to assess exactly what needs to be done and therefore the cost involved.
We will look to share the cost with Bellway on the basis that the roads and pavements are not our responsibility to manage however there will be a cost against the Service Charge Budget. Environmental Health could not assist on the basis the issue is on private land.
We believe the geese have been displaced from the larger lakes that have been partially drained due to building works however it does now look as if the geese have moved on (with the exception of one that has been left behind). If they do return, we have been advised that they should not continue to be fed by residents as this will perpetuate the problem and it is less likely they will move on to another location.
You will recall that directors have been investigating site-wide costs for the last 2 years and neither DJC nor POD acting as managing agents were able to provide sufficient assurance as to what we were actually paying for given that only circa 20% of site-wide land was available for use.
We have advised all parties involved on many occasions during the last 2 years that we would only pay for site-wide land we had access to and only where we were confident that expenditure was valid and appropriate. Without such information being made available, we took the decision to withhold monies and credit residents last autumn based on a proposal put forward to the site-wide management company via POD last year.
PG Property Management (who took over from POD Management and now support the site-wide management company) proposed a way forward in February 2021 which directors agreed to in principle on the understanding full sets of reinstated accounts for the last 4 years were made available for us to inspect. The site-wide contributions that form the 2021/22 Service Charge presented at the EGM in May support this proposal.
Unfortunately we have not been furnished with re-stated accounts and as we are obliged to look after the interests of CCMC members, we are standing firm in that we will not pay any further monies owing until the accounts (together with supporting information and invoices where appropriate) are received. PG Property Management have suggested that they will be writing to all residents imminently (as part of a wider update) flagging the CCMC arrears position.
CCMC directors (supported by Remus) are working with PG Property Management on this issue and indeed no direct legal relationship exists between the site-wide management company and individual residents.
As such individual residents do not have to take any action and there is no requirement or need to liaise directly with the site-wide management company on this issue.
Given the lack of assurance we received from both DJC and POD in relation to site-wide expenditure, we believe that members would rather us undertake sufficient and robust due diligence prior to paying any further monies to PG Property Management, especially as this accounts for 30% of the overall service charge.
For the avoidance of doubt, PG Property Management is a company created by directors of Ptarmigan Land to act as site-wide managing agent. Ptarmigan Land is the consultancy firm that acts for and represents the land owner in relation to the Channels development.
This will be a more informal ‘town hall’ style session and not a formal General Meeting of the management company and as such all Bellway residents are welcome to attend. It is a chance for a general chat, for directors to communicate any key updates and for residents to raise any questions.
To assist in efficient running of the meeting, you can submit a question in advance. Where possible, questions received will addressed prior to the open forum and can be submitted via www.ccmc-ltd.uk/ask
Please ensure that all questions are posted via the link above no later than midday on Monday 12th July.
Directors gratefully request that if you wish to attend the residents meeting, and prior to submitting advance questions, you look at the key information made available on this website.
Please observe the rules that will be followed for conducting online meetings which can be found here. The meeting may be recorded, there is an expectation of good behaviour and directors reserve the right to exclude any person who acts in an abusive manner or disrupts the meeting.
Directors would appreciate all residents signing up to follow CCMC-Ltd so that whenever an update is added, you can be notified immediately by e-mail: www.ccmc-ltd.uk/follow/
The directors look forward to catching up with as many residents as possible on Tuesday 13th July.
As you are aware, directors had planned to hold the Residents Management Company Annual General Meeting towards the end of June or in early July. We very much wanted to ensure the AGM could be a physical ‘face to face’ meeting however with the delay to the easing of COVID restrictions, this will not be possible.
Following discussion with Remus, we have decided to postpone the AGM until September (provisional date Tuesday 14th September) to ensure that we can hold the promised physical meeting. This will avoid the holiday period and provide the best chance for as many members to attend as possible.
We will however hold an informal virtual meeting for all residents during July (proposed date Tuesday 13th at 6pm) so that directors can provide key updates and residents can raise any questions or concerns.
As we have noted previously, we do not have to wait until the AGM for members to join as directors and as such if you would like to get involved, do come forward and express your interest.
Directors/Remus have received a number of queries in relation to the poor state of roads due to excessive weed growth, both in blocked paved areas and at kerb edges. Whilst we could have paid Olly to undertake work to remove all of the weeds, it is a Bellway responsibility and there is a risk that we would not have been able to recover the costs incurred.
The good news is that work on removing all of the weeds has now started and will continue for the next week across the entire Bellway development. You may well see two men scraping weeds from the kerbside edges today around Aqua Verde and they will begin on Eagle Rise next week.
It would be appreciated if you could utilise your driveway space as much as possible whilst the work is ongoing to ensure there is clear access to all areas.
Following approval of the Parking Management resolution at the EGM on 25th May, there are a number of actions that need to be progressed to ensure the regulations are adhered to.
The first will be to mark the five visitor bays (CCMC owned land) in the image below and we will confirm the date in due course:
By way of a reminder, resident visitor parking is allowed for 4 hours with no return for 12 hours in these bays.
There have been a number of resident owned vehicles (including commercial vehicles) left for long periods in the visitor bays and this is no longer permitted in line with the approved regulations.
We will additionally arrange for signage to be installed which makes clear the rules for parking in the visitor bays and we will not initially use a third party enforcement agency as we hope that residents will respect the agreed way forward.
If it becomes clear that vehicles, resident or otherwise, are being left in the visitor bays for extended periods (including commercial vehicles), we will progress with formalised parking enforcement.
Ordinary Resolution Proposal (Service Charge Budget) Approval of the proposed CCMC Ltd 2021/22 Service Charge Budget as outlined in the resolution briefing statement:
Votes For: 35
Votes Against: 7
Ordinary Resolution Proposal (Managing Agent) Approval to continue working with Remus, acting as Managing Agent, as outlined in the resolution briefing statement:
Votes For: 33
Votes Against: 9
Ordinary Resolution Proposal (Grounds Maintenance Contractor) Approval to award a new one-year grounds maintenance contract to Clifford’s Group as outlined in the resolution briefing statement:
Votes For: 40
Votes Against: 4
For the avoidance of doubt, all four resolutions have duly been approved by members and Remus will work with directors to progress any actions required as a result.
Thank you for your attention to this matter and for those that attended the EGM thank you for contributing to the decisions that needed to be made. The minutes of the meeting can be found HERE and all members will receive confirmation of the above together with the minutes by post in due course.