A massive turnout of three Bevin Court residents (Julia, Sue and me) attended this meeting, where residents can discuss their concerns with our housing managers from the Council. Here’s a summary of what was discussed that’s relevant to Bevin Court:
- Reorganisation of Estate Services
– The council is abolishing the quality assurance officer role. Now all repairs, communal area issues dealt with by a single point of contact – the new role of an Estate Co-ordinator. This will hopefully make the role more accountable as we will be able to see if Estate co-ordinator is doing his or her job properly. All the new Estate service co-ordinators will have to apply for this new job, and anyone promoted into it will be monitored to see that they are competent before they are given it permanantly. This job does not include tenancy management. Plan to have this implemented by start of next financial year in April.
2. Flats used exclusively for Air BnB rental on the estate.
- The council claim there is little they can do about the rise of Air BnB rental flats across the borough’s estates. We at the TRA (And other TRA’s around Islington) think they need to try harder; Camden for example has a far more assertive approach to housing being converted into effectively hotels. We wish to strongly resist the use of dwellings in Islington for sole use as Air BnB flats for two main reasons: 1. This reduces the stock of available homes during a the worst housing crisis since World War Two, and 2. It creates significant disruption to residents here.
- I’d like to discuss further campaigning on this issue at the next TRA committee meeting. I think we should also partner with other TRAs to kick the council into action.
3. (Stopping) taking the piss. After some public urination by person or persons unknown on one of the Bevin Court stairways, Julia Barclay researched urine repellent paint. The council have now agreed to trial this anti-piss paint at Bevin Court. Anyone antisocial enough to carry on peeing on our estate should fill their bladder and pray for mercy – if everything works according to plan then the paint’s special finish will spray the urine straight back all over the dastardly urinator and their clothes!
4. Mice – We have asked for the council to implement a block wide programme of pest control. They (the council not the mice) are moving on this at their usual stately pace! Meanwhile for a more immediate solution there are many cats desperately in need of a home: http://www.northlondon.cats.org.uk
5. Satellite dishes – there are a lot of unauthorised dishes on the roof at Bevin Court. It is not allowed to put them there without permission, permission which would also require planning consent as this is a Grade 2* listed building. Its likely that the installation of the dishes may also have damaged the waterproofing of our relatively new and highly expensive new roof. The council don’t see dealing with the dishes as a priority. What do residents think? If there’s a body of opinion one way or the other we can campaign on this issue.
Get in touch if you want to discuss any of these issues