Gas repairs on east wing – Update 7th December

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Work will be carried out over the weekend to get gas supplies up and running for residents in the east wing at Bevin Court. I’m waiting for an update on when the work is likely to be finished. Hopefully after weeks without gas things will be sorted out soon.

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Tories’ “Pay to Stay” policy abandoned

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As you may recall, all Islington Council tenants received a letter from the Council in June 2016 detailing the effects of the The Housing and Planning Act 2016 after it passed into law on 12 May 2016.

The Act included many onerous proposals regarding Council Housing as part of the Conservative Government’s plan to destroy social/Council housing in the UK.  Among other things, the Act included

  • the “Pay to Stay” provision where Council tenants earning £40,000 or more in London (£30,000 or more outside London) would be forced to pay market or near market rents,
  • the forced sale of “high value” properties by local authorities as they become vacant (Islington estimated they would be forced to sell 85% of their housing stock),
  • the extension of Right to Buy to Housing association tenants as well as Council housed tenants – paid for by the forced sale of high value Council homes,
  • phasing out of secure tenancies in favour of fixed, short-term tenancies and
  • many other policies antagonistic to Council Housing and Council tenants.

Axe The Housing Act has been working very hard to defeat this Act and there have been successes recently:

On Monday 21 Nov, the government dropped the Pay to Stay tenant tax.  See Islington’s Press Release here

On Thursday 24 Nov, the government delayed the Right to Buy extension to Housing Associations until at least 2018.  See Inside Housing coverage here

Axe the Housing Act continues to work to defeat this Act.  I urge you to follow them either on
facebook_logo-2Facebook

twitter_bird_logo_2012_svgTwitter
@KillHousingBill

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email  You can also email them at killthehousingbill@gmail.com and ask to be added to their mailing list.

Read The Guardian’s round-up of The Housing & Planning Act 2016 here:

With Shelter’s latest analysis showing that 1 in 51 Londoners are now homeless, genuinely affordable housing like Council Housing is more crucial than ever.  Read the BBC’s coverage Shelter’s latest about homelessness in the UK here

Forthcoming film shoot 7 12 16

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12 1946 70 Arriflex 35

Stone City Films Ltd 37 John’s Mews

London WC1N 2NS

Stone City Films – THE EGG AND THE THIEVING PIE

Dear Bevin Court Residents,

I am writing to let you know about our intended plans to film in

Bevin Court, Cruikshank Street, Kings Cross, London WC1X 9HB

on

7th December 2016 between 1000 and 1500

We will be filming on the staircase inside Bevin Court. The filming will not involve any shouting or loud noises, so noise will be kept at a bare minimum. The scene’s we intend to film are of our protagonist moving up and down the staircase.

The short film, THE EGG AND THE THIEVING PIE, is written and directed by BAFTA Scotland new talent nominated LOLA BLANCHE HIGGINS. It is a surreal and gently humorous film exploring the idea of animal traits in human form. The film is backed by Stone City Films, a BAFTA winning film production company with 20 years of experience in the film industry.

We have informed the police and the local council of our plans. This proposal has also been reviewed by Bevin Courts residents association, and as a good will gesture we have donated £150. If you have any concerns about the proposed filming that you would like to bring to the attention of the Islington film office, please contact the filming officer on 0207 620 0391.

If you have any queries or issues on the day, please call me on my mobile 07521 209 191, or alternatively email me on iidsl87@gmail.com.

Yours sincerely Line Producer Iñes Lourenco

iidsl87@gmail.com

Stone City London, Telephone: (44) 020 7405 9111 37 John’s Mews Email: info@stonecity.co.uk London

WC1N 2NS

St John Street Tenants and Residents Panel Meeting – Tuesday 29th November 2016

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-15-48-50Val Barnes from Islington Council has written to invite all  residents to the following event:

Dear All

 

RE: St John Street Tenants and Residents Panel Meeting

 

I am writing to invite you to the next Tenants and Residents’ panel meeting.

The Tenants and Residents’ Panels have been set up so that council tenants and leaseholders can meet directly with housing staff and have their say about what is happening in their local area. It is open to all council tenants and residents that live in the Clerkenwell, Bunhill and St Peters wards.

The meeting will be held on:-

 

Date:               Tuesday 29th November 2016

                                                                       

Venue:           Tompion Community Centre

                        40 Percival Street,

                        EC1V 0HX

Time:              7.00 – 9:00 pm

 

Please find enclosed

  • The Agenda
  • Minutes of previous meeting
  • Action Sheet

 

 

If you have any queries or require any further information, please contact me on 020 7527 6259. Alternatively you can email me atvalerie.barnes@islington.gov.uk

 

I look forward to seeing you there.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

 

Val Barnes

Section 20 notice of intent to upgrade heating system

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This week leaseholders at Bevin Court each received a Section 20 notice of intent for upgrading the heating system here. This follows on from the informal consultation that the council has carried out with the TRA over the last 18 months or so. Leaseholders will be charged for their share of the works, and can email homeownership@islington.gov.uk with their views on this. Sadly, tenants do not have the same statutory rights to be consulted at this stage. If people have strong views about the work and don’t feel they have a voice, let the TRA know and we can channel them to the council using via some of our leaseholders.

Here’s what we posted a while back about the planned works:

While the boiler and heating risers in the boiler house have been replaced in the last ten years, the parts of the system inside the flats are approaching 30 years old and will need replacing soon.

 

PLAN

The plan is to remove all internal pipework, tanks and radiators within each dwelling and replace it on a like for like basis. However there will be some significant improvements;

  • We will have new thermostatic radiator valves, and room thermostats with a time clock, giving a single control for the heating in each flat.
  • The hot water cylinders will be upgraded to give a faster recovery time, meaning that it will be possible to run another hot bath after a wait of only 20 minutes.
  • Unlike the existing Elson tanks, the cold water cylinder will be separated from the hot, meaning that the cold water will no longer be tepid from heat leakage from the hot tank.
  • The new tanks will where possible be placed higher up in the flat, which will improve water pressure, though not to the extent that the pressure would be adequate for showering. This would still require the installation of a pump, something that LBI are not prepared to provide as it would present them with an additional long term maintenance cost.
  • We will get a choice of a heated towel rail or a radiator in our bathrooms.

 

 

There will be no radio controlled thermostats as previous installations in Islington have proved problematic.

 

We will continue to have a 2 pipe system – this means that each flat has both hot water and central heating available all year round. Other flats have a 4 pipe system which allows for the central heating to be turned off in the summer. However it would be prohibitively expensive to convert Bevin Court to this system as the layout of the plant room would have to be substantially altered and there is not sufficient space to do so.

 

WORKS

In terms of the works inside the flats, the plan is that each dwelling will be surveyed individually, with a design for the work agreed in advance with the specific tenant or leaseholder. The works will be loud, as they will require drilling into the concrete of the building, and will be carried out between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday. There will not be any scaffolding.

 

The work in each dwelling will take place over a week, with the ambition that it can be completed in three days per flat. No home will be left without hot water in the evenings. The works are to be planned for Spring & Summer months, so that heating should not be necessary for most residents.  Should heating be required while the works are underway in our flats, the council will lend us electric heaters. There will be considerable disruption during the work, as the contractors will have to get access to all pipework and radiators throughout the flat.

 

Any pipes that are currently boxed in will be boxed in again at the end of the job, but in general the new pipework will be left exposed. All new pipework will be painted white. The new radiators are likely to be smaller than existing; therefore residents may have to make good the paintwork around the new installation. Any existing pumps that residents have in their flats will be tested and connected to the new system.

 

COSTS AND SCHEDULE

The costs recharged to leaseholders are still to be determined, following the evaluation of the tendering process. The target start date for the work is Spring 2017. The key factor in keeping the project on schedule is to get access when required to each flat. The Islington Project Managers see the experience of the first few residents to have the works carried out as critical; if they are happy then the word will spread and other residents will be more willing to cooperate with the contractors. If this is a success then multiple teams can work across the building and works should be completed between April and October.

 

The work will be put out to tender. The TRA have asked for potential contractors to be selected on the basis of having experience of working on other listed buildings. There will initially be site meetings every two weeks, moving to monthly once the project is running smoothly. There will be permanent site office here on a location to be decided, though this is likely to be in the car park. There is a possibility of a respite area being provided for residents who wish to escape the noise & disruption during works in their flat.

Forthcoming film shoot at Bevin Court

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Following a kind donation to the TRA funds a film shoot will be happening on the 29th November… Here’s a letter to residents from the producer: 


To the Residents of Bevin Court,

 

My name is Lies Scheps and I am currently finishing my MA in Fashion Communication and Promotion at Central Saint MUniversity of the Arts London. For my graduation project I am making a fashion film called ‘Disconnect‘. I intend to shoot on Tuesday, 29 November in the beautiful Bevin Court with my friendly and hardworking team. The film is about the internet and we think that the wonderful architecture of the staircase could create a strong link to our concept. 

 

We intend to arrive on location in Bevin Court at 10:00 and will be packed up to leave by 15:30; we hope this will minimize any disruption. During the first and last hour we will not be shooting. In the first hour we will set up the cameras and lighting, and get our models in make-up and outfits. We will use the last hour to clean up after ourselves. We intend to shoot largely on the staircase, one scene on the roof, and one shot near the entrace of the building. Of course, we will minimize any inconvenienve this may cause the residence. We will arrive by public transport and uber taxis, so there will not be any disturbance from vehicles or parking. We will not be carrying out any special action shots or be loud, as the sound will be recorded separately in the studio. As we will be filming mostly inside on the staircase, the access to the site will not be affected. 

 

If there are any issues with the shoot, please let us know how we can help. I can personally be contacted on 07857222249. Alternatively the Islington Film Office who have processed this application can be contacted on 0207 620 0391 should any issues arise.

 

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding.

 

Kind regards,

 

Lies Scheps

07857222249