Meeting Minutes – 12th September 2016


Iain Lawson, Phil Sedler, Derek Handley, Henrietta Hazeley-Jones, Elizabeth Adebisi, Carmen Abela, Frank Nation, Naomi Byron, Jenny Farrington, Nikkie Kaur, Mr S Ali, Jane Duplock, Susan Duplock, Melanie Bryant


Cllr. Clare Harrisson, Brenda Scotland (THH), Jitu Miah (THH), Chris Weavers, Nozrul Mustafa, Eve Hardy

In Attendance

Susmita Sen (Chief Executive of THH), Marcia McPherson (THH), Allyson Matthews (THH), Charlie Human (The Good Shepherd Mission)

1. Minutes of the Last Meeting

The minutes were agreed as a true and accurate record. (Except Ian suggested the garden patch not Margaret Cox).

2. Guest speaker – Charlie Human (The Good Shepherd Mission)

Charlie spoke about his work as a full time youth worker and the plan for a mural to be done by the young people during the October half term. The mural is going to be located in the passage to Darling Row near Grindall House. The committee emphasised the need for the mural to be done by youths from the Collingwood estate to reduce the threat of vandalism. Charlie will be liaising with a graphic designer as well as getting input from Allyson on footfall to the passage and will send an update to the committee once available.

3. Guest speaker – Susmita Sen (Chief Executive of THH)

Susmita spoke about her previous work and the efforts made to engage both residents, TRA’s, the Mayor and existing THH staff in future plans. Her primary focus will be on the delivery of core services. In particular working to improve Decent Homes (now known as Capital Program), repairs (focus on leaks), leaseholder services, ASB (through enforcement, prevention and design), policies and procedures, as well as the call contact centre. Additionally continuing to support the excellent work done by the caretakers.

The committee then raised various estate wide concerns:

  • Problems with speeding cars, misuse of the car parks and the associated ASB

Susmita explained THH is currently in discussion with the council to possibly adopt the council’s highway ticketing system and has previously met with the Borough Commander to discuss this issue. The possibility of Gerder / Yale locked gates was suggested (in particular for car parks on Barnsley St, Orion House, Grindall). Increased nighttime patrols and better integration with the THEOS was also requested. As well as ensuring that Veolia lock gates behind them.

  • Problems with ASB (noise pollution, rioting, drug taking/dealing)

Susmita spoke about the future possibility of an out of hours hotline, increasing the number and operating hours of the THEO from 4pm onwards, greater publicity of THH ASB success stories and an ASB rapid response team -an update on these will be provided. She also spoke of how THH has merged the management of the ASB and caretaking teams to create and inform and respond model, the increased use of a drug dog as well as opportunities to design out ASB.

  • Poor quality or repairs, lack of inspections, lack of correct information on repairs from the call centre

Susmita spoke in support of the quality of the Mears contractors and how the quality had increased since the contract had been taken from GEM. She also spoke about the difficulty facing Neighbourhood Housing Officers in the breadth of topics they were expected to follow up on as well as the fact that only 27 cover the entire borough. Plans are being drawn to update procedures and policy in this area, in particular for leaks.

  • Ashington East and Orion House Decent Homes

Susmita explained that the heating system evaluation is the current hold up on Ashington East and subsequently Orion House Decent Homes, an update will be provided by the AGM.

  • Ashington House

Susmita explained there was little appetite to redevelop Ashington House at this time.

  • Tent St

This is an issue for the council not THH

  • Whitechapel Vision

Susmita explained that a meeting is currently in the diary involving the THH collaboration with Whitechapel Vision and the possibility of THH matching the funds provided for work on THH estates, an update will be provided by the AGM.

  • Neighbourhood Action Plan

Susmita explained this plan was going to be reviewed as a borough wide mentality was needed rather then plans at such a local scale, an update will be provided by the AGM.

4. Housing Matters

The committee discussed the human error in the reporting of the ASB problem that resulted in railings being placed at the wrong side of Eagle House and how greater enforcement would be helpful now, rather then more railings.

The problem of pigeon feeding was discussed and it was suggested that some awareness be placed in the next THH Open Door.

Marcia reported back that the Orion House panel removal job was logged, but will follow up and report back about why it hasn’t been completed. Marcia will also report back on whether the locks and drains on the roofs have been reviewed as well as contacting the Headlam St resident causing the oil spill.

The committee raised the issue of the lack of recycling bags and their quality and Susmita promised larger or more frequent deliveries of the bags to the pickup locations.

5. Officer Reports

Nozrul to report back next meeting about the possibility of banners.

6. Any Other Business

Tower Hamlets council currently has a questionnaire online about community hubs, the committee was reminded that when answering that TRA’s cant be expected to pay for such community facilities.

Future meetings:

  • Police Liaison Meeting

26/09/16 18:30 at hall, more representation from THH was requested.

  • Borough Commander talk on ASB and policing

13/09/16 18:30 at V&A Children’s Museum.

  • Housing Strategy Meeting

1/10/16 09:00-14:00 at Spotlight in Poplar, held by the council to get residents feedback on affordability of new builds, schools, medical. Refreshments provided.

  • Crossrail Liaison Group Meeting

6/10/16 18:30-20:00 at Crossrail Offices behind sports centre, discussing technical details, Ian will be attending and invited other committee members to come too.

  • AGM

Susmita Sen will provide a date to Phil probably in November to provide a 15 minute update on what was discussed in tonight’s meeting as well as a Q&A session

7. Date of Next Meeting

Monday 10th October 18:30 – 20:30

Meeting Minutes – 12th September 2016