4th May 2022
Dear Fellow Owners,
This letter is coming out later than I had hoped due to the fact I was recovering from COVID after Easter. But that experience was made much better by the support of kind neighbours, who offered to do some shopping for us when necessary. All this was made easier because our Neighbourhood Watch WhatsApp group is also functioning as a community support group. So my wife, Carol, and I are grateful and the Element really is a good place to live.
Unfortunately, the brilliant idea that one of our members had about clubbing together to host a Ukrainian refugee family did not work out due to the fact that we were unable to find a property in the Element vacant and available to rent. We did receive pledges of support amounting to £590/pcm. and I am sure that others would have been willing to contribute had a suitable property become available.
Our next community event in the calendar is our summer courtyard garden party on Saturday June 11th, from 12.30 till 2pm. All residing here are welcome, so that includes tenants. You are invited to bring and share finger food or sandwiches, and cool drinks. But, to make it fun we will have the boules set up again, a mini table tennis (if the wind is not too strong) and if you have any other suggestions or can bring something your family has for children to play with, then it adds to the fun. The main purpose is simply to get together as a community and meet and get to know others from different stairwells. Though we hope for good weather, it cannot be guaranteed, and a decision about what to do in case of rain will need to be made nearer the time.
We are hoping to set up a courtyard garden subcommittee who will come up with ideas as to how to improve and use the space we have. Our factors are willing to point us to reliable contractors who could give quotes as well. Please let me know if you are willing to help out on what should be an enjoyable activity that will help us all.
The committee are keeping close tabs on material matters that need attention, the most urgent of which remains making the Scottish Power substation under the entrance ramp of the basement carpark watertight, and replacing a corroded beam. Quotes have been slow to arrive, and the first has come in at just over £200k (including VAT). Our factors are chasing up others. The committee will be discussing the quotes during May when a decision will be made and it is hoped that a contractor can be appointed in June with work to begin in September. Other matters on the updated Critical Risk Report (CRR) can only be tackled once this is known and under way.
The committee is also discussing how to prepare for future known major expenses, such as when we will eventually need to begin to replace lifts. The idea of a sinking fund is being looked at and you will be hearing more about this in a future letter. Meanwhile we are trying to obtain estimates of costs and timescales. I and another committee member will be meeting with our factors to discuss this in June.
An update on progress with Single Building Assessment is available on the High Rise Scotland website: https://www.highrisescotlandactiongroup.org. Our factors have applied to be included in phase one of the roll out, whenever that happens.
The factors have asked to remind owners who are still using the original immersion heater tanks, to make sure they are checked annually and to make sure they have neighbour’s contact details in case they need to be informed of any leaks from old tanks that may need to be replaced, or replaced with another form of heating water that uses electricity.
Thankfully the months since the fire on New Year’s Day have been quiet, with no more major incidents. The benefits of a no-claims bonus outweighed the benefits of making a claim for the cost of making good the damage caused by the fire. There was an incident reported just this morning in WHV3 with items being thrown from a property onto the pavement below. But police were quick to deal with it and the mess was quickly cleaned up. All owners in that block were notified.
Ken Webb (Chair of TENOA)