Did you get a copy of this letter about fire and safety back in June last year?

A resident on the Alton Estate has shared the below letter 14 June 2017 and it has an interesting text within it which states ‘If you live in a high rise property you are not at more risk of a fire starting, living in a flat is not more dangerous than living in a house’ (last paragraph on page 2 within the section Fire Brigade Advice).

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Email us at – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – and let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have or add a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section.

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Recent Council articles about water sprinklers

Deadline for submissions and reply forms to be returned is now Friday 5th October –

http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/news/article/14688/latest_update_for_leaseholders_from_first_tier_property_tribunal_regarding_sprinklers

Change of date of the Tribunal –

http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/news/article/14686/further_important_update_for_leaseholders_re_taller_tower_block_sprinklers_proposal

Letter from the Judge regarding the Tribunal – 

http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/news/article/14685/first_tier_property_tribunal_–_information_for_council_leaseholders_re_sprinklers_in_tower_blocks

Not sure the reason for not publishing this letter, though if it has been missed please do let roeregeneration know – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2018/09/07/breaking-news-about-sprinklers-from-the-tribunal/

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 Contact

Email us at – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – and let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have or add a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section.

Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;

Or email your local Member of Parliament at;

For a different view of Roehampton, especially the Alton Estate

Letter from the Property Chamber regarding change of date of Tribunal

The letter below sums up the current position and might have been aiding by the volume of leaseholders which have responded – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2018/09/07/breaking-news-about-sprinklers-from-the-tribunal/

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Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

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Contact

Email us at – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – and let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have or add a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section.

Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;

Or email your local Member of Parliament at;

For a different view of Roehampton, especially the Alton Estate

Councillor Malcolm Grimston’s 10+ storey block update (12 September 2018)

The latest update from Councillor Malcolm Grimston was received on 12 September 2018 with regards to the proposed retro-fitting of water sprinklers in 10+ storey blocks in the Wandsworth Borough Council ward.

———————-

From: Malcolm Grimston

To: News from Councillor Malcolm Grimston

Sent: ‎Wednesday‎, ‎September‎ ‎12‎, ‎2018‎ ‎10‎:‎37‎:‎08‎ ‎AM‎ ‎BST

Subject: Update on the First Tier Property Tribunal

Dear All,

TRIBUNAL UPDATE

I’ve had a update on the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) process. The Case Management Hearing was scheduled for September 27 but as so many leaseholders have registered that they wish to attend to make their views known that the meeting needs to be held in the Civic Suite next to the Town Hall. The date has therefore had to be changed to October 16th, again at 10am. The date for returning forms has also been extended, to Friday October 5, so if any leaseholders have not responded you can still do so – an astonishing 500 or so have already done so. (I am happy to act as your nominee to the meeting if you cannot attend.) The FTT has once again stressed that whether, leaseholders attend the case management hearing or not or make representations at this stage, they will still have the chance to make written representations, give evidence or make submissions to the final hearing.

Petitions against the proposals are still coming in – the Council does not seem to be keeping a central log of them but I am asking them to do so.

TOMORROW’S MEETING

The Housing and Regeneration Committee is meeting tomorrow night (Thursday September 13) at 7:30pm at the Town Hall (Wandsworth High Street SW18 2PU). You can see the agenda at https://democracy.wandsworth.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=575&MId=5828. There will be an opportunity to protest about the Council’s imposition of sprinklers in all 10+ storey blocks, starting outside the Town Hall from 6:30pm. I will be there to say hello. If you can stay for the start (at least) of the meeting itself then please do – the main point is to put to bed once and for all this myth that the objections have come from a ‘small number’ of leaseholders who have been ‘whipped up’.

I am presenting a paper at the meeting, along with Councillor Paul White, the Labour housing lead, asking among other things for money to be made available to residents from the Housing Revenue Account to take legal advice, as of course the Council is doing for itself. Right the way through this business the deck has been stacked against the residents. The Council has the list of leasehold properties, so it can send subtly different propaganda to tenants and leaseholders, while not making that information available to residents. The Council can send a letter round all properties very easily (again paid for with your money) – it is much more difficult for volunteers to do this, though credit to Labour for managing this (and I have tried to do my bit too). The Council has already received one set of legal advice, paid for by tenants and leaseholders, but has absolutely refused to let me or residents see what it said. They now intend to do the same again. I am arguing that on the simple grounds of fair play and natural justice, residents should receive the same amount of funding to defend themselves as the Council is spending to force this scheme on you.

There will also be a deputation from Bisley House on the wider issues.

GAGGING ORDER

I am now being told that the Conservative group intends to prevent me from taking part in the debate tomorrow night on this paper. They will let me introduce the paper for five minutes but I must then keep quiet. This is important for the Council as it will allow the Director of Housing to put forward a response to our paper but I will not then have the chance to challenge him on details that I might see as being wrong or biased. I will try to object to this under the Council’s Standing Orders – there is nothing in the SOs to prevent me taking part if the Conservative majority allows it – but the Council throughout has used every trick to suppress or dismiss objections (even referring to residents as ‘the opposition’) so I suppose I should not be surprised.

THE COMMITTEE

Technically the Housing and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HROSC) does not take decisions – it advises the Council’s Cabinet (or Executive), which has decisions-making powers. However, the Cabinet is supposed to pay attention to its views so the meeting tomorrow is important. The members of the Committee are:

and it would do no harm for them to know the strength of feeling over this issue. You might also contact the Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Kim Caddy, KCaddy@wandsworth.gov.uk.

Please let me know if you would like to opt out of these emails.

Best wishes,

MALCOLM GRIMSTON

Councillor (Independent), West Hill Ward

 ————————

Caveats

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

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Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

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Contact

Email us at – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – and let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have or add a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section.

Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;

Or email your local Member of Parliament at;

For a different view of Roehampton, especially the Alton Estate

Water sprinklers – Questions and (attempted) Answers

Introduction

Before we get into the questions and answers (Q&As) is should be noted that the answers are provided on best efforts basis and the reader should make their own efforts to confirm the answers.

The following relates to some of the questions which have been asked by various individuals.

  1. How much is this going to cost?

According to the Council, the initial cost is between £3,000 and £4,000 – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2018/08/10/questions-to-the-council-regarding-the-3000-to-4000-water-sprinkler-charge/

The London Assembly has some thoughts on cost variation – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2018/08/11/gla-document-on-retrofitting-water-sprinklers-march-2018/

2. What about ongoing maintenance cost?

There seems to have no mention of this (though happy to be corrected) yet the London Assembly estimates annual service charge impacts to be between £75 and £150 per annum – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2018/08/11/gla-document-on-retrofitting-water-sprinklers-march-2018/

3. Fire Risk Assessments – what does this say about water sprinklers?

Well, in many of the 2016 FRAs in section 2.6.8 it states that water sprinklers are not required – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2017/11/17/fire-risk-assessments-section-2-6-8/

4. I’m a leaseholder and don’t live in one of the 99 blocks impacted, should I be concerned?

That’s your choice, though something which you may wish to bear in mind is that many buildings, tall and not, share the same text in their lease – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2018/09/06/only-leaseholders-in-10-storeys-impacted-by-water-sprinklers/

5. I’m not sure where my lease is, how can I get another copy of it?

If you’re stuck the Council can provide another copy of it though there is a fee – http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/info/200373/i_am_a_leaseholder/106/council_leaseholders/3

6. The Council has commented on a mortgage lender not lending on tall buildings without water sprinklers?

That’s true though the lender has a low market share so should this be a consideration? – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2018/08/11/mortgage-lenders-not-lending-on-tall-buildings-without-water-sprinklers/

6. Will this impact future major works schedules?

Such impacts should perhaps be considered due to the financial implications to leaseholders and the Council’s overall budgeting. Examples are whereby some leaseholders have already had one or more recent major works costs. One such example is outlined – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2017/11/08/alton-leaseholders-meeting-some-notes-6th-november-2017/

7. Has any legal advice been sought for challenging this?

Yes there has and there is some work ongoing in seeking a lawyer for additional support, though there are various strands currently looking into this. Some of the advice offered is below;

LEASE – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2018/08/12/what-does-the-citizens-advice-bureau-suggest-regarding-water-sprinklers/

Citizens Advice Bureau – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2018/08/10/feedback-from-lease-regarding-retro-fitting-water-sprinklers/

8. I’d like to try and speak with other leaseholders in my building though not sure which flats are leasehold?

Yes, this can be tricky, though some ideas are provided at – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2018/08/11/how-to-locate-leaseholders-in-your-block/

Also, it has been highlighted how you can find out the number of leaseholders (resident and non-resident) and council tenants per block at – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2017/11/29/questions-to-wandsworth-borough-council-about-water-sprinklers/

9. I didn’t see either of the show flats, are there photos I can see?

We’ve tried our best and the following has photos of both;

Flat #1 – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2018/05/30/view-sprinkler-show-flat-4-may-2018/

Flat #2 on Alton Estate – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/alton-estate-water-sprinkler-show-flat/

10. Didn’t the Council suggest that a ‘small number of leaseholders’ have raised concerns?

That has been mentioned in Question 4 of the Council’s Questions and Answers session on 6th December 2017 – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2018/02/04/council-questions-and-answers-about-water-sprinklers-6-december-2017/

Not sure this claim to be a ‘small number’ holds based on the First Tier Property Tribunal (FTPT) recent ask for a larger venue for the holding of the Tribunal – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2018/09/07/breaking-news-about-sprinklers-from-the-tribunal/

11. Is there any impact on contents insurance?

Anecdotally, we have heard of one leaseholder calling their contents provider to ask the question and apparently this made no difference to the contents insurance policy and cost. However, this would (it is guessed) vary for each situation and it might be an idea if you speak with your contents provider to ask about any potential impacts.

12. What about buildings insurance impacts?

Council seems to think it will result in reduction to service charges though it may not make much difference to the service charge bottom line – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2018/08/10/retro-fitting-water-sprinklers-impact-on-building-insurance/

13. Some people have raised concerns about asbestos becoming a problem?

At best, we can only share what we have come across – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2018/08/12/retro-fitting-water-sprinklers-and-asbestos-concerns-raised/

14. How many days off work do I need to have a think about for installation, should I take time off work?

No information, that we know of, has been made available on this by the Council, however, one might consider Croydon’s experience as a proxy, refer to questions (8, 14 and 19) – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2018/06/27/faqs-about-water-sprinklers-by-croydon-council/

15. Has this situation been covered in the media?

On a few occasions it has, more recently, the following examples;

Sprinkler madness and Council incompetence (putneysw15)

http://www.putneysw15.com/default.asp?section=community&link=http://appasp.putneysw15.com/server/app/forum/ShowMessage.asp?ID=1270495

Residents Planning Protest Over Sprinkler Charges (putneysw15)

http://www.putneysw15.com/default.asp?section=info&link=http://neighbournet.com/server/common/consprinklersprotest001.htm

Even after Grenfell, tower block residents are being ignored (The Guardian)

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/31/grenfell-tower-block-tenants-tragedy?CMP=share_btn_fb#comment-119948786

Wandsworth residents concerned over council plans to retrofit sprinklers in tower blocks (Wandsworth Guardian)

http://www.wandsworthguardian.co.uk/news/16685359.wandsworth-residents-concerned-over-council-plans-to-retrofit-sprinklers-in-tower-blocks/

16. Anything else about water sprinklers?

Type ‘water sprinklers’ in the search section to see the many articles about this topic.

What do you think?

Please leave a comment on the blog with your thoughts.

 Caveats

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

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Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

Contact

Email us at – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – and let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have or add a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section. Please note that if an email is sent any response might be part of a generic group email.

Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;

 Or email your local Member of Parliament at;

For a different view of Roehampton, especially the Alton Estate

Breaking news about sprinklers from the Tribunal !!

Introduction

The below is an extract of an email sent to the Council, amongst others. Note that there are quite a few leaseholders which have replied, however it’s only 364 (to be fair more replies were likely to be received) out of 2,358 (15%). Maybe the summer holiday effect, or perhaps, leaseholders not yet understanding the cost of this or what it entails?

To see the numbers per ward – https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2017/11/08/alton-leaseholders-meeting-some-notes-6th-november-2017/

Email Extract

Sent: ‎Friday‎, ‎September‎ ‎7‎, ‎2018‎ ‎09‎:‎48‎:‎57‎ ‎AM‎ ‎BST

Subject: Re: 99 High Rise Block within London Borough of Wandsworth, London. LON/00BJ/LSC/20180286

Urgent.

Dear sirs,

I have been asked by Judge Powell to write to you about the arrangements for the case management hearing on Thursday, 27 September 2018 at 10:00am.  He has also asked that you place a copy of this letter on your website, so that leaseholders will be aware of the matters raised.

So far, the tribunal has received 364 reply forms to the preliminary directions; and new forms are being received every day.  Most indicate that the leaseholders concerned wish to attend the case management hearing on 27 September.  Given the very high level of interest in the application, it will not be possible for the tribunal to host the hearing at any tribunal or court hearing centre and, in any event, it would seem preferable for the hearing to take place in the borough, for the convenience of leaseholders.   

Therefore, the tribunal asks whether Wandsworth can provide, or knows of, any suitable venue in the borough where the case management hearing might be held?  The tribunal has in mind, perhaps, the Civic Suite, or a community hall, community centre or civil ceremony centre in the borough, which might accommodate maybe 400 or 450 people.   Although the hearing was planned to take two hours, half-a-day may be a more accurate estimate, given the interest.

I would be grateful if you could make enquiries and let me know as soon as possible if something can be arranged.

Meanwhile, the tribunal is considering other ways of explaining to leaseholders the essentially procedural nature of the hearing on 27 September; and it may provide a letter and draft directions in due course, for uploading onto the council’s website.  One option may be to invite written rather than oral submissions at the hearing; another might be to ask leaseholders to group together in their blocks or estates and nominate one or two people to be their spokesperson(s).  The tribunal will contact you again about this, in due course.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Regards

Case Officer

First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) Residential Property | HMCTS | 10 Alfred Place, | London | WC1E 7LR”

What do you think?

Please leave a comment on the blog with your thoughts.

Caveats

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

Receive articles into your inbox when uploaded on the blog

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

Contact

Email us at – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – and let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have or add a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section. Please note that if an email is sent any response might be part of a generic group email.

Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;

 Or email your local Member of Parliament at;

For a different view of Roehampton, especially the Alton Estate

Labour Party has been busy regarding sprinklers

Introduction

The Labour Party have been busy drumming up interest regarding the retro fitting of water sprinklers and the below refers to some activity.

Newsletter #1

Newsletter #2

What do you think?

Please leave a comment on the blog with your thoughts.

Caveats

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

Receive articles into your inbox when uploaded on the blog

To receive blog articles as they are uploaded please ‘follow’ the blog.

Please note that all information is provided on a best efforts basis and that readers should make their own efforts to review and assess the provided content.

Contact

Email us at – roeregeneration@yahoo.com – and let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have or add a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section. Please note that if an email is sent any response might be part of a generic group email.

Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;

 Or email your local Member of Parliament at;

For a different view of Roehampton, especially the Alton Estate