External Gate Issues
Between January 2015 and September 2017 we have been charged for 12 push-button locks (security code type), with a small amount of associated hardware, across the site at a cost of £4438.24. There may well have been locksmith call outs to re-sit or repair these as well, but we are unsure of the cost of this service as it was before the current boards time and accounts are not fully clear at this stage.
Apparently, both the previous on-site Manager and the Caretaker have also had to spend a good deal of time attempting to repair and maintain the locks, the closing mechanism, hinges and other associated gate closure equipment at various times over the same period. Unfortunately, we cannot quantify a financial cost of this extra and probably unnecessary work as it is not recorded but there were a lot of complaints made in the past.
Some of the external gate lock issues are minor, geographical location (salt exposure), more typically, it is the equipment being exposed to the normal elements (external location) and some is the rough treatment on the gates as a whole (e.g. climbing over the fence, using the gate as a ladder, or even the possibility of deliberate damage.)
Clearly, this is neither an efficient use of the site funds, nor a particularly secure method of closing the 5 pedestrian gates around the site. Given the nature of these locks, some appear significantly older than the others, they only have a 12 month warranty, and the fact that so many people who are not associated with City Quay know the code to them, we are not going to replace the locks yet, but instead attempt some running repairs on them. We will investigate the possibility of changing some internal components or even swapping the locks between lesser used gates, like the one next to the Power Distribution building at the main gate. We will also put anti climb paint on the top of the gates if necessary to limit people climbing over.
Security as part of a wider site strategy
More importantly, we are going through an re-assessment of the Health and Safety of the site, which was promised early last year but not delivered. Security of the site and individual personal safety are highest on our priority list which sadly gets longer by the day, which we also juggle with the priority of maintaining the aesthetics and feeling of comfort and wellness around the site, i.e. making City Quay a great place to live.
We are looking at better ways to open the pedestrian gates, improving the security of the key fobs for opening and closing the vehicular gates, improving the pin code access for the same gates and importantly sorting the shambolic mess of the main front doors to each block.
You can rest assured that this specific rear gate, its usage and the general area around it, such as improved lighting and cameras are high on our list of things to do, but we intend to include them within a wider security improvement strategic review of the site as a whole. For too long the site has had a haphazard approach, to integrating key systems into a central policy approach to a better site management.
We will attempt a running repair on the gate, but only at a low cost to the site. This may include use and re-use of equipment on other gates. We also will look to fix the automatic closing mechanisms on this gate and the others but not at any significant cost to City Quay. We will follow up with a broader view of security and report back soon with our findings to any forthcoming meetings of the Residents Group as well as publish them on the Forum, web site, Facebook and locally place updates on the internal noticeboards.