STATEMENT FROM CITY QUAY BOARD
Summary: Historic Fire/Health/Safety compliance problems mean we need to rip-up our budget and strategy and start over – AGM delayed until September 10, 2018
Dear Residents and Leaseholders
Due to recent events beyond our control and the lack of forethought of previous administrations, have led us to dramatically re-evaluate our priorities.
A recent Fire Safety Audit by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Services (MFRS) has highlighted significant shortcomings that range from the misuse of communal cupboards, to the design of the buildings themselves.
MFRS have noted severe compliance and fire safety issues, which must be addressed immediately.
- Removal of items from all communal cupboards, compartmentation survey and fire-proofing of communal cupboards
- Implement remedial works highlighted as ‘most severe’ in recent Electrical Installation Condition Report
- Test, remedy and certify communal emergency lighting
- Test, remedy and certify communal fire alarm system and detectors
- Seal holes and pipework in Adler Way car park
- Disconnect and remove all heaters from communal areas
Communal Service Cupboards
This is where residents of City Quay will notice the most immediate change. All cupboards have been cleared. Items found have been placed in Casemate 12. Please raise a ticket via the website to gain access. Items will be kept there until mid-July. After this date, we will begin disposing of the items found.
Please do not store any items in the communal cupboards.
Any items found in the in the cupboards in the future will be disposed of and the flat owner who placed items in the cupboards will be charged for the disposal.
Initially the MFRS Fire Officer stipulated that access to meter cupboards to be restricted to site personnel only using traditional keys. We explained the need to access the meters H24/365, at which the Fire Officer’s position softened slightly because they could see that we took the wider issues very seriously and had mobilized at speed to fulfill the fire safety demands and had a work schedule, plus clear a management process to get through it as quickly as we could.
That said, we have our own H&S and fire inspector working for us, to direct and co-ordinate the Fire compartmentalization etc. He helps keep us compliant and ensures we do the legal and right things always. Sadly, when he came to do a routine, random inspection the other day, more new junk was found in a previously emptied cupboard!!!
If/when the locks do get changed, new procedures will be published on the website and communal notice boards. For now, they can still be accessed using a ‘star’ key.
In the meantime, our advice to everyone would be to contact your supplier and upgrade to smart meters. These then can be read remotely read by your supplier, or in case of ‘Pay as you go’ topped up online. On our part, we try to negotiate with the major suppliers on your behalf and try to get all the meters upgraded across the whole of City Quay.
As with other aspects of CQ structure, core responsibilities are kept separate (e.g. legal, accounting, insurance), we have engaged the services of Liverpool based health and safety advisors, HSA Comply UK. They will liaise between MFRS and the Board. Their advice has already been invaluable, and in association with the hard work of the Maintenance Team, have saved leaseholders many thousands of pounds already.
To ensure we comply in areas such as Fire Detection and Emergency Lighting, we are urgently evaluating quotes from local contractors.
All the above requires us to re-focus our attention on ensuring compliance is achieved in a timely manner. This means other aspects of City Quay maintenance will retreat slightly for the short term. Landscaping, the Lake, decorating, and window cleaning amongst them. More members are being sought to join the Maintenance Team however, we are always mindful of the cost in terms of safety, time and money.
All the above needs to be done expediently and the cost will entail using some of our reserves. We are currently working with Berkeley Shaw and the Accountants to produce a new budget under the changed climate. This, along with an ongoing police investigation into historic financial discrepancies mean that we have taken the agonizing decision to delay the AGM until Monday September 10, 2018.
Yours sympathetically, City Quay Board
Gianfranco Boccuzzi, Jane Hayworth, Audrey McCurley, Brian Riley, Mike Riley, Brian Roche