CQ Update – Aug 2020

Dear Residents

An update to you all regarding matters relevant to City Quay.

Sandstone Cliff and Casemate Update

We said we would keep you updated on progress with regards the assessment of the sandstone cliff and Casemates following the land slip on the Nuffield Site close to our gate and movement on City Quay side of cliff.

As you know following the slip we engaged with the city council, Health and Safety Executive and Environment Agency. The HSE provided advice on safety measures, which as you know we put in place immediately to protect the safety of residents. However it quickly became clear that the council and environment agency did not want to take responsibility despite correspondence from the Board.

The Board have since escalated the issues to the Mayor of Liverpool, CEO of Liverpool City Council and our local MP. To date (after more than 4 weeks wait) we have only had a response from our MP.

Given the risks and issues, to protect the safety if residents and financial position of leaseholders we therefore instructed a surveyor to assess the cliff and Casemates. This was to determine stability, risks and to determine next steps as well as enable us to engage with the Council and Environment Agency using expertise and an expert report.

The surveyors have now completed their on-site assessment of the cliff and Casemate. They are now using that to produce a report for City Quay, including recommendations for action which we will use to engage with the Council and Environment Agency as well as determine recommendations on next steps which we will discuss with Leaseholders at the AGM. The surveyors are also completing final checks on the source of the water escape which flows down the cliff onto City Quay as well as ownership checks.

We will share the report and proposed actions with leaseholders once received.

Accounts / Audit 2020 and AGM

The accounts have now been finalised and as requested at the AGM in 2019, been independently audited.

The accounts and audit opinions will be circulated to residents shortly as part of the AGM pack.

We are looking to hold the AGM in September and will ensure the accounts, audit opinion and AGM pack are with residents within the deadlines set in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.

We are currently sourcing venues and will communicate a confirmed date for the AGM next week.

Works On-site

Decoration / Re-Carpet

We are pleased to confirm that the schedule published earlier in the summer for redecoration of communal hallways is on track and being completed to schedule.

Flat Roofs Ellerman Road Blocks

The flat roofs on the blocks of apartments on Ellerman Road have exceeded their life span. The roofs had a span of between 10 and 15 years but have now been in place for between 17 and 19 years. This therefore means they are no longer covered for any damage or leaks by our insurance policies.

The Board had engaged with numerous suppliers over many months before lockdown to replace the roofs and ensure the buildings structural integrity was maintained. Unfortunately lockdown then delayed further engagement.

We are now pleased this work has been able to commence with all the flat roofs being replaced during August, September and early October.

This will require scaffolding to be in place on the car park side of buildings for a number of weeks. We have now written to all leaseholders/residents affected and set out the schedule of works including impacts and actions leaseholders and residents need to take.

We have worked with suppliers to try and minimise disruption whilst these essential works are carried out. Should you have any issues with the works or suppliers during this time please do email the board at board@cityquay.com

Current and Future Works

Dear Residents

We’ve had a number of people ask what’s happening in Casemate One?

As per the Boards previous communication we are taking action to ensure the casemates and cliff are stable and safe following recent land slip and tree collapse.

As part of this the casemates and cliff are being surveyed, the casemates are in different states of repair and are of different types. Some are simply cut into the sandstone others have brick or concrete arches and walls.

In order for the surveyor to be able to undertake the relevant testing, we needed one of the brick casemates to be sandblasted of any loose material and to clean away the material off the brick arches. This sandblasting work will be completed this week so the noise will cease then.

Once we have the report and understand the stability of the casemates / cliff we will put the report and options to leaseholders at the AGM.

We apologise for short term noise but hope you understand this work is being done for the benefit of city quay leaseholders and to ensure we comply with our duties under the Health and Safety Act.

CCTV Installation

Work will shortly commence to install upgraded CCTV. We are starting with ensuring all the main entry and exit points are covered with high resolution CCTV. We are also ensuring the bike storage casemates are covered.

To do this we need to have an electricity supply so work will commence in the coming weeks to ensure in those areas there is sufficient electricity supply to support the CCTV installation.

We will notify you before the work commences. We do not anticipate the works being long and only a number of days.

Update on Sandstone Cliff and Health and Safety Issues

Dear Leaseholders / Residents ,

As you are aware the Board have been working with Nuffield our neighbours following the recent cliff slippage.

The Board have been engaged with the Council and Environment Agency.

We secured an immediate inspection by the council on Thursday 2nd July.

This inspection however was only to confirm the immediate risk to residents and the public had been addressed. The council confirmed the closure of the gate to Nuffield site and in front of casemates was the appropriate action to secure residents and public protection.

The issues of wider cliff stability however is still being addressed The council and environment agency have however each stated it is the other organisations responsibility.

The council have also stated they believe it is either the Environment Agency or the leaseholders of City Quay.

The Board are clear and have maintained the position that whilst the 999 year lease for City Quay is clear that we are responsible for the Casemates and their maintenance we are not responsible for the cliff face.

We are therefore now exploring our legal options and have gone out for quotes for a survey report of the cliff stability to inform next steps.

We are clear we should not as leaseholders be expected to pay for and have responsibility for maintaining a cliff that is holding up a public highway above as well as housing.

This is likely to be a complex process as we fight to get the local authority or environment agency to meet their obligations. We will keep you posted.

We are also looking to address the fly tipping issues onto the cliff from the public highway above. We have been clear of the health and safety risk this poses to residents and the public alike. We had planning consent for increasing the railing height refused . We have therefore sought a meeting with the Mayor of Liverpool after a poor response over many months from council officials. We will again keep you posted on this.

We this afternoon had a perfect example of the effect of fly tipping when the weight of rubbish forced a tree on the cliff to collapse. This 3 ton tree was left hanging perilously. The board engaged with the council and health and safety executive for 2 hours before finally securing emergency removal of the tree for the safety of residents. This has saved leaseholders a significant amount of money but was not easy.

In the meantime please observe the signage and other safety netting in place and stay clear of the casemates.

City Quay Re-Carpeting and Re-Decorating Schedule

The Board of Directors is pleased to be able to provide an update on the continuing schedule of re-decoration and re-carpeting of all communal areas within blocks. The new colour scheme and carpeting modernises the look and feel of the blocks and is a significant improvement which will add to both the value and attractiveness of City Quay apartments.

The schedule was drawn up with the following criteria;

  • Immediate Health and Safety Issues 
  • Significant visual damage caused by external seal failure
  • 5 years since last painted (the order being those painted longest time ago first)

All external communal window seals with issues have now been replaced. A monitoring regime is now in place for other communal window seals.

The following Blocks have already been re-painted and re-carpeted prior to lockdown.

  • CQ6 – The block facing the lake at top end with white centre. All floors, wings have been re-painted and re-carpeted.
  • 1 – 8, 42 – 49, 82 – 89, 104 -115, 348 – 355, 134 – 139.

In planning the future schedule, we have continued to apply the criteria set out above. We have had to plan the schedule considering funds available, other priorities for funds and the time for re-painting as set out in the leases being every 5 years. We appreciate leaseholders may want their blocks prioritised but by following the above criteria and the time set out in the lease we are ensuring a fair process. Where funds allow, we will pull forward dates where possible but, in the order, set out below.

For those future dates set out below with just months not specific dates we will be confirming 4 weeks in advance to leaseholders/residents the specific dates that month that the work will be undertaken. Re-carpeting of all blocks will take place 48 hours after painting completes.

The suppliers will be following guidance issued by Her Majesty’s Government during Coronavirus. For those residents with health issues or worries please do contact the Board and we will happily discuss any concerns via board@cityquay.com

The below is the schedule for all other blocks;

BLOCK                   DATE START     DATE FINISH

URGENT SAFETY NOTICE

IMMEDIATE REGULATIONS (ISSUED Under Section 8.4 of Lease Covenenants )

Dear Leaseholders/ Residents ,

With IMMEDIATE effect the Board have no choice but to remove access to site via the gate by Nuffield gym due to a small section of the sandstone cliff collapsing onto the area directly below.

Leaseholders/Residents MUST NOT use this gate for their own safety until the Board have been able to securely block access, which we hope to do tomorrow.

The gate will remain out of use until further notice.

Residents MUST also stay away from the areas directly in front of the case mates. No person or vehicle may enter the red bricked area in front of the casemates.

We will be having a geological safety survey undertaken as soon as possible and will be pursuing all avenues tomorrow.

We hope you understand we have issues these site regulations for your safety and protection and will update you as soon as we can.

City Quay will not be liable or responsible for any damage caused to persons or property for failing to adhere to these immediate regulations.

New Directors

The current City Quay Directors would like to welcome some new and familiar additions to the Board. Let’s hear from them in their own words:

“I have owned and lived on-site with my husband Kevin for 14 years. I am a senior project, procurement and health and safety consultant and have worked on major private sector and government projects across the UK over the last 20 years. I am looking forward to using my skills and expertise on-site to support the continued improvement of the site for residents.” – Linda Burke

“I’ve been in Liverpool and been an owner at CQ since 2010. I love this place and I understand how lucky we all are to live in a very special and unique location. I’m an hotel operator (General Manager) and I have worked for Intercontinental Hotels and for the last 10 years for Hilton. Prior to Liverpool, I was in Manchester and London.” – Gianfranco Boccuzzi

“I have Lived in City Quay for over 4 years now. I am formerly a fashion retailer owner and have had shops throughout the UK (formally retired). I look forward to bringing my skills and passion of City Quay for all residents to make our little oasis a beautiful environment for residents to enjoy and to address all remedial works to as required.” – Audrey McCurley

The new directors have been appointed by the current Board until their position can be ratified at the next AGM.

City Quay 2020 AGM

At the last AGM we tentatively set the date of the next one for Saturday 11 July. With the current COVID pandemic and HMG restrictions in place the Board have been considering the best approach to take to make sure the AGM proceeds.

We therefore want to seek your views.

Please note that regardless of approach to the AGM we will still send out / communicate accounts to you and budget / plan for year ahead.

The options for the AGM are therefore:

1) To continue with July, as originally proposed. However this would have to be held online via zoom due to current restrictions.

Attendees would need to register their interest prior to the event. The Zoom link would then be sent out a few days before.

This is allowed under the current HMG guidance provided by companies house.

2) Postpone the AGM to October when it may be possible to hold with social distancing at a venue in the city. We recognise that an online remote AGM for many is not ideal and people may prefer attendance in person.

Please note October would be conditional on HMG guidance at the time and subject to being able to implement suitable safe distancing etc.

So we would like the views of owners and Members of the Company to both options before we proceed with arrangements.

As mentioned at the beginning, this the start of a dialogue with you all. Comments and suggestions are welcome. You can comment in public via Facebook or the forum, or you can email contact@cityquay.com in confidence.

We look forward to hearing from you and in the meantime please stay safe.

Comments

Windy Weather

Dear Residents

Due to the high winds today and forecast for rest of the weekend we ask you to please:

  • NOT open communal windows. As you can see from photo below the wind has already blown one window out.
  • If you walk past a communal window that’s open, please close it.
  • Ensure balcony furniture is secured.
Image may contain: plant, tree, table and outdoor

Please stay away from casemates and DO NOT walk on red bricked area or park there for any reason as risk of trees falling / branches debris falling is high.

CQ VE Day Schedule

Join your neighbours for nationwide stay at home party.

11 AM – UK Wide 2 Minute Silence – Air raid warning will sound for 75 seconds before 11 am so residents who wish to can come out on to balconies / to windows to observe the 2 minutes silence together.

3 PM – The Party Starts – an air raid siren will sound – Winston Churchill’s speech will be played on BBC. Then grab your picnic/drinks and go to balcony. A UK Wide Toast to Veterans directly after speech. We will join in to “Bless em All” by Dame Vera Lynn. (“Bless em all” is available on Amazon Music/iTunes – for residents who wish to please play the song)

This will be followed by a Simon playing “In the Mood” – please feel free to join in. Simon and Ed will then play a further song.

Residents are then encouraged to play their own music and enjoy a party. We ask residents who can, join in by playing the following songs from the war era at the following times:

4:15 PM – Land of Hope and Glory – Dame Vera Lynn
4:45 PM – White Cliffs of Dover – Dame Vera Lynn
5:30 PM – There’ll Always be an England – Dame Vera Lynn
6:15 PM – Flower of Scotland – Red Hot Chilli Pipers
6:45 PM – Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy – Bette Midler

9 PM – HM The Queens Speech – Followed by UK Wide Sing along of “ We’ll Meet Again” .

9:30 PM – End of Programme

VE Day: City Quay Celebrates and Remembers From Home Safely

May 8th marks 75 years since the Nazi surrender and Victory In Europe was declared. The bank holiday was moved this year to the 8th of May to allow us as a nation to celebrate and say thank you to all those who served and all those who lost their lives to make that victory possible.

Sadly due to Covid19 all the previous plans of national celebration of our veterans and remembrance of those who never came home have had to be cancelled. The Government however have encouraged households across the UK to put out flags, bunting and to celebrate safely at home to mark this important day.

As City Quay has shown on the Thursday clap for Carers and NHS workers we are a community. The Board therefore feel we should answer the Governments call and once again as a community show our support, gratitude and thanks to all those who served and all those who endured. So we will be decorating parts of the site this coming week and encourage all residents to show the red white and blue on their balconies and windows.

Or if you have a different national flag please do display with pride. Of course the UK had many allies and we will be trying to recognise all those ally nations and their forces as well in our decorations. It’s an opportunity for us as a community to celebrate safely on our balconies and from our windows.

We will be looking at putting together plans for safe celebrations in the next 48 hours and will communicate them once we have finalised. It’s a great opportunity for us as a community to recognise the sacrifices of that war generation, have a good old “knees up“ together but safely in our homes.

City Quays marking the occasion is also poignant given it’s (Herculaneum Dock) historic link with the war effort. Many of you will see the casemates (big black iron doors at entrance of them) as you walk around the site. The reason these are Grade II listed is because they stored the oil and armaments sent to the UK by the USA during WWII prior to them being transported to the front lines.

In the meantime in preparation do look on-line at the governments celebration pack and pop a bit of decoration for your apartment in your basket at your next shop. https://ve-vjday75.gov.uk/get-involved/