OCRA 2021 Annual General Meeting
The OCRA Online AGM was held on Wednesday, 16 June 2021. The meeting was open to all Leaseholders and residents of Oakwood Court who are OCRA members. We began the meeting by welcoming Freshwater representatives Annabelle Louvros and Foisal Miah, followed by a Q&A session in which Annabelle responded to questions submitted in advance of the meeting.
OCRA Chairman, Kazi Ariff, discussed highlights of the activities expected in 2021-22. David Gottlieb made a presentation on the challenges that OCRA is presently facing with regard to our relationship with Freshwater, and Laith Malhas reviewed OCRA accounts for 2020. Kate Cullinan provided an update on the traffic calming measures in Oakwood Court, information from the local police including the rise in crimes on scooters and bikes in central London, and she politely reminded residents to follow the rules in the communal garden.
Highlights of the latest OCRA Newsletter:
Porters' lodge update
On 20 July 2021 the RBKC Planning Applications Committee discussed Freshwater’s proposed redevelopment project to convert the porters’ office into residential quarters. Representatives of OCRA spoke at the meeting on behalf of the residents and porters of Oakwood Court to voice our strong objections to the proposal.
The Planning Applications Committee acknowledged that there were significant and valid concerns from residents about the potential loss of porters, loss of community space and loss of amenity. However, planning permission was granted because there are no council policies protecting these community spaces and the Council was concerned that it would be dragged into a costly appeal.
Bay beam replacement project
We had expected the bay beam project to begin by June/July, but it appears to be delayed due to a decision to include one other flat in Block 9. The new start date is yet to be announced. We hope to have five flats done next year (£65K per flat) and five flats done the following year. This is a priority because of insistence from our insurers.
Upon challenge from OCRA, Freshwater has agreed to withdraw the Notice and over the next few weeks we expect them to issue a new one based on prioritising Blocks 1, 7, 10 and 11, which need to be done with the utmost urgency. Beyond that, the other lifts can be modernised at a much slower pace and keeping within the original budget of £50K per lift.
Freshwater has announced that works to the Block 1 lift will commence on 31 August and will take six weeks to complete with final testing scheduled on 11 October. Residents should contact the porters for assistance with shopping, etc while the lift is out of service.
The internal decoration on the ground floor communal areas will be freshened up with light redecoration on the ground and basement levels and some upper floors as required. Four quotes have already been received and Freshwater is prioritising the blocks that need to be refreshed. OCRA had expected this project to be done in 2021 and we are putting pressure on Freshwater to start this as soon as possible.
Fire alarm system upgrade
OCRA has been informed that the fire alarm system at Oakwood Court must be upgraded in order to comply with current fire safety requirements. The existing fire alarm system needs to be replaced with one that incorporates heat detectors and audible sounders in each flat. There is also a requirement to undertake significant works in the basement store cupboards and intake rooms with fireproof materials. This is a very large project that will entail 14 rooms.
Speed bumps in Oakwood Court
OCRA conducted a residents’ survey regarding traffic calming measures in Oakwood Court. Residents were strongly in favour of installing speed bumps to slow traffic in Oakwood Court, so OCRA has been lobbying the council. An NCIL bid (Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy) was submitted and funds awarded, for traffic speed bumps to be installed. Local consultation on design is expected to be done by the end of summer and we hope that the speed bumps will be installed by end of this year.
Watch out for handbag and mobile phone "grabs"
OCRA has begun attending “Wardians” meetings with the local Kensington police ward panel, a forum designed to build connections with the local police and provide feedback on local policing priorities. The Metropolitan Police are cracking down on scooters and bikes on pavements which have become a real issue since lockdown. There has been a spate of scooter crime, particularly handbag and mobile phone “grabs” as this is quite easy to do from a speeding scooter.
Donate to OCRA
You can make a donation to OCRA
by debit card, credit card or PayPal.
Simply click the yellow button below.
Alternatively, you can donate by cheque. Cheques should be made payable to "OCRA" and sent to Kate Cullinan at 25 Oakwood Court. Please write your full name, flat number and email address on the reverse of your cheque.
Residents are politely reminded to follow the communal garden by-laws and regulations.