Week 12 Constructive Conversation

Bricks on pavement

Bricks outside Slowley House 9.41 am 10 August 2015

Previously in ‘Tales from Hanson Street’

  • City West Homes are carrying out the first major refurbishment of Victorian / Edwardian apartment blocks in Fitzrovia since the last century
  • Scaffolding is being erected on 7 blocks in Hanson Street, W1
  • Some residents have been living behind scaffolding and green netting for over 11 weeks
  • Since the scaffolding works began, the main contractor, Axis, has rarely been visible in Hanson Street
  • Since 10 August, however, there has been more activity
  • Communications with City West and the main contractor Axis have been intermittent
  • Communications with City West improved with the arrival of a new liaison officer at City West
  • There has been no communication from Axis since 14 July. However, a new Axis liaison officer has just started work
  • What many residents want to know is ‘when will the programme of works be completed?’

Meeting with managers and staff from both City West and Axis

Today we had a frank and constructive meeting with senior managers from both City West Homes and Axis. They listened to what we had to say about the lack of progress so far.

thumb_DSCN7078_1024

The view from my window

Works have started in earnest

Axis assured us that they are pushing ahead with the work. I have definitely noticed more activity since Monday 10 August. Axis are prioritising repairs to the roof, the windows, the mantels and the external walls. Only when this work is done can Axis begin to paint the windows and the communal areas. It makes sense.

New letter to residents from City West

City West shared a letter to residents with a revised schedule for the works. Paint colours for the communal areas have been decided. This letter is going out to all residents this week. City West said that in future they will send us fortnightly progress reports. In response to a request from me, City West also said they would share the independent assessor reports with us.

Fixing overflows

In addition, City West undertook to sort out some longstanding issues to do with overflows that are separate to the refurbishment works. If City West can stop the water dripping down the rear Slowley House, residents who have had to put up with lime encrusted windows and damp basement areas for nearly 2 years will be extremely grateful.

It never pours but it rains

Axis said they would do their best to keep to the schedule. Axis told us that so far they have lost 17.5 days because of poor weather. It is pouring with rain as I write this blog…

Looking ahead

It seems clear that residents in Hanson Street will be living behind scaffolding and green netting until at least September. It was important to have the conversation with both City West and Axis sitting around the same table with residents. The conversation we had today feels like a step in the right direction. There are signs of a collective will to get things back on track. At last we can put faces to names.

So thanks to everyone from both City West Homes and Axis for coming to talk with us. And lets hope the weather stays fine!

Dunster House on 5 August, 12.56

Dunster House on 5 August, 12.56

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