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Minutes of AGM – 7th June 2017

Egerton Park Residents’ Association

Minutes of Annual General Meeting

held at The Lauries, Birkenhead

at 7pm on 7th June 2017


Attendance:   A number of residents plus 5 committee members.

Apologies:      1 apology was received.

  1. Welcome and Introductions/Residents’ Concerns

Those present identified the following concerns:

  • Derelict properties
  • Blocked storm drains (resurfacing has created a problem outside 24 EP)
  • Fly tipping
  • Litter and weeds
  • Pigeons (derelict properties)
  • Lumpy road surface
  • Loss of sense of community
  • Bins and rubbish at 45
  • Timing of AGM to encourage greater attendance
  • Parking and traffic increase
  • Public bins at entrance – misuse and overflow
  • Could the committee prepare a handout (sheet of A4) with useful contacts – council, Streetscene, anti-social behaviour, etc. to assist residents to report problems themselves?
  • Others said they were happy to live in the park and mentioned the dawn chorus as one of the many positives.
  1. Derelict Properties

The majority of those residents present highlighted derelict properties as their major concern.   The chair summarised the current position and reflected the committees’ frustration at the lack of progress in this matter over the last 12 months and since our last AGM.   He then circulated an email regarding development plans for 42 & 44,(previously Englewood Residential Home), 46 & 48 and 77.   There followed a general discussion about what further action could be taken.   It was suggested that the committee organise a petition for residents to sign about derelict sites, including photos of properties, to forward to the council, media, and possible use of social media?   Two representatives from the council’s Empty Property team will be attending the next meeting of the committee who will continue to press for action.   It will continue to be the committee’s top priority for action for the next 12 months.

  1. Road Repairs and Funds

The committee will continue its proactive and persistent approach to non payers.   Contact is now being made by letter with absentee owners/landlords informing them about the association and requesting their contribution to the maintenance fund.   The increasing difficulties in getting the council to take action due to cutbacks and its claim that, as Egerton Park is unadopted, it is a private road rather than a public highway was noted.   The committee have challenged this.

  1. CCTV Proposal

The committee asked for residents’ views about the proposal to site CCTV cameras at the park entrances to act as a disincentive and provide evidence for prosecution of anti-social behaviour.   Reservations were expressed about the effectiveness of cameras, the need to monitor them continuously and that cameras were likely to be vandalised.   Other concerns related to privacy and opposition to the impact that installing CCTV would have on the character of the park – a community solution might be more effective such as Neighbourhood Watch.   It was suggested that those present were not representative of park residents, all of whom would need to be consulted on such a proposal.   The cost was likely to be in the region of £3000 per camera and such use of residents’ money would need to be discussed more widely.   It was suggested that dummy cameras might be equally effective and that the possibility of obtaining grant funding (crime prevention) would be worth exploring, as was the possibility of discussing the proposal with the local crime prevention officer.   There followed a general discussion about the loss of sense of community, and the lack of sense ownership of the park of some residents, including many who live in flats, and that this disinterest means they are less likely to contribute to our funds.

  1. Committee Membership

One resident has now become a full member of the committee and another was nominated at the meeting.   Agreed.

Sadly our current treasurer is resigning from the committee after 11 years.   Thanks were given to her for all her work for the park over this period.   We are anxious to recruit more members to the committee with fresh ideas, and particularly anyone with book keeping experience who would be prepared to take on the role of treasurer.

  1. Priorities for 2017/2018
  • Prioritise issues of empty and derelict properties in the park (petition, meeting with developer, council, media etc.)
  • Continue to pursue households that do not pay towards the residents’ association funds (including absentee owners and landlords)
  • Continue with road repair/resurfacing
  • Ongoing vigilance and surveillance of planning applications
  • Reporting of anti-social behaviour and other nuisance issues (wider consultation with residents re CCTV proposal – develop contact list for residents)
  • Keep residents informed via newsletters and occasional emails
  • Consider holding a ‘Clear up Egerton Park Day’ (fix date for litter and weed clearance)
  • Investigate storm drains and whether more clearing is needed
  1. AOB

Could a car boot sale be organised to raise funds?   The committee would provide support but would require additional volunteers to organise.

Speed bumps – could some of these be removed?   This is an ongoing issue with differing views about a solution.


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AGM 7th June 2017 – Chair’s Report

Egerton Park Residents’ Association

AGM     7th June 2017   –   Report of Committee Chair

At last year’s AGM you, as residents, set the following priorities for 2016/17.

  •       Develop a strategic approach to issues of empty & derelict properties in the park;
  •       Continue to pursue households that do not pay towards the residents’ association funds;
  •       Continue with road repair/resurfacing issues;
  •       Ongoing vigilance and surveillance of planning applications;
  •       Reporting of anti-social behaviour and other nuisance issues;
  •       Keep residents informed via newsletters and occasional emails;
  •       Consider holding a ‘Clear up Egerton Park Day’.

Derelict Properties & Sites

Throughout 2016 we met with Moira McLaughlin, Councillor for Rock Ferry ward; Councillor George Davies, Deputy Council Leader and Cabinet member for Housing & Community Safety; and David Ball, Head of Regeneration at Wirral Borough Council.   All 3 of these met with the committee and visited all of the derelict sites in the park on a number of occasions.   Because all the derelict sites are privately owned there is no “quick fix” and the council has to work with potential developers to encourage action rather than imposing it.   However, on balance the lack of any proactive steps by the local authority on our behalf has been the single most disappointing aspect of this year.   We have invited a member of the local authority to the AGM and will continue to “plug away” but at the time of writing sadly we have nothing positive to report.

The Residents’ Association Funds

We have (again) carried out a regular and consistent campaign throughout 2016/17 to encourage those households that do not pay towards the work of the residents’ association that they should do so.   Every non-paying household has received invoices and reminder letters and we have responded to a range of individual queries and complaints from those who do not wish to pay.   We have continued to develop an effective database of all households’ contribution history and can tell at a glance who has paid, who is in arrears and have a complete history of contributions back to 2005.   The percentage of households paying their fees has gradually increased again this year and the majority now pay but there is still more work to do.   We propose that this remains a priority for 2017/18.

Road Repairs/Resurfacing Issues

Once again we have carried out a significant number of road repairs to both the north and south drives in the park.   In particular you will know that we carried out a major repair at the Bebington Road entrance to the park at the end of last year which involved closing the entrance for 2 hours.   In the current year we have spent £4560 on road repairs and, at the time of writing, another set of road repairs is planned for the end of May 2017.

Ongoing Vigilance and Surveillance of Planning Applications

The committee has continued to monitor any and all planning applications throughout the year although they have been few and far between.   We currently know of no major plans affecting the park.

Reporting of Anti-Social Behaviour and Other Nuisance Issues

The committee remains vigilant about these issues and maintains regular contact with police community support officers and local councillors but there appears to have been a decrease in the amount of anti-social incidents this year.   Graffiti has remained a feature but is less prominent than last year.   Another nuisance has been some limited fly-tipping and a number of groups of young people entering derelict properties, especially number 77.   In addition, spring saw the temporary return of our occasional travelling French man complete with his tent.   Residents are reminded that local homeless charities have done their utmost to rehome him and that feeding him or offering him money etc. only encourages him to stay here and stay homeless.   Residents who occupy the flats at number 45 seem to think that the drive and the road outside that property is a rubbish dump and permanently leave overflowing bins on the road.   We have sought assistance from the council and have written to the property owner and will continue to pursue this.   Eventually we hope our pressure will lead to a prosecution.

We ask all residents to remain vigilant and to report any matters of concern to the relevant authorities as and when they arise including Wirral Council’s Street Scene department, your local councillors and the police.   As always, the committee is happy to be kept informed of any issues but we have no special influence and rely on residents themselves to take appropriate action with the relevant department when a concern arises.

One issue we are actively considering is whether or not to commission some CCTV cameras in the park to detect and deter anti-social and criminal behaviour as well as fly-tipping.   We have undertaken initial research and costings but need to discuss these at the AGM.

Keep Residents Informed via Newsletters and Occasional Emails

The committee has continued to produce newsletters 3 times a year and our website continues to have numerous visits throughout the year.   In addition to hand delivering the newsletters we have posted onto the site information about a whole host of issues as well as uploading items from our newsletters, articles and pictures about Egerton Park history.   This seems to be very popular and we will continue to do this.   Numerous residents have used the site to contact us to raise our awareness on everything from local crime concerns to nuisance issues and to ask general questions or make suggestions to the committee.   If we do not currently have your email address please send it to us with a note of what number you live at using the comment box below.

Consider Holding a ‘Clear Up Egerton Park Day’

I think this issue slipped down our 2016/17 agenda so let us know your views at the AGM about resurrecting it.

The Committee’s Planned Priorities for 2017/18          (subject to residents’ agreement)

We propose that these remain almost identical to the previous year’s priorities as follows:

  •       Prioritise issues of empty & derelict properties in the park;
  •      Continue to pursue households that do not pay towards the residents’ association funds;
  •       Continue with road repair/resurfacing;
  •       Ongoing vigilance and surveillance of planning applications;
  •       Reporting of anti-social behaviour and other nuisance issues – maybe install CCTV;
  •       Keep residents informed via quarterly newsletters and occasional emails;
  •       Consider holding a ‘Clear up Egerton Park Day’.

Once again we all owe a debt of gratitude to residents who pay towards the upkeep of the park and to the residents’ committee for their work throughout the year.   After this year’s AGM our treasurer will be stepping down.   She has served the committee for 10 years so I thank her on your behalf for her hard work and ask that other residents think about standing or nominating someone to take her place.   We would welcome any new committee members to be nominated at the AGM.   We currently hold meetings about 6 times a year and it is not too onerous or time-consuming so if you are interested in joining the committee please let us know.

Chair, Egerton Park Residents’ Association  –         May 2017

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Road Repairs – Eg Pk News (Spring 2017)

Thanks to our regular contributors, we have now accumulated sufficient funds to repair another patch of the road.   As most of the worst potholes have been fixed, we think it would make good sense to repair another large section like the patch at the top entrance.   We will take the advice of our regular contractor and make sure we get a good price.   In February, we also delivered reminder letters and invoices to those residents who do not currently contribute to the maintenance fund and are pleased to report that this has generated additional payers.   We continue to deliver Welcome Packs to new residents but are reliant on yourselves to let us know if you have a new neighbour.

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Road Repairs Letter and Invoice – 19/02/2017

The following letter was delivered on Sunday, 19th February to all those households which, so far this financial year (01/04/16 – 31/03/17), have not contributed to the road repairs fund.

Dear Egerton Park Neighbour,


As you will be aware, the road in Egerton Park is unadopted by the council which means the owner of each property is legally responsible for the upkeep of the road along their frontage.

It was for this reason that Egerton Park Residents’ Association was established in 2005, and it was agreed that each household should pay £60 a year, or £5 a month, towards maintaining the road and other items of infrastructure, such as the entrance pillars and traffic islands.   However, we are reliant on property owners paying their fees when due in order to continue to maintain the road and infrastructure.   Most residents are happy to contribute what amounts to £1.15 a week, i.e. less than the price of a cup of coffee, to make the park safer and more pleasant for all of us.

Since April 2015, a total of £11,210 has been spent by the residents’ association on road repairs.   Most recently £3,000 was spent resurfacing the Bebington Road entrance in November 2016.

Our records indicate that, although we delivered an invoice to you in September 2016, you still have not made any contribution to the upkeep of the road this financial year, and your payment is now overdue.  If you think we are mistaken, please accept our apologies and contact us to correct our records.   If you are a tenant, please pass this letter to your landlord.   Overleaf is a duplicate invoice for this financial year with details of how to pay.

Those who do not pay towards the maintenance fund would not be covered by our public liability insurance if an accident were to occur outside their property.

Householders who have contributed £5 a month/£60 a year since the fund was established have paid a total of £660, though there are others who have paid much more.

Since the fund was set up in 2006 we have received £…………….. for your address, this is a shortfall of £……………     We last received £………….. on………………………………. for………………………………………………………

We would agree to waive your outstanding arrears if you start, and continue to make, regular payments now whether it be by yearly payment or monthly standing order.   If this happens we will treat your account as up to date.   Clearly, if you are a new resident we would not expect you to be responsible for amounts due from the previous owner.   However, we do need everyone’s contribution in order to continue to improve the road surface.

Together we can make a difference but without your support we cannot.

We look forward to receiving your contribution towards the cost of repairing the road.

Yours faithfully,

The Committee

Egerton Park Residents’ Association

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United Utilities – Eg Pk News (Christmas 2016)

One of our residents contacted us to inform us that they were attending a meeting with United Utilities, and offered to represent any concerns about water supply and drainage in the park.   This resulted in a meeting between one of your committee and a representative from United Utilities.   Stuart Minton (United Utilities) informed us that the sewers in the park had been surveyed in the last 12 months and were in a good state of repair.   However, the law on private sewer ownership had changed on 1st October 2011.

Stuart explained that the new law now means that you, or the owner of your property, are only responsible for the drainage pipe which serves your own property.   Sewer pipes which are shared by more than one property, or run beyond your property boundary, have become United Utilities’ responsibility.

Prior to this legislation, if a private sewer pipe got damaged or blocked, you might have to pay for repairs, even if the pipe was not within your property boundary.   Similarly, if you shared a sewer pipe with your neighbour, you could have ended up paying for a costly repair for an issue that was not your fault.   The new rules are designed to prevent these kinds of problems from occurring.

United Utilities have agreed to redistribute a leaflet to every household in the park to explain about this change in the next few weeks.   They have also agreed to distribute some information advising what householders should do to keep their drains flowing freely e.g. by disposing of cooling fat in heat resistant containers and not flushing wet-wipes, cotton buds etc. down the toilet.   We hope this information will be of use to residents.   

Many thanks to resident, John, for alerting us to the meeting and supplying us with an excellent United Utilities contact.   Thanks also to Stuart Minton from United Utilities, who has agreed, with his team, to distribute these leaflets for us.

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Road Repairs – Eg Pk News (Christmas 2016)

Residents cannot fail to have noticed the large section of road that was repaired at the top entrance to Egerton Park on Monday 21st November.   We decided we needed to target our funds at this section which gets the highest volume of traffic, and took the advice of our regular contractor who suggested that the only option was to close the entrance to vehicles (except emergency vehicles) for a two-hour period.   We chose a Monday mid-morning to minimise inconvenience to residents, and notices were hand-delivered to all residents of the park alerting them to the closure.   The work is now complete and the day passed without incident apart from the atrocious weather.   The total cost of repairs at the entrance was £3000 with a number of patches also repaired on the north side of the park.   Our regular contractor has done an excellent job despite the dreadful conditions.

Following completion of the work we also delivered letters to all those residents who do not contribute to the park maintenance fund in the anticipation that, as they and their visitors are road users who also contribute to its wear and tear, they will be encouraged to start making regular payments.

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Road Repairs Letter – 26/11/2016

The following letter was delivered to a number of residences in Egerton Park on 26th November 2016.   The road repairs were done on Monday 21st November.

Dear Egerton Park Neighbour,

As you will have noticed, road repairs costing £4000 have recently been carried out in Egerton Park, including a large section at the top entrance.    As all residents use this entrance, it is subject to the most wear and tear and therefore vital that this section of the road is maintained to a good standard.

Our records show that you currently make no contribution to the Residents’ Association which funds these repairs.   In effect this means that your neighbours are paying for these repairs on your behalf.   You are also one of a decreasing minority of residents who do not contribute.

Even if you do not own a car, your friends and family will.    And we all need emergency vehicles, taxis, the bin men and delivery vans to be able to access the park.   The state of the road also has an impact on the value of properties.

In order that we continue to keep the road in a good state we feel it is only fair that everyone should pay their share.   We hope therefore that you will now make a contribution.

If you are a tenant, please pass this letter to the landlord/owner of the property.   Even if you are a tenant, this is about the safety and appearance of where you live, and consequently many tenants have also decided to contribute what is the very small sum of £1.15 per week.

Details of how to pay are on the reverse of this letter.

Yours faithfully,

Egerton Park Residents’ Committee

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