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april 09

GNTOWER UPDATE

This update has been launched by a group of leaseholders and residents who have a positive commitment to the Great Northern Tower

leaseholders and residents take control of GNTMC from april 2009 After several months of discussion, the leaseholders in the Great Northern Tower have now taken control of the management company GNTMC (Great Northern Tower Management Company) Ltd.

Realising last November that we needed a rigorous review of the full budget provision to take account of changes since 2005, we have worked with Taylor Wimpey and Stevens Scanlan to ensure sufficient provision through service charges in order to run Previously the building’s developer the building properly through 2009. Taylor Wimpey had been responsible for this, which included providing Important decisions lie ahead on a Directors, setting the service charge wide range of issues. We can only budgets from 2005 onwards, and begin to make positive improvements to appointing Stevens Scanlan Ltd as the building if everyone pays their bills managing agents to act on GNTMCs on time - so please play your part as a behalf. member of the GN Tower community in making sure you are up to date with We have successfully influenced a your service charge, ground rent and number of issues since the start of the utility bills.  year, which has culminated in the group taking full control as of 1st April We are considering improvements - for 2009. Three leaseholders have agreed example we could effect a dramatic t o b e c o m e D i r e c t o r s o f t h e reduction in communal area lighting M a n a g e m e n t C o m p a n y ( o n l y bills by fitting motion sensors where leaseholders can become directors), possible - at the moment, there are with the remainder of the group dozens of bulbs burning 24/7 on every consisting of other leaseholders and level of the building. long-term tenants.

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Your input and suggestions are more than welcome - if you don’t owe GNTMC any money for service or water charges, of course!! We will be meeting every 4-6 weeks, probably alternating daytimes and evenings, making good use of emails and ad hoc discussion in between. We may also look at developing a web-based forum or use other ways of communicating effectively amongst ourselves in the future. Meanwhile, if you’d like to get involved, - please contact Alex Normand at Stevens Scanlan in the first instance: 0161 233 3066, or alex.normand@scanlans.com We’re all aware that there is a long way to go and a lot to think about, but hope that you might already have already have noticed some changes for the better since January... MAY UPDATE:security and parking: all fobs to be withdrawn and reprogrammed


GN TOWER APRIL 09 update

electricity costs how to reduce your bills

“Think twice about those sparkly but juice-guzzling halogen ceiling lamps...”

When those quarterly bills come in many of us need to sit down and take a deep breath. Basically, it's because we are on peak-rate for all power use and heat is where the money goes. Here’s some thoughts from John, a block C resident, on things you might consider to reduce the pain - a bit!

John

He says....”If you are a leaseholder you might like to investigate changing to an Economy 7 meter and tariff, and fitting  storage heater s instead of the convectors in your main rooms to make using power at night-rate worthwhile. And ensure that your hot water only charges at night. (The Gledhill units we have aren’t very efficient as they have a secondary heat exchanger!) I'm changing to economy 7 and will let the group know how I get on. Consider a draught excluder for the front door - even in new flats it's worth communal electricity checking for heat losses, using heavy the true story curtains at night and so on. Also check that all trickle vents are closed when not It was shocking to find that Scottish wanted and that the extractors only run Power had hired a debt collector to collect when you need them. monies they said we owed for communal electricity - not least as they hadn’t had Think twice about those sparkly yet juice the grace to respond to our request for guzzling 50 watt halogen GU4 / MR11 information on what/when the charges ceiling lamps, and 40W halogen G9 were actually for. It even got to Court, capsules. You can de-rate both from the with their case thrown out and Alex, from 40-50W you may find fitted, to 25-35W. Stevens Scanlan, who was fighting our If you really want to go for it on lighting, corner, wished “good luck” by the District you can change to 4W LED GU4's  or the Judge! n e w G 9 c o m p a c t fl o u re s c e n t by Megaman, without appreciable loss of If they had been granted a warrant to light: depending on how much capital enter and disconnect, we’d have had no spend you want to lay out. If that's scary lifts and no water - it’s all pumped. you can just put some floor lamps in with Anyone got any human contacts at Te s c o l o w e n e r g y l i g h t b u l b s ! Scottish Power? Good luck!”

water charges pressure required! Many of us would like to have an independent water meter for our flats, which are currently connected to a bulk m e t e r. G ove r n m e n t a p p l a u d s a n d encourages individual water metering, and most households in England, Wales and Scotland are entitled to a free meter from their water company on request. Here in GNT we have individual meters fitted in the service cupboards on each floor - but United Utilities won’t read them. A decision to have “bulk billing” was made before any leaseholders were in place; we

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no relish on mine, thanks! Weeknights lately have a been little more peaceful thanks to the temporary closure of Relish nightclub, after months of extensive noise and disorder problems. The GNTMC group made objections against Relish’s attempts to overturn recently imposed restrictions on the use of the front door area. Then, at the beginning of April, and at the request of the Police, the club was closed pending a review of the license, with a hearing to be held at the Town Hall on 28th April CR9 at 10am. This is an important issue which affects all residents and has a direct impact on the environment in which we live - please lend your support by attending the hearing and/or emailing your objections to the Licensing Unit at licensing@manchester.gov.uk

don’t know why. Stevens Scanlan have written to UU asking that individual meters be fitted and/or connected and/or read to each property, but have not yet received a satisfactory response. We’ve written and offered an on-site meeting to discuss it - but still got nothing positive. It may help if we start a steady stream (ha ha) of written requests from leaseholders all. If you’d like to join in, let Alex at Stevens Scanlan know - she’ll give you the contact details - and a template letter if you’d like.


April 2009 Update