Question & Answer Session following the Virtual Annual General Meeting
Moor Park (1958) Ltd
Wednesday 31st March 2021
Questions & Answers
Three questions were read out consecutively by Steve Davis relating to Broadband:
Nilesh Patel – Sandy Lodge
Can we have an update on high-speed internet discussions with Virgin/BT and agree a plan going forwards.
Sarah Starr – Temple Gardens
Please could directors’ comment on progress of improved broadband.
Neil Flash – South Approach
We have had numerous, and helpful, informal conversations with Mr S Parwaz pertaining to fibre connectivity over the last year. However, having never received a formal response to numerous requests for updates pertaining to fibre connectivity for the estate posed by ourselves, and many other residents, we would like to ask the Directors to what extent they are committed to resolving this issue and by when.
Shafiq Parwaz answered that our target is for GPON technology that will enable 10 Gig internet services. This will open up the possibility of delivering many other services including 10gb Internet service, video on demand, the cheapest telephony services, TV services such as Netflix, Amazon, Virgin and Sky and Security services for the Estate and individual houses.
A detailed site survey had been scheduled to take place just before Christmas but due to the Covid-19 lockdown, this had to be postponed. As soon as restrictions are lifted, the site survey will be rescheduled.
Footpaths, Verges and Crossovers
Two questions were read out consecutively by Steve Davis.
Mr Hayes – Bedford Road
Why has the company allowed some residents to remove paths, plant shrubs and install sprinklers to the edge of the verges. It forces residents to walk on the roads. Will the company add warning signs for motorists to protect pedestrians on roads such as Askew Road?
Dr Shaw – Sandy Lodge Road
Why have the Directors of the Company not had the courtesy to reply to a letter from Mr & Mrs Gami (late Jan 2021) and one from D G Shaw (8 Feb 2021) on the subject of cross-overs?
Gordon Mizner said the question raised by Mr Hayes is well made and noted. We realise that there are quite a few places where the paths aren’t continuous but didn’t recall allowing residents to remove footpaths during his time on the Board. It is not an excuse but a fact of history. People can still walk on these extended verges and we have been working to maintain and improve existing paths over the last couple of years and in cases where there is a hazard, we will absolutely insist on mediation with the member as we did with a property fairly recently where a sprinkler system extended across the verge. We must remember that there is a balance to be had and have an understanding with residents to maintain their verges, which saves the Company considerable cost.
Gordon was not aware that anything had changed except that in these exceptional times there are more walkers around the Estate. I think we should wait to see if things return to a more normal pattern when restrictions are lifted before considering the addition of warning signs in Askew Road. There is also the issue of how many more signs we can put up without it looking unsightly and which only have a limited impact, but we will have a look at this and keep it in mind.
Regarding Dr Shaw’s question, Steve Davis confirmed that it was his fault for the delay in replying and referred the question to Andrew Turner who confirmed that residents have no right to amend or alter their crossovers, for which they do need Planning Permission, which has to be agreed by Three Rivers and Moor Park (1958) Ltd. If instances are reported to us, we will review and investigate and, if necessary, will inform the Enforcement Officer at TRDC. We will review the issue mentioned at Sandy Lodge Road.
There were extensive questions raised and Steve Davis passed these to Sunny Chadha to combine the questions and answers together as some were for answering at a later date and not at this AGM.
Sunny Chadha referred to the questions from Alan Jamieson on Thornhill Road, Diwakar Chaudhari on Russell Road, a question from Joe Lewis on Pembroke Road, Jagdish Karia on Astons Road and Hasan Ali on Bedford Road. Many others have written in to Steve regarding the night security trial and Sunny confirmed that it was not a forgone conclusion that we would press ahead with any advanced security and it is a matter for discussion at an EGM which will be held at the earliest opportunity once Covid restrictions are lifted. The questions raised by these members will be answered at that time or sooner in the report on the night security trial and the potential overhaul of security on the Estate, which will hopefully be available by the end of April 2021.
There was a further question from Mr Lewis of Pembroke Road on Traffic and Trespass. Sunny Chadha confirmed that this is something we are working very hard on and had taken Legal opinion on trespass but fining someone for trespass is not straightforward. The Board will be discussing this at the next Board Meeting and once we have a solution, we will advise all members of the plan going forward. We have started targeting the worst offending rat-runners collated from the camera information that Steve has in the office and we’ve had some good success on that front. There is a plan to set up a series of road blocks around the Estate, some manned and other not. This will prevent easy and swift transit across the Estate for unauthorised traffic. Our proposal will be shared next month so members know what to expect. The plan is to trial this during the May Half Term. Sunny thanked the handful of residents who assisted in formulating a plan which uses both their ideas and our own to find a solution that is best for our members in terms of cost and reducing unauthorised traffic across the Estate.
A further question from Jagdish Karia of Astons Road regarding contractors’ parking on both sides of Astons Road, causing access issues and also to proper cleaning of the roads by contractors.
Sunny Chadha confirmed we do keep an eye on Astons Road parking issues. The security guards are well aware of our concerns on this front and they report such cases to the office. They are then required to engage with the contractors to sort the situation, to ensure there is clear traffic flow and the office also write to the member or owner concerned to remind their contractors of the regulations we have in place. All concerns should be reported to the office with photos if possible. The office does have a right to deduct fines from the Building Levy and members have had this enforced.
Andrew Turner confirmed we are re-writing the rules and regulations which will be significantly stricter for all those who are having works carried out. Whilst we will give warnings, if we have to visit or engage the office in any issues, not only will the member receive a fine but we will also charge the member for any time spent on going out to look at a problem. Hoarding will ensure more protection for residents.
Wendy Hussain –South Approach
How many security cameras are there on the Estate, where are they and shouldn’t there be clear signage? How is the data captured used?
Due to internet issues with Shafiq’s computer, Steve Davis answered that we have 8 locations on the Estate with a total of 19 lane cameras and overview cameras. The ANPR capture is brought to a server in the office and is only used for Moor Park (1958) Ltd purposes. It is passed to the Police for specific crimes when requested. There are 3 extra remote digital cameras which are purely for viewing areas where we’ve found anti-social behaviour. These are in Bedford Road, Sandy Lodge Lane and Pembroke Road. All information is collated on a daily basis and kept secure at all times. We do have signs indicating cameras are in operation at each entrance to the Estate and near to where the cameras are situated but these tend to be ignored. We are looking at extra signage, but if we indicate where the cameras are situated, this then opens them to vandalism. It is being assessed thoroughly and we are looking at the type of information gained whether it is useful in terms of traffic control and police investigations.
Traffic and Schools
Mr Hayes – Bedford Road
What do the schools and the golf club contribute towards the upkeep of the roads in Moor Park? Schools generate heavy traffic with over one thousand pupils at MT’s. How much do they charge for and what controls do they apply in issuing permits? We have had to report dangerous racing along Main Avenue by MT pupils putting residents in danger.
Gordon Mizner answered that we have a Licence Agreement with MTS which mainly covers the Prep school. This agreement superseded the previous one, which was not enforceable at the time of the takeover by MTS. This Agreement runs until 2026 and gives the school some 500 emblems and extra for the staff to access the Prep School via the Estate roads. Any additional emblems can be issued at the discretion of the Company and are charged currently at £35 each. In addition, frontage fees are paid by both schools and the total paid by MTS is in excess of £50,000 per annum at present. Parents from the Main School do not have a right of way across the Estate unless using it for facilities and are meant to use the Esso garage entrance. We know that some parents do not follow this rule, even though strongly encouraged by the school. We accept we need to do more and have plans to do so but we still need to maintain a close dialogue and relationship with the school.
Regarding the Golf Club, there is an Agreement in place. The Club pays in excess of £5,000 and this Agreement is supplemented by services they provide in maintaining part of the Estate’s common land. The Club does have a right of way along Sandy Lodge Lane and the current Agreement is subject to ongoing discussion at present.
Steve Davis added that we used the CCTV very effectively to pinpoint the 5 cars involved in the dangerous racing. They were identified as 6th formers and reported to the police and MTS school who dealt with the issue, showing the use of the cameras is very effective.
Jagdish Karia – Astons Road
When will a permanent solution be found to the problem of commuter parking on Astons Road, which not only restricts access to traffic, takes up parking for tradesmen and all too frequently these motorists obstruct driveways by parking badly? We signed a petition about 2 years ago but nothing has transpired – can you tell us why?
Sunny Chadha advised that we met with Herts County and Three Rivers local district Councillors, as well as engaging with the Parking Enforcement Team at TRDC. We will have to look at revising the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) to be more beneficial to the residents and shops on Main Avenue but the issue is not seen as a priority for the Council. They see that restricting parking on Astons Road will simply move the problem elsewhere, most commonly to the Eastbury Farm Estate. After the local elections, we will pick this up with the relevant authorities. It would be a very good thing for residents to lobby the local authorities and if your driveway is blocked, inform either the police or TRDC.
Two questions were read out consecutively by Steve Davis for Sunny Chadha to answer.
Hasan Ali – Bedford Road
Walkers/ramblers etc cutting through Bedford road from Batchworth Lane leaving litter and spoiling the verges with pushchairs and wearing heavy hiking boots. Access is just far too easy. The side fence of the gate is open so providing a simple entry point onto the estate for outsiders. The gate can also easily be ducked under. Further there is a dropped kerb on the edge facing Batchworth Lane – added ease to come through Bedford Road?
Dr Saleem Goolamali –Bedford Road
It has become increasingly apparent that pedestrians, runners or ramblers walk on or in the middle of two busy road of Moor Park – Wolsey Road and South Approach. They often slow down traffic and refuse to use or move onto the kerbs available. I am concerned that an accident may occur because a roadwalker is not seen by a vehicle in time, especially at night. I would suggest a sign near the entrance of Wolsey Road and a few others at strategic sites warning pedestrians and others that:
a) they do not have a right of way;
b) at night in particular they should wear high visibility strips or clothing;
c) they should walk on the right side of the road if they insist on doing so, in order to see and avoid oncoming traffic.
Would the Board agree?
Sunny Chadha responded to Mr Ali’s question first. After the junction of Batchworth Lane and Bedford Road were closed off some years ago for safety reasons, the drop barrier was put in to stop motor cycles coming through as well as horse riders. The open gate on the side had to be put in place because of legal action from TRDC, as it is a public footpath and has to be unhindered. If you see littering, please bring this to the attention of the office and we will arrange to investigate. We do have a camera in that section and will do our best to put a stop to it.
Turning to Dr. Goolamali’s questions, point a) we have taken Legal opinion on the whole matter of trespass and it is a work in progress. We are looking at placing signage around all entrances around Moor Park to deter non-residents from walking on the Estate and hopefully these will be installed soon. Regarding points b) and c) thank you for suggesting them, we absolutely agree and will share these recommendations with all residents as well as the security guards to advise walkers and ramblers to heed this wise and safe practice. In answer to the question as to whether the Board agrees, we absolutely do agree.
Dr S Goolamali – Bedford Road
Professional gardeners are advised to work from 8am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday and 9am-1pm on Saturdays. These guidelines are frequently flouted in the spring and summer months. How does the Board propose to address this issue?
Sunny Chadha advised we have re-iterated these rules for the Guards to make sure gardeners and contractors are aware of the rules. They have successfully stopped some contractors and gardeners on a Saturday morning. Please report any issues to the office so that we can take it up with the resident or you are welcome to call the security guards directly who are available on a Saturday morning to come and assist. Beyond this, we are currently powerless to do anything and recommend you call the Council and report contractors for anti-social behaviour.
Steve Davis added that gardeners and contractors work for the residents so it is up to you, the residents, to ensure the regulations are adhered to.
Dr D Shaw –Sandy Lodge Road
Why was a ‘Non-Disclosure Agreement’, i.e., a ‘gagging order’, imposed on Dr D Shaw and which members of the Board and of the Staff concurred in this action?
Jay Soneji confirmed we don’t have any issues about transparency but we do have some information that is commercially sensitive. We have to make sure that this information is properly monitored and under the control of the Board. If anybody wants to see this information, they can make a request but they will always have to sign a non-disclosure agreement and that practice will not change
Anita Metcalfe – South Approach
There seems to be some concern that members of MP58 Ltd. cannot see the minutes of Board meetings. Is there a reason why this is so?
Jay Soneji advised that the Board Minutes are the deliberations of the Board and privy to what the Board decide. We can look into giving a quarterly report on decisions reached but it is not appropriate for everyone to see who makes what decisions and does not promote a good spirit amongst the Board or the Community. Members can always put questions to us and we will always do our best to answer.
Richard Midgeley – Askew Road
I am concerned at the low level of fees paid by Merchant Taylors school towards the maintenance of the roads on our estate. Based on information provided by Dr Shaw in the ‘Moor Park Examiner’ it appears that their contribution in 2020 was £20,000, which is less than 4% of the annual income of Moor Park (1958) Ltd. On the basis that 500 cars drop off and collect pupils at the school per day during term time this represent 2000 journeys a day on our roads and that is before considering the coaches and HGVs that go to the school. This volume of traffic warrants a far higher contribution than 4% as I would imagine it equates to a similar daily volume of traffic by the residents of Moor Park.
Steve Davis confirmed that the £20,000 mentioned was incorrect as MTP now contribute a Licence and frontage fee and reminded members that the fees do not just cover the roads, there are a range of other services included.
London Boundary Charge
Diwakar Chaudhari –Russell Road
Is the Board taking any action against Sadiq Khan’s tax proposal, the Greater London Boundary Charge?
If this proposal is passed, it will incur significant costs to people living near the Greater London Boundary. We access GP surgeries, dentist, pharmacies, opticians, Mount Vernon Hospital, Care Homes, blood tests and many healthcare services in Northwood. Are we, the public, to pay to access these services? In addition, schools, banks, post office, gyms and grocery shops are all in the Northwood area where residents outside the boundary make frequent trips. Are we, the public, to pay Sadiq Khan to go to schools, shops and other essential services? This is the most thoughtless initiative by Sadiq Khan who seems to want the residents outside Greater London to pay for his mismanagement of London finances and not delivering promises. Disgraceful and illegitimate methods to extract taxes.
Jay Soneji confirmed we have all objected as Board Members and Moor Park (1958) Ltd. None of us want this and there is no legal action we can take. This question will be referred to Gagan Mohindra in his question and answer session.
F Hayes –Bedford Road
What steps are being taken to improve the lighting on the estate? Some roads such as South Approach have lights spaced at 30-40 paces whereas in Heathside and Bedford Roads lights are up to 100 paces apart. With poor lighting it is dangerous walking on these roads after dark.
Hasan Ali – 33 Bedford Road
Lighting on Bedford road needs improvement – there are several dark areas, which are safety hazards in the evening
Shafiq Parwaz responded that we have identified 5 places in Bedford Road for lamp installation and are hoping to complete works in 6-8 weeks. Steve Davis added that all new lamps installed have LED and brighter lumens and coverage for walkers has improved. Anybody who has a specific area needing attention should contact the office for investigation and added to future plans.
Mark Largesse – Astons Road
We would like to ask the directors if they could help residents when neighbours install Velux windows on flank roof slopes without permission, with the windows either opening or having clear glass, or both, resulting in a neighbouring property being overlooked and a loss of privacy.
Elaine Tooke said that if anybody has any concerns over alterations taking place or that have already been completed, please inform the office. We will check to see if permission has been granted and, if not, we will notify the Enforcement Officer directly at Three Rivers District Council. This always results in Retrospective planning permission being sought. We strongly object to any Velux windows being visible from the road frontage and Three Rivers Planning generally support us.
Mrs Sullivan – Sandy Lodge Road
I would like 2 x ‘No Exit’ signs put up:
1 on road between Nos: 6 & 8 Sandy Lodge Road (to stop people trying to drive onto golf course land and 1 to the cul-de-sac leading to No:2 Sandy Lodge Road. Could be attached (in full view) on already existing post. No-one takes any notice of this sign. There were 25 cars in one day driving up and turning in the drive of No: 2 even when pointing out the ‘Dead End’ sign. 20 cars/lorries is the average for each day. Most say they never saw it and others say, well, we didn’t really think there is no exit! Please can the ‘Dead End’ notice be fixed – Nothing else works.
Shafiq Parwaz advised we already have 2 signs in place which obviously do not seem to be doing the job. We understand the issue and if more signs are required, we will install them.
Questions for Gagan Mohindra, MP (GM)
Question: How will the easing of the planning affect TRDC/Moor Park and surrounding areas?
Answer: As a private Estate, MP58 will continue to have a say in all developments that affect the Estate but strongly urged members to feed in to
consultations for the TRDC local area plans, particularly if they have strong opinions about housing in the area.
Question: What is happening regarding the proposed Local Boundary Charge?
Answer: GM explained that the Government has bailed out TFL to the tune of £3.5bn over the last 12 months to cope with Covid and the loss of income but TFL were significantly in debt prior to the pandemic partly due to no increase in fares. The Transport Secretary told the Mayor that he must introduce options to balance the books and in response the Mayor has made the political decision not to upset his own electorates in the forthcoming elections but instead to penalise those members of the population who won’t have the opportunity to vote for him by threatening this congestion charge. The policy is not a realistic option because of the detrimental affect it would have on too many people living on the outskirts of London, especially key workers, but the Mayor will likely continue to use this threat as a political football.
Question: In the Tory Party, the Covid Research Group are determined to undermine the Government, what can be done about it?
Answer: GM was always an advocate for early lifting of restrictions and the vaccine rollout programme has been excellent. He admitted that mistakes had been made but these are unprecedented times.
Question: In the Government’s drive for sustainability and net zero carbon emissions by 2050, how does zero VAT on new builds against VAT on refurbishments sit, given the amount of building waste that isn’t recycled and going into landfill?
Answer: There is always an ambition to do the right thing but that the tax system has never quite caught up and it’s a real challenge. The Government needs to balance the books and VAT on building supplies is a niche area but the Chancellor will likely be looking at this in future budgets and doing the right thing.
Question: Thoughts on Brexit
Answer: Although not involved himself in the referendum, you have to act on a democratic decision. Is it as rosy or as bad as the other side have suggested? No! He is confident that everybody will be able to adapt to the situation eventually and we are an entrepreneurial culture.
Andrew Turner then congratulated Max on being Chairman over the last 5 years and talked about all the successful changes he has been involved in.
Subhash Thakrar thanked Gagan, Frances and Reena and also congratulated Max on all his achievements both in his private life and for Moor Park and is looking forward to working with members.
Lord Loomba then said a few words of praise about Max for both his business and charitable achievements and wished Subhash good luck in his new role as Chairman.
Max thanked everybody for their kind words before Subhash ended the meeting asking for members’ help in making the Estate even better. The meeting closed at 9.36pm.
Page updated April 22 2021