We’ve started the New Year with a spring in our step. We have an ambitious programme of work this year and we are looking forward to it.
Gordon Stevens and Peter Comyns
Over the Christmas holiday period we were informed of the deaths of two old Zebra hands - Gordon Stevens and Peter Comyns. Both Gordon and Peter were in their 90s and had been associated with Zebra, which is now 60 years old, in the early days.
Gordon was a Board member and the Zebra Chair for a number of years. He only retired from the Board about 6 years ago but prior to that he had had a very distinguished business career as the boss of Unilever. He was an unceasing supporter of Zebra, he always made time to talk to staff and he brought humour, a steely compassion and wisdom to the Board. He actually passed away in September but we were not informed until late December so we were not able to attend his memorial service. There were obituaries in the Times and Telegraph which attest to his qualities and describe a really stellar career. He is remembered with immense affection by staff and Board members who knew him
Peter Comyns was an early member of Zebra (supporting and actually managing the Marloes Road scheme), a Board member for a number of years and more recently was involved with the Zebra Trust, our sister organisation, which assists with education in Africa.
The Board and it’s committees is responsible for the oversight of Zebra and setting out its strategic direction. The Audit and Risk Committee and Board will meet in late January and early February 2020 to approve the budget and major plans for 2020/21. The major highlights of this are
to refit 10 flats in the course of the year to include kitchens, bathrooms and furniture
to redecorate the front of Jerome House
to refurbish the staircase at 34 Impala
to improve our IT, to provide a portal to enable residents to pay rent, see your account, and book repairs and for Zebra to reduce its use of paper
to consider a sustainability strategy
to appoint a Treasurer (a formal Board position)
The replacement boiler scheme at Jerome House has been completed and we believe all the snagging issues have been resolved. However if any resident still has a problem they should let us know. We’ve be redecorated the basement corridor area, which was much affected by the works and next year we’ll be repainting the external front of the building at ground and first floors levels.
The installation of the new fire detection system at Jerome has also now largely been completed. We’ve replaced heat detectors with smoke detectors in kitchens because that’s what the regulations require but that is causing the alarm to be activated more regularly when there is excessive smoke from cooking. We are still looking at ways to alleviate this but residents can help by opening windows if there’s a lot steam/smoke from cooking.
We’ve started the repairs to the flank wall at Carleton Road and they will be completed by the end of January. The wall was damaged by tree roots from a very large leylandii. This has now been removed and we’ll be doing some replanting in January/February.
We hope to start work on the stairwell at 34 Chalcot Crescent in March. This is a big job involving new lighting and fire detection, re-plastering, redecoration and recarpeting.
A blue plaque at Carleton Road
The blue plaque to commemorate the fact that 73 Carleton Road was the home of the famous late 19th century/early 20th music hall star, Marie Lloyd, is due to be unveiled in mid-February. We’ll invite residents when we have further information.