WW3 in my Close!

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by The Duke 3 months ago.

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  • #31459

    Bob Williams
    Participant
    @bullstuff2

    Our social landlord, in its wisdom, is fitting GCH to our 15 bungalows. A few at a time. Our 6 on my side were done first and those represent the largest number completed at one time. The rest are being done in dribs and drabs and this is the result:

    Looking down the Close from my front door, you can see 3 trucks but there are 2 more further down and out of sight. Blue Hyundai is my little motor: –

    Looking across the Close from my front door. We are unfortunate in that the first trench marks the point at which all the gas comes in, so that is dug up every time they have returned to do some more properties.

    When they fitted out ours and 5 others on this side, we had a really good company, made a cracking job, cleared all their mess and took all the rubbish away. We have seen 2 more companies since and they get worse. I actually photographed one wazzak smoking whilst leaning on a “NO SMOKING – GAS” sign. Cannot show that here as the landlord is using it in a dispute with the contractor. Can’t tell you who that is, but if you can read from the truck pictured… To say the inhabitants of this Senior’s Ghetto are annoyed, is like saying Donald Trump is a genius and Putin is a poster boy for World Peace. We are mightily p****d off.

    “If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.”
    ― Philip K. Dick, legendary SF writer.

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  • #31462

    PlaneMan
    Moderator
    @planeman
    Forumite Points: 2,008

    That’s terrible.

    Some of the houses in my cul de sac are social housing and the contractors they employ are total merchant bankers.

    About 3 weeks ago I had an appointment and was totally blocked in by one of the contractors vans. No-one in it. Completely blocking the cul de sac.

    I phoned the hospital from the car to let them know I might be late and then rang the contractors head office, all via Android Auto.  Van moved in minutes. Bloke who got in thought I couldn’t hear him swearing at me, idiot. Another phone call to head office.

    I now have names of fairly high up people at all of the housing associations in my area, most contractors now  know not to piss me off!

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    #31471

    Ed P
    Participant
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 3,352

    If ever you are prevented from getting to your urgent (a key word to use) hospital appointment ring the Police. While normal parking issues are outside their remit they should attend and deal with it when it becomes a personal safety issue It may take them a while to do so as they normally have a limited amount of appropriate gear to tow etc offending vehicles – the plus is that they will levy costs on the offender – normally a couple of hundred quid. If the Police have a relationship with the local parking enforcement people you may have a bit of a chase around. But it should still work.

    btw.they will do naff all if you are just prevented from getting home.

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    #31472

    Bob Williams
    Participant
    @bullstuff2
    Forumite Points: 3,100

    I have written to my local District Council Environment officer about this. The DC hates our landlord, which is now a massive Housing Association that began as a local Housing Trust, based just down the road in Louth and all services were efficient then. My missus and I came to this bungalow in 2003 and the scheme was run by the DC then. Within 2 months the DC was forced to hand over all housing that they ran in Lincolnshire, to the Trust. We attended the handover meeting; DC people on one side of the room, Housing Trust on the other side, public in the centre. You could cut the atmosphere, but only with the sharpest of knives. The DC received £57 million for the properties and promptly invested the lot in Icelandic banks…. you can guess the rest, it was only last year that they managed to get the last of the investment back.  Then the amalgamations and mergers began: one every 2 years or so until our homes are now administered from Birmingham and our ‘pull cord’ security connects to Chubb Security in Leeds. As the “Supporting People” funds were cut by the first Tory government, so the repairs, maintenance and support began to die. Now we are told that my broken fence is my responsibility, whereas they have carried out 3 previous repairs to it in the past. What they have forgotten about is the Tenancy Agreement charter: not updated since 2007 and still stating that exterior fencing is their responsibility. I have every letter and email they ever sent me and there are no amendments. The DC Environmental Services are keen to chase them using this. They chose the wrong tenant to upset!

    Returning to the Gas fitting work: my Sparky gson has today looked at fitting a new shower for a neighbour widow, one of our oldest friends here. He was appalled by the fuses used in several fittings: 2A? I was not aware that a 2A fuse was possible. And the previous shower had no fuse at all, which explains why it burned out. The Association landlord have told her that she was responsible for another shower to be fitted. The original shower was operated from the old Electric Night Storage boiler and had a cold and hot pipe supply: cold from the tank, hot from the electric boiler. My gson has examined the system and can fit a new electric shower. Further horrors were that there are two old consumer units which are absolutely dead. Outside the newer consumer unit is connected to a 3 phase meter, which is what we had for almost a year until EDF threatened Northern Power Grid with legal action unless they changed it to single phase. We received £250 in refunded energy payments and £500 compensation for that, thank you EDF! I was informed that all the bungalows with new GCH replacing the NS Economy 7 heaters, would be changed to single phase. Now I am going to tour my neighbours and see if they have had this done. If not, there will be a Seniors Crusade organised. The lady in question has received a monthly gas bill for £79 and an electric bill for £114. For a one-bed bungalow! I pay £95 for both gas and electric and that has just increased by a fiver or so. I have directed her to Age Concern, as I am not allowed to fight her corner, according to British Gas.

    The landlord situation for social housing is now worse than for private lettings, IMO. I am going to thrash my fellow Oldpharts into joining my crusade…

    “If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.”
    ― Philip K. Dick, legendary SF writer.

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    #31477

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 2,505

    We have had sometign similar going on at the top of my street. We have an old railway building that is listed. It’s where the 11 houses I’m my street park, and a few others of the conecting road that leads to my street.

    The council/local heritage and loto decided to turn it in to, somthing that will failin 6 moths, which is fine. What isn’t is they closed access to the car park for almost 18 months now. So all the houses cars now just get abandoned allying trh access road.

    This one causes murder getting in and out at 8am and 6pm, plus means everythime the site has a delivery the builders have to go house to house door knocking to clear all the traffic once when entering then once when exiting. As there is no where else to park.

    As you can imagine, sometimes people sometimes are out, walking dogs, shops etc… So the cars can’t always be moved, and on top of that, the car park they closed is a local dog walking site, so evey day propel come, jut dump their car, and walk up the path  (it’s a great track, just of the end/start of the offas dyke walk. So is popular. Very.

    So the 12 month build is now 18 months in and hopefully almost done. It was anouying to start with, now its just what it is. Also as the huge wagons are not coming 6x a day any more, more 6x a week.

    Tbh we are still not sure how it passed planning given you’ll never get an emergency vehicle there in any good time. Given its a one lane road and has a 180 switch back,That they can’t double yellow.

    When the car park is busy, it’s a 3 point turn in a car to shuffle around.

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    #31480

    Bob Williams
    Participant
    @bullstuff2
    Forumite Points: 3,100

    Steve the builders did not go door knocking here, they never do. The 3 bungalows that were having the work done this time, had no notice of it whatsoever: “We’re gonna fit GCH in your bungalow.”     “WHAAAAAAT?”    “You had a letter from your landlord.”    “No we didn’t.”

    That tells you everything about our landlord. At least we don’t have the parking nightmare you have! Usually we can get in or out OK, the biggest offenders are Carers, Support Services and two Mormons who visit the muppet next door to the RH side of mine. They started parking in my space, so I warned them. Then I came home from my son’s and they were there again. I parked across the rear of theirs and they could not get out: they rang my doorbell – “Will you move your car?” (note, no “please?” I yawned in their faces – “No it’s my Nap Time, us oldpharts have to take naps you know!” I closed the door and left them waiting for an hour, then went next door and said I would move it now.

    They have not parked there since. Carers and Support Services I don’t mind, they are looking after my neighbours who need them, but there was one who insisted on parking diagonally across the middle, so I did the same for her and advised her to park more accurately next time. Turns out she was a Herbal Health supplier to the same muppet. He told me about 8 years ago that he did not have long to live and repeated it last year. I said “It’s taking you a feckin long time to go!”: he hasn’t spoken to me for a while now, some people are easily upset, aren’t they?

    “If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.”
    ― Philip K. Dick, legendary SF writer.

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    #31484

    isdarit
    Participant
    @isdarit
    Forumite Points: 162

    Government grants. Every landlord is at it.  Down here they are insulating outside walls internally taking 6 inches off the room per wall insulated 🤦🏻‍♂️ Bloody messes I’ve seen, gone around kitchen cupboards and sockets overhanging baths unbelievable how they get passed off. Electric heating with trunking running up the middle of walls. The money they are getting is astronomical that’s why there is different companies doing the same street.  The people doing the grants £s

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    #31564

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 2,505

    They have no choice but to door knock here, cos the carpark is taken over, we had the letter of the oimcil to say they needed it, and fair enough. However we have to park somewhere, and it’s a narrow road leading up to it, so everyone parks there. There is just enough space for a salloon car to get through. So we all.have our places, the couple with the 4×4 get the widest space, and so on up to the lad with the 205gti (it’s tiny so he gets the narrower bit. When I swapped from the GTC (wide) to the leon narrower, me and another neighbour swapped places.

    It’s makes sense for the 9 out of 11 houses, to all be on the same page, as it means we all have better access. The trouble is, you can’t fit a transit down the space. My neighbour with a tranny tipper parks a 5 min walk away since the building began. As he can’t park without denying evey one else access for example. So evey time the builders get a delivery, there is alway at least 3 cars still there. So they have to door nock.

    We have Steve (easy for me to remember) his job is mine pls my two neighbours. I will admit to the odd ovation of being in the shower / toilet, where Ive given him the keys. Obviously shouldnt but I don’t like holding them up. They don’t want to be a pita, it’s just their job, and the situation is what it is. Some of my neighbours are shitty with them, I couldn’t be bothered being annoyed for over a year. I just leave 15 mins earlier than I need to if I have a dead line.

    As to handing them the keys, probably happend 5 times in 18 months of daily knocks. (working from home will do that), I know I should and know its not correct. Also I know at least my two closest neighbours have also given their keys over to on occasion, for similar reasons. A couple at the top of busy won’t make an effort to be quick or give the keys.

    Which to me is counter productive. As it will make the 12month job (cough) longer, and two if your less limey to be flexible, they are more likely to squeeze past your motor. I don’t want anyone squeezing past mine. So I’ll either run out in trackies and a fleace and slippers, or if needed give the keys. Just so they know I’m not holding them up, and they don’t need to take any risks near my car. As if it gets scratched, know one is going to of seen it. They are all friends after all. So there is no point trying to work agsist them, you will eventually lose. As they ain’t our friends. As much as they are upsetting our lives, we are upsetting there work. So we just both need to compromise and smile.

    If they know your not an issue, they are less likely to scratch my car. (that’s my theory and in sticking with it.touch wood)

    It’s all wrapping up now, they should be gone around Easter 🤞

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    #31583

    Bob Williams
    Participant
    @bullstuff2
    Forumite Points: 3,100

    A couple of hours ago, I noticed a well dressed guy in a big VW Passat saloon, photographing the area, went out and attracted his attention. Asked who he was: he is the boss of the company doing the work. Asked him nicely why they did not inform us that they were going to make our Close look like the Somme in 1916. He said that it was his understanding that our landlord sent letters. No, I said, they ignore us, but if you contact them they will listen. He was fuming: “So that’s why my workers got a bad time from some here?” Yes, I said, but not me, that’s unfair, they are just doing their jobs and it’s up to people like your administration to inform us about the work. And they were not spoken to by my missus, or they would have probably gone home in tears! 😋😁

    He was immediately on the mobile, but his mood was not improved by the fact that we have no coverage here, so I let him use my landline. I heard him ask for a name I recognised: the Housing Group’s CEO. That guy received the best bo*****ing I have heard for a long time: perfectly respectful but full of biting wit and choice words. I listened with admiration: considering that he was talking to the CEO of a company that had given him this contract, I was impressed.

    Less than an hour later, a team arrived to take away all the unnecessary fences and materials that they were obviously leaving for another day. Or week. Now I have full access to my parking space and our Gert can enter the car more easily, by stepping straight from the kerb.

    Boss Power!

    “If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.”
    ― Philip K. Dick, legendary SF writer.

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    #31585

    PlaneMan
    Moderator
    @planeman
    Forumite Points: 2,008

    Result Bob!

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    #31618

    Bob Williams
    Participant
    @bullstuff2
    Forumite Points: 3,100

    It certainly was Nolan, and this morning there was a team up early – i.e. 10 am, they have not started anything before noon previously! They have now finished replacing the block paving across the way. Don’t know when the protective fencing will be gone though, as after a coffee break and lunch, then another break, they had no more time. I could do with some of that fencing, to protect the parking spaces of myself and my neighbour.

    I have learned that there is only one more bungalow to have GCH installed: it is the home of a ratty 93 yo git who refuses to have it done and they cannot force him to have it. He has always been the same nasty old bugga ever since I first came here 17 years ago, comes out 3 or 4 times a day and accosts anyone who is also out, moaning about everything under the sun. I and others, tried to visit him and give him some company, but all we got was abuse, so we gave up about 10 years ago. Now when he pops his clogs, they will have to come and dig up the nice new tarmac on my path and the road in front of my window, as that is where the supply comes in and branches off to each property. The landlord is installing GCH to all properties under their remit as tenants leave or fall off their perches. I suspect that they have a Grant.

    You couldn’t make it up!

    About 11 or 12 years ago, they were going to install Solar PV panels, as the Close is South facing. Landlord paid for a Survey, Survey said YES. Then the government stopped the Grants for it and our Solar Heating died the death.

    “If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.”
    ― Philip K. Dick, legendary SF writer.

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    #31694

    Ed P
    Participant
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 3,352

    About 11 or 12 years ago, they were going to install Solar PV panels, as the Close is South facing. Landlord paid for a Survey, Survey said YES. Then the government stopped the Grants for it and our Solar Heating died the death.

    You were Blaired to, but that is not unusual for either LA or LG. The grants have been progressively reduced but ten years ago I would guess that you or your landlord would have received a 10-12% return on investment which would still be coming in and continue for a while yet.

    Each year a pot of money was made available by Central Government for such grants. OK that pot could disappear , but a new slightly smaller pot would appear the next April. Unfortunately today the FIT grants for SolarPV are not worth a lot, but still give a better than average, low risk return. I’m not sure which parts of the country the quoted return applies but I would be astonished if you got much in (say) Newcastle, but are certainly not far off for Bristol, and points to the south.

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    #31698

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 2,505

    My FiL got on the pv train while the incentive rate was good. Its paid off for him, basically giving him free electric when average out over 12 months. It must be 12 years old now, so his investment is returned, and now he is 65 and got free electricity.as the rebate is locked in.

    Now it would take a lot longer to return on such an investment. Add in repairs come aroumd 15 years, and you may never turn a profit. Make pulling trh trigger on 10k upfront a much harder decision..

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    #31699

    Drezha
    Participant
    @drezha
    Forumite Points: 904

    Tbh we are still not sure how it passed planning given you’ll never get an emergency vehicle there in any good time. .

    That isn’t really a planning concern, more of a Building Regs point of view.

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    #31703

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 2,505

    Yes Chris, that’s right. I just don’t know how (or properly who) got it all signed off.

    On the plus side, a dog groomers is opening up in the single business plot, within the building. And both my dogs go to one ever 6 to 8 weeks. So if its close to the £25 a dog, the current one charges, saves me driving the dogs for a hair cut. It’s a pain as it’s a one way double yellow road.

    And I moan at a tenner a pop for my own balding head, about evey 12 weeks.

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    #31705

    Ed P
    Participant
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 3,352

    Tbh we are still not sure how it passed planning given you’ll never get an emergency vehicle there in any good time. .

    That isn’t really a planning concern, more of a Building Regs point of view.

    I suspect that a real emergency would put all the daffs etc at risk.

    My Fire Brigade mate’s response to people blocking emergency access is: ‘Fsck-em and their fancy cars, my big rig and a touch of aggressive driving will bash aside most obstructions in a real emergency’ . However, I think that he was thinking of Beemers or fancy sports cars rather than trucks.

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    #31721

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 2,505

    I very much doubt they could get an engine into the car park, but guess The hoses would reach the building from around the hairpin corner.

    It’s a mini white elephant tbh, an old goods shed on a long dead line, that is now a great track. Iirc they raised 2m form private and council money, and the lotto matched it. The building is listed, and was almost beyond repair, but ad it was listed this derslict shed, had to have “listed building” money spent on it.

    It’s going to be a walkers rest place, come local museem, with one shop space. The shop should do OK big car park, and alot of dog walkers park there. But the rest if Thr project, I’ll give one year till it folds.

    I would of protested, as its on my door step and a a waste of money. However I’m part of The village council  and they lead it, an my FiL is the secutery.so I just went along with it thinking it would never get off the ground. That was about 6 years ago!

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