Estate Maintenance – a new contractor

In January 2020, Mike Jackson, who tended the green spaces in EV estate for many years, retired. We miss you, Mike.

PfP (Places for People) replaced Mike with a company called Tivoli. Despite lots of early promises and being shown round the estate by Mike and meeting with residents, Tivoli’s performance was consistently poor.

EVTRA sent many messages and photos to PfP showing that Tivoli’s performance was worse than inadequate – weeds in paths and parking spaces, flower beds untended and littered, bushes either hacked off or completely neglected, and more (actually less!). So poor was Tivoli’s performance, even allowing generously for lockdown, that EVTRA wrote to PfP in January saying we wanted them to be replaced, ideally with a local gardening company with a good reputation.

Finally, at the beginning of March, PfP agreed the EV gardening contract will be retendered. Even better, PfP invited EVTRA to suggest suitable local companies and to comment on the maintenance contract they would be contracting for.

So now over to you: Do you know of a gardening company that might be suitable? If so, please email some details to secretary@evtra.org.uk and EVTRA will take it from there. You can see the full timetable of events and comment on the draft of the proposed garden maintenance contract at www.evtra.org.uk

Deadline for our response to PfP is mid-April but EVTRA would like all suggestions/comments by 31 March, please, to give us time to pull everything together and get an agreed response back to PfP.

We look forward to hearing from you by 31 March.

Timetable of events

  1. During March / April / May EVTRA / Elm Village can introduce any new “contractors” to PFP that may interested in delivering this work. PFP will engage with these businesses and see if they meet the criteria to become an approved supplier.
  1. During the same period PFP will with input from EVTRA / Elm Village / PFP Living Plus (in relation to 44 St Pancras Way) develop a local landscape specification better suited to needs / desires of the site.
  1. Once an agreed specification / supplier list (June) has been reached with all parties PFP in conjunction with EVTRA / Elm Village, PFP will carry out pre‑tender site visits with interested contractors to ensure the full extent of site and its requirements are understood.
  1. During July / Aug PFP will carry out a competitive tender exercise (including our current supplier) against the revised specification and recommend a new supplier to EVTRA / Elm Village / PFP Living Plus, it is anticipated this will include a further site meeting with the proposed supplier and all interested parties.
  1. During September, the successful contractor will mobilise their works for an anticipated 1st October start
  1. It is anticipated that the successful contractor will be initially appointed for a full 18-month period to bring the contract back into an April – March financial year
  1. Any increase to service delivery, additional works agreed outside the current SLA will likely increase service charges?
Proposed-Elm-Village-and-44-St-Pancrass-Way-GM-Specification-For-Discussion

The Elm

As many of you will have seen, the beautiful elm tree that used to be such a feature on the crescent green in Rossendale Way was fatally damaged during the high winds last Friday afternoon (21 August 2020) and now is no more.
A tree surgeon was called out, arrived about 6pm, assessed the tree as not saveable, and then set about making the area safe.

The tree surgeon and team returned after the weekend and the job is now complete. All that is now left is a flat stump just a few inches high and a pile of wood pieces.
If you would like a memento of the tree, please do come and take a piece, but be prepared: It’s rough sawn wood and deceptively heavy.

What Happened
Shortly after 3:30pm last Friday a gust from the Storm Ellen winds caught one of the main branches and caused it to collapse, totally covering two parked cars and blocking several people in their houses. Less than ten minutes later a second branch was blown down, covering even more of the green and blocking access to several more houses – now over half the crescent.

We were incredibly lucky indeed that no one was hurt. We were also fortunate, especially considering the sheer weight of wood that came down, that property damage was minimal. A smashed rear windscreen, one smashed door mirror, some dents and scrapes, a couple of cracked garden fences, a few squashed plants and shrubs – and that was it!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Very sad that the elm that has been part of living in Elm Village since the beginning has now gone but we have discussed options with Places for People and are planning to get a new elm planted in the same spot next year. As is the horticulture of elms, its new roots will in time integrate with the old elm’s roots. New generation and old together. Continuity and a new beginning

Covid virus local shops

Elm Village resident reports

Priority Supermarket shop hours – please check locally for each store in the area (taken from different sources)

Marks & Spencer 

M&S is taking further steps to support its customers, colleagues and local communities. 

The first hour of trading at all stores will be dedicated to elderly and vulnerable shoppers on Mondays and Thursdays. 

Store opening times vary from 7am to 8am, and some stores will be closing earlier.

Sainsbury’s 

Dedicated shopping hours for the elderly and vulnerable and NHS staff have been introduced at Sainsbury’s stores, which are now only open from 8am until 8pm Monday to Saturday

From 8am to 9am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday Sainsbury’s is only open for elderly and vulnerable shoppers

The company also says it is giving priority access to online delivery slots for the over-70s, although it has paused registrations for new online shoppers due to high demand. 

Tesco 

Tesco has also announced a dedicated shopping hour for NHS staff and the vulnerable. 

The priority shopping hour for vulnerable and elderly customers is every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 9am and 10am. 

This is in all Extras, Superstores and Metros but is not available in Express stores. 

Morrisons / Lidl  / Aldi – nothing

Lidl has implemented reduced shopping hours in light of the coronavirus outbreak but there has been no information released regarding elderly and vulnerable shopping hours or NHS staff. 

Waitrose 

Waitrose and Partners has introduced new measures to help its shops meet the needs of customers with a particular focus on the elderly and the vulnerable. 

The 

first opening hour of all stores – 7am until 8am – is dedicated to elderly and vulnerable shoppers

. Stores open from 7am to 10pm, but some branches will be closing early, the company said.  

Co-op 

Co-op supermarkets have introduced vulnerable shopping hours and purchasing restrictions. 

From 8am to 9am Monday to Saturday and 10am to 11am on Sundays, elderly and vulnerable shoppers will be able to enjoy priority shopping hours. 

Most stores open from 6am or 7am until 8pm. Contact your local store for opening times.

Parkway Fruit & Veg

Open and operating one in one out the store.

Covid virus local amenities

Elm Village resident reports

“….I walked round camden today for excercise, and spoke to a few business owners of restaurants I use that are still open – they are all obviously struggling with business, but trying to stay open to pay local staff and continue to provide a takeaway service to the community.
 
http://pizzeriadicamden.co.uk/
Lovely owner who is friendly and community-engaged, using organic ingredients with the best pizzas we have had. They do not do delivery (as delivery services charge 35%) but you can call in advance and takeaway.
 
https://www.andystaverna.co.uk/
Great local restaurant of 50 years, that last time I checked was still within the top 100 restaurants on tripadvisor (very very hard to achieve out of 20,00 restaurants!). Amazing food. They use deliveroo, or you can get a 20% discount off the menu prices if you order in advance and pick up.
 
https://coaloffice.com/
The coal office restaurant in Kings Cross (Coal drops yard)- this is the last restaurant/shop pretty much open in the KX area. Do a bespoke couple of takeaway dishes daily that are very good, as well as selling high quality fruit and veg. “If you are self-isolating, we can deliver by Boris Bike or Deliveroo. Email – ToYou@CoalOffice.com

Beauty in our midst

Even in these dark days of Coronavirus there are still reasons to feel uplifted right on our doorsteps. Resident and volunteer Ed Lee has been busy improving the gardening areas for everyone to enjoy. Hoses have been replaced where necessary and made secure to prevent trip hazards, as well as to provide ease of use. The path has been levelled and extended and laid with gravel in order to deter weeds. It is now also possible to push the wheelbarrow along it.

Edges on the lower slope have been shored up and strengthened.
Steps linking the top tier with the bottom have been laid and made secure. The composting areas have been rearranged, as have the seating areas.

Additionally, Ed has cleared away debris from various members’ plots which not only improves the appearance but also means there is no unwanted ‘creep’ to surrounding areas.

There has been quite a lot of deterioration in some of the structural woodwork, as well as hazards from screws coming adrift; Ed has made temporary repairs where possible, and the problem has been reported to PfP which is in the process of responding.