repair service is getting worst.

One of our residents in the ground floor is constantly having problems with drain blocckage when it rains hard for a while.

Whilst just on New Years day a drain in the bath completely blocked, which also affects all waste water from the kichen, the repairs service does nothing to fix the situation. They sent a man with a large palstic plunger, which didn’t help, than a man with a drill, that couldn’t go around the bends of pipes from the kitchen to the bathroom. The tenant has been told they can still use the bathroom sink, to do

  • washing
  • washing up
  • laundry
  • personal hygiene
  • and all other things you need to do.

Apparently even the washing machine is connected to the same wastepipe as the bath, so that kitchen sink, washing machine waste flows into the bath/shower, making them unusable and THH wants to leave the tenant waiting for 9 days to have this repaired.

This is intolerable as the tenant is elderly with arthritis problems.

The councillor Eve McQuillan promised to contact Head of Repairs but why should we have to go to that lenght to get a blockage removed that is not due to negligence by the tenant?

Obviously the architecture of the block is complicated and out-dated and makes it very difficult to carry out repairs. A kitchen unit has been built in by the landlord to cover the waste pipes, which now needs a carpenter to remove to carry out pipe repairs.

Who suffers the endeffect? The resident.

New Unity doors

Let me thank all the operatives who work very hard to instal the new doors for all THH tenants and those opting to have them installed.

Whilst I now have first-hand experience of the new door, I must make recommendations to all who also have had them installed or plan to have them installed.

The doors comply with the latest national Firesafety regulations. Please see a data-sheet enclosed.

The doors have a more secure lock and key, the latter looks distinctly different from the previous standard type Yale key.

I would like to recommend that you lock your door with your key each time you leave your dwelling, even for a short time. The door remains open unless it is locked either from the inside or the outside.

The automated closing with the latch will only bring across bolts, but they do not lock the door, even if it sounds like your door is shut, it is not.

If you share your dwelling with others and those remaining inside whilst you leave cannot immediately lock the door from the inside, you are strongly advised to lock the door from the outside every time you leave as – if the person/s remaining inside cannot secure the door when you leave, – the door remains open.

It is similar to a car. You would never leave your car door open. I suppose it would invalidate a home burglary insurance if you failed to lock your door, even for a short while and then somebody enters your dwelling without your permission.

Door replacement program

Yesterday, 2nd November 2020, I had a visit to the AD Construction Group site to inspect those new doors, THH tenants have to have and leaseholders have an option to also instal.

The doors comply with British Standard 476, which I understand to be compliant to a 30m fire resistance inside and out. Unfortunately our current Masterdors do not hold out longer than 15 mins.

The new regulations in force and in light of the Grenfell tragedy require all front doors to comply with fire safety standards. This includes that fire doors no longer are self-locking. This means in practise all residents who have these new doors can never forget to lock their doors manually when they leave their dwelling for any amount of time.

Leaving those doors unlocked will allow anybody to enter the dwelling by pressing down the door handle, unless it has been locken with a key.

I enquired about smart locking, e.g. like cars, with a smart key that can also be used for smart services like Alexa, which enables us to voice activate and program our applicances. Unfortunately this option is not available with those dooors. I would strongly support it.

Also it has to be noted that the letterbox flap on the inside of the doors does not open furhter than around 45 degrees, which doesn’t allow the pushing through of larger and thicker envelopes.

We will be notified when Parkview is due to have the doors renewed.

posters damage tiles

I have had quite a lot of communications with Tower Hamlets Homes about them sticking posters into communal areas with duck tape and strong sticky tape. Yesterday those THH letters were removed and replaced with letter from the Mayor through our letter boxes.

The damage from the removed notices can be seen on the pic.

It must be cheaper for THH to put up notice boxes permanently instead of using strong sticky tape, which removed the tiles as well as the poster.

MyTHH

After some effort, I have now finally succeeded in getting a new log-in for MyTHH to discover that the report a repairs section advises users to download Adobe Flash.

The problem with that is, that for Internet browsers like Internet Explorer and Google Chrome, which are used by people with laptops and desk top computers, the support for Adobe Flash will stop in December 2020. Internet Explorer shows a clear warning that Adobe Flash will no longer supported after December 2020.

This is probably the reason why Facebook had a major re-programming of their site and all graphics now look different.

Some games operating via Facebook, which use Adobe Flash make clear notices that they will no longer work via Desktop or laptop computers after December 2020 but will still work for mobile devices such as phones or tablets if you download as Apps.

I have written to MyTHH because their website does not have any notice on MyTHH making users aware that most likely if they use a laptop or desktop to access the service after December 2020, they won’t be able to use it, if it continues to operate on Adobe Flash on all service platforms.

People also complained about service functionality on Twitter.

I have not seen MyTHH having an APP to use their service and I am quite amazed that their technical advice is non existent about this.

I am just quite annoyed as well because the last time I tried to report a repair, which was not classified as urgent, the phone operator forced me to report that repair via MyTHH and refused to accept it over the phone.

THH must make the technical changes to allow the service to function.

Chest hospital development approved

I am happy to say that the former Chest hospital has finally gotten the go-ahead for development. Planning App Ref: PA/16/03342.

whilst I, if given a choice, would always prefer a social housing development, I would also equally strongly oppose rotting buildings and decaying areas.

It will be a huge stimulus to our local area, when the former Chest Hospital gets developed. Shiny new buildings will look good in our neighbourhood.

Apparently also the last SNT Ward Panel has declared our estate as the most crime-free in the area.

We should make our future neighbours feel welcome.

Crest Nicholson. Grid Architects.

Door functionality

After writing to councillors, MP and THH, to alert them to design features of the new doors, THH have now confirmed that they will speak with AD about options. Our local Member of Parliament Rushanara Ali has also confirmed she is supporting this issue.

New doors – locking mechanism

The manager of AD Construction Group has now found the time to speak to me over the phone and tried to explain remotely how the new doors work.

What bothers me is that in none of the paperwork we received from either Tower Hamlets Homes or AD Construction was there any specification of the locking mechanism.

Apparently fire-proof is the overriding functionality of the doors at the expense of safety and crime prevention – in my view anyway.

As far as I understand it, the doors do not close when they shut. You can re-open them simply by pulling down the door handle, even from the outside.

You will have to lock the door with a key each time you go out for any reason.

Otherwise imagine you just want to pop to the rubbish chute, just get something from the car or pick something up from nearby, your door won’t lock when it closes from the outside. Anybody can re-open your door by pulling down the handle, unless you lock it with a key each time you go out.

Of course that will cost you a few more seconds each time you leave, it might also be more complicated having to put down your bags and lock the door instead of just trusting in the door to lock itself. And hopefully you do not forget to lock those doors as otherwise anybody can just open it from the outside. Apparently changing the locking mechanism would make the fire-proof certification of the doors invalid. I think that is hilarious if not ridiculous.

From the inside, there is no lock for a key, there is a type of knob.

Not sure how you make sure that nobody can open the door from the outside if you have to lock it to be closed but you can’t put a key on the inside.

It seems rather tedious for forgetful people, young people, old people who may not have the presence of mind to lock the door each time they step away from their front door.

I have tried to get a viewing on those doors to see for myself but that can be end of this week, start of next week. Apparently Tower Hamlets Homes has already approved those doors without ever giving out specifications as to their functionality.

I think you got to assess risk by taking the whole circumstance into consideration. Of course such doors are ideal for a highly volatile, high risk environment like a high-rise tower block but in ground-floor dwellings, which do not have any other security monitoring in place, a door that doesn’t lock, increases the risk of attack and burglary immensely.

In a high-rise all intruders get monitored with CCTV systems and there are additional door entry systems but street facing properties without entry systems will be exposed to a much higher risk from intrusion and people can be followed into their flats easier and that increases the risk for vulnerable people being less protected rather than more.

Of course in high-rise blocks there is no other way of entry than through the main door but in ground level dwellings and houses there are many other entry and exit points that help escape from a fire.

It seems illogical that as long as you don’t take a fire risk, any other risk seems tolerated.

Masterdor replacement

Thanks to the swift actioning of the problem with door replacements, a building insprector came to see me today and explained that those doors, which were installed roughtly 10 years ago around our estate were made by Masterdor, the same company that supplied doors to Grenfell Tower, which were found to fail the fire safety test.

That, of course,is a very good reason to change our doors according to government advice.

Luckily the inspector was very interested in Residents’ safety and promised me to look into the problem with letterboxes. I mentioned to him the problems residents have in the blocks near the Regents canal and he will look into this early next week.

I have been offered an appointment to see the new doors and visit the site office of the company installing them.

Through the chat we had I learned that the new doors by default do not automatically lock when closing and I was very concerned about this.

I have been told that anybody has to request a self-locking lock on the door. A door that doesn’t automatically lock when it closes will give an extra opportunity for a thief to come in. Many people forget to lock doors. I said that all doors should have self-locking mechanisms unless specifically requested and not the other way around.