November 20, 2011 at 9:38 pm #1220
I think I should respond to this and look forward to what others have to say. In your order.
- The cost of cutting the holes in the canopies was unexpectedly high because they are made of high density cement particle and plywood, which together were very difficult to cut, requiring a lot of diamond jigsaw blades. I would estimate fifteen to twenty hours per canopy plus materials (two part epoxy edge sealing)
- Competitive tendering is often difficult to arrange for small jobs. RMG have a number of tradesmen on their books and should use their bargaining power tokeep daywork rates as low as possible. As you know, we have a contractor who does most of the small jobs on the estate (Ricki Lewis) and there is a considerable advantage in not switching contractors because familiarity with the scene here is vital to management of small jobs.
- The stolen mower has been replaced under insurance.
- Garden maintenance costs are on a par with internal cleaning costs, less than general building maintenance. There are no 'allotment style areas' we have planted fruit bushes and trees and a few potatoes which can hardly be said to be high maintenance. The new equipment we have is mainly for mowing the lawns and taming the bushes, not for the fruit trees. We pay our gardener around ten pounds an hour and she is pretty skilled by now. Outside contractors could deal quickly with things like leaf collection but I have been unable to find one who could provide the skills to look after our plants.
- I heartily agree with you about the trees in between the blocks. We have made an allowance for reducing the crowns by thinning and spending a certain amount on repairs to the brickwork each year.
Some of these matters were actually discussed at the meeting. I would be happy to meet anyone who would like to discuss further.