Jamie Wake 2014 Independent Candidate for Whitley ward in the Reading Local Elections
  • scissors
    May 4th, 2014jamiewakerdgEight to get Straight, kennet island

    parking on kennet islandBeing a resident of Kennet Island, I share the residents frustrations – especially when it comes to the Parking Management and its Enforcement on Kennet Island.  Following consultation with residents, I developed my ‘Eight to get Straight’ on Kennet Island with Improved Parking Management being top of the list.

    Historically, there have always been issues with parking on Kennet Island.  There are simply not enough parking spaces available for the number of residents that live here.  This issue has been acknowledged by St James who have added further spaces in later phases of the development.  The parking situation has not been helped by the introduction of Parking Enforcement Companies.  The first, PCM, clamped vehicles in their spaces and even attempted to clamp supermarket delivery vehicle and we’re told attempted to clamp an ambulance!  Their threatening behaviour forced residents to call police on occasions and on one night, a group of residents attempted to block the clamper in.  Their customer service was poor and in many cases, residents clamped by mistake had to pay PCM the release fee and advised to appeal afterwards.

    Of course these stories reached the local press and the development became known as ‘Clampit Island’

    Kennet Islanders marooned by parking clampers

    Kennet Island parking row

    Support grows to fight ‘barmy’ car parking rule

    Clamped – but I had a permit

    Extra spaces should ease parking woes

    I was proud to be chair of the residents association at the time and we successfully had PCM removed from Kennet Island although they were replaced by UKPC who issues tickets.  UKPC decided to leave Kennet Island this year (Hallmark inform me that this was following ‘…a serious offence…’) and Hallmark replaced them with PCM without consultation with residents.  A petition has been launched to challenge this decision but we fear that this will be ignored by Hallmark.  After all, they manage to park in the visitors bays on Whale Avenue all day without a ticket.  Seems they have one rule for them and one rule for residents.

    Other issues with Parking on Kennet Island include the threat of a ban on commercial vehicles on Kennet Island – even if they were parked in a residents own parking bay.  This again was successfully challenged.

    Whilst UKPC were contracted, replacement and/or additional permits were charged at £5 whilst Hallmark were only charged 50p by UKPC.  Upon questioning, Pauline Southam of Hallmark insisted that the difference of £4.50 was deposited back in the developments Service Charge as income – even though there is not an entry on the service charge statements to verify this.  This is still being chased.

    PCM Park in residents bay for an hourTo give an example of PCM’s poor service, the PCM employee parked in a residents space today preventing the resident to be able to park in their own bay for an hour! A resident sent me the image to contact Hallmark and St James.

    As you can see, the current parking enforcement needs an overhaul.  That’s why its one of my ‘Eight to get Straight’ on Kennet Island.

    I will ensure that any appointed contractor by Hallmark/St James offers the residents of Kennet Island fairness, consistency and transparency.  PCM’s website state that there is potential client revenue generation from their appointment and I believe that any income generated from their appointment (or any other company) such as through the issuing of permits and any commissioned earnt should be accounted for and clearly displayed on the service charge statement and returned to residents through their service charge.

    Tags: , , , , ,
  • scissors
    April 30th, 2012jamiewakerdghousing, kennet island

    Hallmark have issues letters to Kennet Island residents charging them for each petResidents that live on Kennet Island have come home today to find letters informing them that will need to pay £36 to the Management Company, Hallmark Property Management, for each pet that resides with them.

    It is not clear at this stage if this latest action is aimed at Residents who live in apartments where there are likely restrictions in their leases or to all residents.

    As I have not received a letter (and I own a pet), I can not be sure of which type of resident has received a letter but from the calls and emails I have received so far, residents feel as strongly as I do about this.

    There has been no consultation with residents or issues raised with them.  There is no indication on how long this license runs for, how it will be policed and how it can be interpreted if you had 10 fish for example!  It also does not state what the charge will be used for.  It it for example to pay towards the upkeep of the small grass areas that are used by residents with their dogs or it simply going into the pockets of Hallmark?

    I have written to Chris Gilbert, MD at St James for an explanation.  I have asked him whether this is some kind of misunderstanding and for St James reasoning for implementing this charge now when they have given residents permission previously.   I have also made him aware that residents are deeply unhappy about this and it’s management by Hallmark Property Services.

    If there have been issues with residents owning pets – why have they never been raised with KIRA before?  That way a mutually agreeably solution could have been found that is not bullying residents who are already disappointed with issues such as parking.

    I have launched a petition to evidence the feeling held by residents which I will send them as soon as residents have had the opportunity to sign it.  The petition can be found at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/say-no-to-pet-licensing-by-hallmark-and-st-james.

    It’s this sort of thing that happens in our community that has prompted me to stand in this Thursday’s Local Elections and I will of course keep you, my neighbours, informed as this pet licensing threat develops.

    Tags: , , , ,
  • scissors

    On Wednesday evening, I was asked to accompany a resident to a meeting with developer, ST James, regarding residents concerns over the ever increasing service charges imposed by management agent, Hallmark. It is quite apparent that residents do not feel they are getting value for money and feel that they are being overcharge as well as being charged for services that they do not receive. The resident that had arranged this meeting was frustrated as she had contacted her elected councillor for help and she felt she was palmed off without any support. I was only too happy to help when other options failed her. The resident also invited a member of the Kennet Island Residents Association to the meeting as they hadn’t met with St James regarding the service charges and to avoid duplication over this issue.

    The meeting did seem proactive and I’ll update residents when agreed actions have been carried out. I will be meeting regularly to pursue the issues surrounding service charges plus any other issues that arise. During this meeting, the issues surrounding broken street lights on Kennet island have been raised. The lack of lighting in areas such as Gweal Avenue have created pockets of darkness by bike sheds and alley ways and seem to be hotspots for burglary. I anticipate ST James resolving this very quickly.

    Tags: , , , ,