Stevenage Leaseholders

Ban on Mr Charles and Mr Aitkins Lifted

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This is the first post on some of the issues raised at the Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) Leaseholders’ forum held on 2 April 2014.

Mr Charles and Mr Aitkins have had their ban lifted. The agenda was changed in order to allow them to comment on the ban.

They felt that the ban had been unfair and the minutes of the meeting as posted were not an accurate representation of the the November forum. There are no detailed minutes available and the ones posted stated that the meeting had been abandoned.

Whereas the forum was far from normal, I do not recall being told the meeting was being abandoned. The other leaseholder at Wednesday’s forum remember Novembers’ finishing normally.

Mr Charles and Mr Aitkins also stated that where they had been warned about their comments on SBC employees, they had received no formal warning as to them being banned. They also complained that they had not been informed under what section of the old terms of reference they had been banned. Basically they felt that the procedures in the old terms of reference had not been followed.

The Chair asked Mr Charles to provide a set on minutes which reflected his recollection of the meeting

One of the leaseholders present said that he felt that trust had been lost and he thought we should all work to rebuild it. We do need to find a way to move on from this.

The Chair is looking to stand down and the position is open for applicants. From above it can be seen to be a thankless task.

Minute of Leaseholder Forum 6 November 2013


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April 10th, 2014 at 7:55 pm

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Stevenage Homes Leaseholder Forum 2 April 2014

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The next Stevenage Homes Leaseholders’ Forum will be held on 2 April 2014 and starts at 6:30pm in the Shimkent Room, Daneshill House.


  • 6.30 – 6.35 Welcome & Apologies
  • 6.35 – 6.40 Minutes of previous meeting
  • 6.40 – 6.55 Caretaking /cleaning in flat blocks–Kevin Turner/Sandra Clark
  • 6.55 – 7.00 Questions for Kevin /Sandra
  • 7.00 – 7.20 Draft terms of reference for the Leaseholder Forum
  • 7.20 – 7.40 Discussion on satisfaction survey questions
  • Any other business including future election of chair person and date of next meeting – Wednesday, 9 July 2014.

See you there.

There were no minutes to the November 2013 forum due to the meeting being disrupted. But theminutes to the February’s forum are now on the Stevenage Borough website are on the SBC site. In these minutes is a link to the Leaseholder Valuation Tribunal  decision which lay behind the problems.

Minutes of Leaseholder Forum 5 February 2014
Leasehold Valuation Tribunal determinations
  Look for number  9165 Stevenage Borouh Council v Caryle Charles

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March 31st, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Leaseholders’ Forum on 5th February 2014

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The next Stevenage Homes Leaseholders’ Forum will be this Wednesday, 5 February in the Autun Room, Daneshill House at 6.30 to 7.30pm.

Agenda for 6 November 2013

  • 6.30 – 6.35 : Welcome & Apologies
  • 6.35 – 6.50 : Communal Repairs & Caretaking update – by Kevin Turner/Sandra Clark
  • 6.50 – 6.55 : Questions for Kevin/Sandra
  • 6.55 – 7.05 : Asset management – Investment – by Alan Mortimer
  • 7.05 – 7.15 : Questions for Alan
  • 7.15 – 7.30 : Any other business including date of next meeting – Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Minutes from Previous Meetings


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February 4th, 2014 at 11:42 am

One Year Ban from Leaseholder Meetings

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The article ‘They’re trying to shut us up’ – Stevenage leaseholders’ anger after forum ban appeared in the Comet on December 5, 2013.

Carlyle Charles and Richard Aitkins, both leaseholders at Lonsdale Court in Stevenage, have received letters from Stevenage Borough Council saying they cannot attend public meetings where problems concerning council-owned buildings can be discussed.

I was at this meeting, and it was rather bad tempered. Mr Charles and Mr Aitkins were angry with Stevenage Homes and they did very little to hide it.

According to the Comet article:

The council said the pair’s behaviour was “unacceptable” and that they “dominated the meeting with their own agenda and made unacceptable comments about members of staff”.

The reason for the anger stems from Mr Charles taking Stevenage Homes to a Leaseholder Valuation Tribunal over work carried out in Lonsdale Court. The LVT found that almost half of the 39 maintenance job charges were either reduced or not payable.

I talked to Mr Charles after the meeting. He showed me some photographs of the work in question. He is a qualified bricklayer and clearly has strong opinions on the standard of the work carried out. He is also angry about having to go to the LVT to get the charges reduced.

In its findings the LVT said:

“The tribunal finds that Stevenage Borough Council’s methodology is directly responsible for the dispute in question. A reactive management system is generally not a satisfactory way of managing a building but, if operated, must be rigorously checked, lest the quality and specification of the works does not match the costs charged. In this case, the checking of only 10% of the work has resulted in sub-standard work.

The council did not provide a comment on the LVT’s findings to the Comet.

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December 20th, 2013 at 9:06 pm

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Old Town Christmas Event

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There is a day of fun in the Old Town planned for Saturday, followed by the lights getting turned on.


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November 28th, 2013 at 8:50 pm

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