FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE LOL COMPANY
The remit of the committee is to maintain the land owned by the LOL whether it be concrete, grass, boarders or fences.
Concrete areas are regularly inspected to ensure the concrete remains in good condition, free from cracks and surface break-up and that drain covers and the drains themselves are functioning properly.
On the gardening front our contract gardener (Caroline Ambrose) looks after the day to day maintenance of our shrubbed boarders and grassed areas, but as a committee we look to the bigger jobs like tree maintenance, which would require the hiring of specialist companies to deal with any problem. With each of these jobs, quotes are obtained and assessed as to whether we are getting good value for money.
Some boundary fences and walls are also our responsibility and are regularly inspected to make sure they are in an adequate and safe condition. Do let one of the committee know if you spot anything you think might require our attention.
The company has no remit to deal with other local issues but our regular meetings – once company business has been dealt with – provide a good opportunity to discuss any burning issues. Recently the problem of poor broadband speed has come up. Action was forthcoming and along with local councillors (who were very keen and helpful), committee members lobbied BT to do something about this. We are still waiting but our box in Lock road is now on the list for an upgrade – watch this space.
The company also has no remit to deal with any neighbour disputes and always make it a rule not to get involved; after all we are only fellow neighbours.
In the past we have replaced decaying concrete areas with concrete block paving which has proved successful at improving the look of the development, while at the same time replacing worn out and broken concrete. The renovation of several of these areas was funded jointly by the LMC and adjoining residents who took the opportunity to replace their private driveways at the same time, thereby saving us all some money. Block paving lets some water through to the ground below, while at the same time providing a more attractive finish which is also repairable if there is a need to dig the area up to gain access to a broken drain, for example. This proved accurate a few years ago when a newly laid area of block paving alongside 4 and 5 Thamesgate Close had to be pulled up and relayed in order to gain access to a broken drain which had caused a massive blockage affecting other several properties.
This year (2015) we have replaced the mastic fill between the rafts of concrete (mainly in Fisherman and Headway Close) which was in a poor condition, and are dealing with some lose drain covers in those same areas. We found the drain covers were sitting on crumbling ceramic bases and an attempt has been made to remedy the situation by remolding the tops to provide a secure fitting for the drain covers. The repairs to the concrete and the replacement drain covers cost £300.
THE COMPANY AT WORK – GARDEN AREAS
When Caroline Ambrose took over as our contract gardener she was faced with many of our garden areas which had been left to overgrow with huge shrubs that were occupying the whole space available. Over several years now she has brought back shape to these shrubs and used the freed-up space for more interesting planting.
This year (2015) we felled a cherry tree in Headway Close that was leaning badly as a result of trying to get to some light from between its bigger neighbouring trees and we lopped a willow in Thamesgate Close.
Since its conception the company has had to maintain our boundary fences, including the installation of new boundary fencing where its absence was causing a problem.
In 2014 we repainted the railings alongside Thamsgate Close and footpath to the lock in order preserve its longevity.