Grounds Maintenance

Woodilee Residents Association would like to advise residents that the main contractor for ongoing maintenance of the estate, Root One, have decided to terminate their relationship with RMG and cease providing maintenance to Woodilee on a rolling monthly contractual basis from 31st May 2021.  We understand this is due to ongoing problems with the relationship with RMG which have not been resolved, however Root One are willing to retender on an annual contractual basis. 

We have approved the appointment of a temporary contractor whilst tendering processes are completed to appoint a new contractor. 

We initially engaged RMG relating to tendering the maintenance contract in November 2020 to give RMG sufficient time to liaise with interested parties prior to the new contract date of 1 May 2021.  This process has been significantly delayed due to the lack of action to develop a detailed specification for work on the estate and lack of engagement from RMG to manage the tendering process for new contractors.  We will continue to push RMG to manage the tendering process effectively to agree the next annual maintenance contract.

Local Artist – Short Film Project – MUGA 27th April

Woodilee Residents Association

As previously posted the WRA has granted permission for local artist Jackie Donachie to make use of the MUGA basketball courts on Tuesday the 27th of April for a short film art project.  Jackie previously created the art work ” Irene” for Trails and Tales is making an art film for Folkestone Triennial 2021, public art festival. She will be filming this on the MUGA on Tuesday the 27th of April and is looking for volunteer dancers, to do the slosh! Socially distanced rehearsals, refreshments and also a very kind honorarium is offered.  If anyone of our residents are interested further details can be found here.

MUGA Usage Update

Woodilee Residents Association

In a recent post the WRA flagged the increased demand from both commercial and non-commercial organisations for access to the MUGA to run group activities. Given the number of requests and potential for issues, the WRA have created a set of usage “do’s and dont’s” and a process for seeking permission to use for group activities. The aim was to implement some light touch co-ordination with restrictions on how and how often the MUGA can be used for group activities. As these activities are often used by residents the WRA took a decision to allow them.  You can view the operating guide here and “do’s and don’ts” here.  As always feedback from residents appreciated.

Further, we had a request from a local artist (Jackie Donachie) from Lenzie for use of the MUGA for one day as a location for a short film as part of an art project. It would be 7am-4pm, likely on Tuesday 27th April with contingency dates of Wednesday 28th April or Tuesday 4th May in event of bad weather. It will require full use of the MUGA for the duration.  As this is a community based project and thought it might be quite exciting for the estate the WRA took the decision to provide permission. We’ll post further updates on this in advance.

Woodilee Factoring Service

At the last WRA AGM a number of residents joined and expressed openly their frustration with the service provided by our current factor for the wider Woodilee estate (RMG) who were appointed by the consortium of developers when the estate was first built.  RMG were in attendance and made verbal promises to progress to resolution the issues raised.  Similar frustrations and feedback were passed on by the outgoing WRA committee members.  The new WRA members (as a Committee) made a decision at this time to work with RMG and seek improvement over a short time frame. That promised improvement unfortunately hasn’t materialised. Today the WRA sent on a formal complaint to RMG. Attached was a detailed fact based assessment of their performance against their own documented service commitments. One of our Committee members spent considerable time over the festive period writing up this detailed and valuable document.  As we want to give RMG the right to respond (as per their quoted 10 day complaints procedure timeline) I cannot share the report publicly just now.  This formal complaint follows a similar one made by the outgoing WRA Chair in 2018.

The WRA would like to progress a “phased” approach to remediating our current factoring issues.  PHASE 1 is to seek a wider feedback from residents on their engagement with RMG and whether they would support voting to empower the WRA to replace them (should they fail to meet their own service commitments within a reasonable period of time).

PHASE 2 would be to formally run a voting process to make that decision. In advance of this the WRA would provide residents with further information on RMGs performance to date and the logistical and financial aspects of any switch. The powers to appoint another factor would also be caveated with constraints around cost and other aspects to ensure the WRA does not replace the current factor with a  factor that costs a lot more.

Should residents vote to empower the WRA to determine who factors the estate going forward we would intend to open discussions with a select group of alternative factors and compare their offering with what RMG have provided and provide at that time (including any uplift in performance).  PHASE 3 – Termination, selection and appointment of a new factor OR retention of existing factor would sit with the WRA.

Please note that performance observations relate to the property management service not the 3rd party vendors who provide services to the factor for the benefit of residents such as grounds maintenance. Clearly management and measurement of 3rd party vendors is a key factoring service but I just wanted to make that clear.

I would also flag that a number of streets within the Cala Ph2 development are classed as Oxgangs and NOT part of RMG’s Woodilee Village factoring contract. They have a separate contract with RMG. Further, many of the blocks of flats have separate contracts with RMG for factoring services related specifically to the flats. This is in addition to the fees paid by these flat owners for RMG’s management of the wider estate. The clock tower flats have previously replaced RMG for this factoring service (which included also the grounds specific to the Clocktower) as have one of the blocks of flats on Rutherford Drive.  I raise this as I think many residents are not aware of the factoring arrangements and accountabilities in place across the wider estate.

To help us assess resident’s appetite to empower the WRA to progress this agenda, can you email us at feedback@woodilee.org.uk with your thoughts/feedback/concerns and whether you would support such a proposal if presented in future as a formal vote.