GLERA october meeting summary

Apologies: Cllr Anne Corbett, Cllr Mark Bostock, Cllr Paul Singh

In the chair Tim Godsmark called the meeting to order at 7pm and gave an overview of agenda items including antisocial behaviour and as a result of comments from the AGM and an update from the ‘Insulate Golden Lane’ workshop at Golden Lane Community Centre the previous Saturday.

Nickie Aiken MP took the floor. She has been our MP representing the Cities of London and Westminster for 3 years and following the pandemic was now able to start a series of Welcome Meetings, or in the case of the Golden Lane Estate (GLE), attend the General Meeting today. Nickie was keen to learn of constituents’ aspirations and concerns that would help shape future legislation. A supporter of Rishi Sunak during the recent elections as the best candidate to sort out the massive economic crisis. Any residents who wish to contact Nickie Aiken’s office can email –

Cripplegate Alderwoman Sue Pearson spoke about the Corporation’s winter measures. The Corporation has set up a fund awarding grants to local groups with good ideas for events to keep residents warm during winter. Ideas so far on Golden Lane were for a Community Choir and a weekly ‘Soup Social’. 

Due to the delay in the Windows Project, now set to commence for many in 2024, Jason Hayes from the Major Work Team brought samples to the ‘Insulate Golden Lane’ workshop the previous Saturday that would help insulate homes on the GLE. These included draught strips, tank liners, thermal curtain liners and special blinds. These were available free of charge for City of London tenants and at a cost to leaseholders. A survey was scheduled to be sent out shortly for all residents to complete and the hope was to have a number of ‘Guinea Pig’ flats for these warming measures across the estate. When a test run was undertaken at Cullum Welch, only three out of 30 tenants took up the offer of free help, many were put off by perceived disruption.

Paul Lincoln reported on progress with ‘Insulate Golden Lane’, the Bike Project and Imagine Golden Lane.

  • Only 20% of residents on the estate had either double glazing or insulation – heat loss was a major factor for all residents. The ‘Insulate Golden Lane’ workshop organised on the 29th October and attended by Jason Hayes had attracted a lot of interest.
  • The bicycle sheds would improve security across the estate and the project was progressing very well.
  • A new biodiversity action plan was underway and Paul was hopeful that the roof garden at Great Arthur House could eventually be reopened.

Gaby Robertshaw spoke about the Pilot flat in Crescent House where the Corporation were about to trial three different types of glazing – vacuum, double and triple. There would be independent tests giving thermal and acoustic levels for all types of glazing before any decisions were made for the main project. As a result of residents’ hard work, the pilot was expanded beyond its original remit. Costings and contractors were being assimilated while an archaeological survey would take place as soon as temporary scaffolding was approved and in place. The original windows scope was now to include the roof and ventilation as one project.

Jane Carr was invited to speak on City Advice

The City Advice Team at Toynbee Hall and City Advocates could be contacted by any resident requiring help or backup information. An advocate is someone who argues your case for you and will ensure – your voice is heard. – you have equal rights – you get the support you need.

Call 020 7392 2919(Monday to Friday 10am-1pm and 2-4pm) for help and advice or: Text 0743 658 083

Gaby Robertshaw introduced Father Jack

There has been a place of worship for over 1,000 years where today St. Giles Cripplegate ( stands at the heart of the Barbican Estate and we were joined this evening by the recently appointed Rector. Father Jack’s Parish covers Golden Lane Estate. Everyone is welcome and do watch out for his posts on       

Jacqueline Swanson then introduced Councillor Marianne Fredericks who has been a Common Councillor in Tower Ward for 14 years and in her role on the Housing Committee had visited each of the Corporation’s housing estates this Summer. As a result it was apparent that communications had to be improved, particularly for the reporting of repairs AND timelines involved which had until recently produced a false picture, namely after a repair call out, a swift initial visit would take place and then the system would in many cases disintegrate. An independent consultant has been appointed to put together a reporting system that is fit for purpose and Marianne and her fellow Deputy Chair, Timothy McNally  who was also present, were advocating that Housing should get its own Grand Committee.

We were advised that GLE was amongst the best of their estates and that the reversal of the Corporation’s recruitment freeze would see a marked improvement in Officer numbers and standards.

A resident satisfaction survey would shortly be rolled out to further inform the independent consultant.

It also transpired during later questions that the contractors for Waites ended in Spring 2023 (Contracts are currently tendered every five years).

On the recent Estate Office organised GLE walkabout a list of 50 to do items resulted. This and the follow up Estate Office drop-in session at the Sir Ralph Perring Centre are now each scheduled to take place quarterly. In the interim any matters could be reported to our resident Cripplegate Common Councillor on the Housing Management Committee – Ceri Wilkins email

Tracey Batten spoke about championing the fight against anti social behaviour. She has lived on GLE for 50 years and recently arranged for her neighbours at Cuthbert Harrowing House to keep a weekly diary of ASB issues. This highlighted the major problem was with unauthorised film crews using the Estate and the underground garage area. Other ASB issues included Uber drivers idling their engines on Fann Street and regularly emptying bladders near Tudor Rose Court.

When trying to report these issues she and her neighbours often found themselves bumped between Environmental Heath and the Police. In order to try establish how best to report she and Jacqueline Swanson have already had a meeting with the new GLE Housing Officer, Allison Panks and hope to have a meeting with Community Police Officers shortly. Allison is primarily concerned with any anti-social behaviour of residents and the impact on neighbours and will continue to work with the police, Parkguard, and other partner agencies to resolve ASB on the estate.

Their efforts were lauded by Nickie Aiken MP who prior to standing for Parliament held various positions in the Westminster council cabinet including public protection, before becoming its leader. She is very keen to offer her support.

The City of London police have an online reporting page with a separate area for ASBs which residents are invited to complete.

UPDATE: Jacqueline and Tracy are meeting with community police officers on Tuesday 29 November.

Numerous comments and questions from the audience were answered throughout the evening and topics were welcomed for future meetings.

 The General Meeting closed at 9pm.

Thanks to Gaby Robertshaw for taking thorough notes and writing the summary.

GLERA is a formally recognised entity by the Corporation and therefore a vehicle to help residents to make things happen. It presently has a small Committee and welcomes other residents. Please contact Jacqueline if you are interested in joining the Committee