Welcome to the winter issue of Barbican Life magazine.

As if I don’t ram this home every issue, please do subscribe (free) to the Barbican Association (BA) Email List.

GDPR dictates that the BA is unable to send you updates unless you have officially joined (even if you’re a paying member). It’s now more crucial than ever to receive timely updates from our volunteers about the Estate. There are various situations where resident action or feedback is required, and if you’re not on the email list, you might miss out on important information.

Isn’t it immensely satisfying to conquer something? Whether it’s navigating through confusion to grasp a new language, mastering a recipe, or unraveling the intricacies of the electricity bill, the sense of accomplishment is truly uplifting. Over the past three years, as service charges have surged, some of us joined working parties and committees to try and get a grip on repairs and maintenance. Soon enough, it became evident that Estate maintenance was neglected entirely; we were funding sporadic repairs without a coherent maintenance plan. Since then, there has been significant activity on both the BA and RCC fronts.

Fast forward to 2024, and the BEO review is now in progress, with a 30-year maintenance plan on the horizon. However, two challenges persist. Firstly, we haven’t fully mastered control over service charges yet. While progress is being made, it will take time. An independent audit, the first for our service charges, is underway, offering hope for clearer insights. Secondly, the issue of electricity under/overcharges and billing corrections due to the “meters not working” debacle still eludes our grasp. An independent audit is also addressing this matter. These are significant issues that your volunteer committees and working parties are actively addressing, among others. Being on our mailing list ensures you stay informed and avoid being in the dark about developments such as these.

Certainly, Houses run their own local campaigns too, addressing issues like inadequate cleaning or billing discrepancies for repairs. I’ve observed that the more organized a House Group is, the more effectively they hold the City accountable. For this kind of magic to happen, a House Group must be active and adequately staffed. However, I’m not sure that every House Group is managing. Therefore, I earnestly urge you to engage with your House Group. Each House Group has representatives on major committees, and these representatives serve as your voice in the Estate’s management. They are advocating for your interests, and they could greatly benefit from your assistance.

There has never been a more opportune moment for unity and collaboration.

Very best wishes for a blessed Xmas and New Year!
The Barbican Life Team