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12 Federation of Private Residents’ Associations Newsletter Fairness law could be unfair


Concern about the potential burden of new anti- discrimination legislation on leaseholders running their own blocks of flats has been communicated to


the Government by the FPRA.


The FPRA was asked to comment on a proposed Single Equality Act which will have implications for the common parts of flats. It will legislate on improvements for the disabled in these areas.


FPRA Chairman Bob Smytherman, commenting on the consultation paper “Discrimination Law Review – A Framework for Fairness”, said the FPRA agreed that all flat dwellers should be treated fairly and with respect.


However, he said, many residents’ associations and management companies were formed to run their residential blocks by volunteers from the tenants or leaseholders who gave of their time freely. “It is on these volunteers that the new duties under this proposed legislation will fall in their role as landlord and manager.


“We are therefore calling on MPs from all parties to work with us and to minimise the burdens and complexities of any new Single Equality Act and provide clear and unambiguous advice to supplement legislation to ensure that the law that is meant to prevent discrimination does not discriminate against the very people they are trying to protect.”


WARMTH


Leaseholders “left out in the cold” by Government ‘Warm Front’ scheme


FPRA Chairman Bob Smytherman believes leaseholders living in purpose-built blocks of flats are being discriminated against when it comes to the Government’s “Warm Front” energy efficiency scheme.


“We all know that carbon emissions from our buildings are a big problem,” said Bob Smytherman. “In my own block we wanted to improve our energy efficiency by having cavity wall insulation to help our residents with fuel bills and prevent them from falling into fuel poverty this winter.


“We are currently working with the Warm Front scheme to provide cavity wall insulation for our block. A number of our residents qualify for the various grants, both from local and national schemes, yet despite this the whole process has been immensely bureaucratic. We are still no further on from the initial presentation at our AGM last year by the local fuel poverty coordinator.


“With the latest news about the rising numbers that are falling into fuel poverty, the Government needs to give greater priority to those many flat-dwellers who are already struggling with increased service charges and not penalise flat-dwellers through no fault of their own.”


GIVING FPRA A LIFT


Expert advice on lifts in blocks of flats is now available to the FPRA as we welcome our newest honorary consultant.


Paul Masterson, 51, has worked in the lift business for 35 years, starting out as an apprentice and rising through the ranks in a number of different companies to senior engineer then management before starting his own company in 1992.


His firm PIP Lift Service Limited is now responsible for 1000 lifts on service. Paul commented: “We are a London based independent lift company that has been established for over 16 years. Our aim is to provide all clients with an all-encompassing professional service, good communication, value for money and total dedication to all contracts, whether large or small.


“PIP Lift Services are often recognised by the industry and our clients as a viable alternative to the original manufacturer and installer for general maintenance and modernisation upgrades for all makes of lifts, together with performance upgrades utilizing the latest design technology.”


The inclusion of an insert or advertisement in the FPRA Newsletter does not imply endorsement by FPRA of any product or service advertised


Your Committee Chairman: Bob Smytherman email: bob@fpra.org.uk


Vice-Chairman: Richard Williams


Hon. Treasurer: Michael Derome


Members: Robert Levene, Bob Smytherman, Philippa Turner, Rowena Wilson


Hon. Consultants: Lord Coleraine, Ann Ellson, Peter Haler, Andrew McKeer, Paul Masterson, Yashmin Mistry, Andrew Pridell, Martin Redman, Nic Shulman


Chief Executive: Robert Levene


Newsletter Editor: Amanda Gotham


Layout: Sarah Phillips


FPRA only advises member associations – we cannot and do not act for them. Opinions and statements offered orally and in writing are given free of charge and in good faith and as such are offered without legal responsibility on the part of either of the maker or of FPRA Ltd. All questions and answers are passed to our Newsletter and Website editors and may be published (without name details) to help other members. If you prefer your question and answer not to be used please inform us.


Extra copies of the Newsletter can be obtained from the FPRA office at £3.50 each, postage paid. Cheques to be made payable to FPRA Ltd. They can also be seen and printed out from the Members’ Section of the FPRA website.


Contact details: The Federation of Private Residents’ Associations Limited, Box 10271, Epping CM16 9DB. Tel: 0871 200 3324 Email: info@fpra.org.uk Website: www.fpra.org.uk


If telephoning the office please do so weekday mornings


Issue No. 87 Winter 2008


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