Update on the City’s S20 Dispensation

Please find below an update on progress on the City’s Application to the First Tier Tribunal for a Section 20 Dispensation, from the Sub-Committee co-ordinating the BA response. 

Update on the City’s S20 Dispensation

The BA response is being co-ordinated by a sub-group comprising: 

  • Adam Hogg, Chair BA; 
  • Sandra Jenner, Chair RCC; 
  • Brendan Barnes, BAGC member; 
  • David Graves, Lessee who is also a Solicitor 
  • Richard Tomkins, Lessee who originally identified the City’s unlawfulness. 


  • No City S20 consultation in 2017 for an important contract for Agency Workers which contributed significantly to our service charges to the tune of £2+mn – unlawful
  • City Solicitors did not answer for six months after a resident queried a charge for agency workers and asked if a contract had been entered into without consultation. 
  • City took a further year to apply for a dispensation after conceding that S20 consultation should have been undertaken – unreasonable and compounding of unlawfulness
  • City applied for a S20 dispensation with an ill-considered and perfunctory Application seemingly without considering whether any other residents/estates may be affected – unreasonable and unlawful
  • City Solicitors sought agreement from respondents to the original dispensation application to a withdrawal stating the reason is to pursue settlement. The prime reason is actually because other HRA residents need to be included if the case goes ahead.

Current position:

  • The City has been told by the FT Tribunal that it must notify all residents of its Withdrawal Application, not just those who have objected to the original Dispensation Application.
  • We shall be applying for our costs associated with the Withdrawal Application to be reimbursed by the City and also for the City’s costs not to be charged to our Service Charges 
  • The City will need to make another S20 Dispensation Application in due course. The ball is in their court. 

Invitation to the Great Disputation

Dear All,

As some of you know as you were actively involved in helping, I have been attempting to get the medieval Bartholomew Fair up and running again and it is to happen in a few weeks just in time for the 900th anniversary of Bart’s.

To celebrate as you will see below, we are resurrecting the Disputation that took place at the start of the Fair. 

The vicar who is very much to the Political Right has got his side and I (with the help of a couple of you!) have been getting the Left sorted.  The disputation will be ‘The love of money is the root of the nation’s evil’.  Those taking part will be Aaron Bastani (Novara Media), Eddie Dempsey (RMT), Michael Gove (!) and Alan Smith (the First Church Estates Commissioner) and promises to be an interesting evening.

If you wish to come along, get your free tickets as per the link below as they will go fast – there are only 280 seats – though it will hopefully be filmed and streamed.  please pass on to anyone you think would be interested.

Hope to see you there,


Tickets here:

Recent Letters from City of London to Lessees

Dear Barbican Lease Holders

All lessees will have received two letters from the Corporation on or around the 16th of August:

  1. An application to the First Tier Tribunal seeking dispensation from consultation from the City Solicitor.
  2. A Section 20 Notice of intention to enter into a qualifying long term agreement.

The two are related and refer to the City’s failure to consult in 2017 when setting up a contract to provide temporary labour.

As significant sums of money are involved the RCC and the BA are seeking legal advice on your behalf.

We will report back to you with more detail and advice on how we should respond to these letters as soon as possible.

Adam Hogg & Sandra Jenner

Cripplegate Ward Deputy Mark Bostock

It is with great regret that I write to let you know that Deputy Mark Bostock has just resigned from the Court of Common Council due to ill health. I’m sure we will all wish him well.

First elected in 2017 Mark became a Deputy at the last election in 2022. He has worked tirelessly for both the Barbican and Golden Lane residents to improve our services.  

He was one of the co-sponsors of the Planning petition which gained over 1000 signatures and aimed at making the City’s planning process more transparent.

A keen supporter of the Barbican Quarter team, pushing for a rethink of the London Wall West site, he has throughout his time strived to get the City of London Corporation to understand the value of an overall masterplan and not ad-hoc plans for small areas, in particular the importance of an overarching plan Smithfield, the Barbican and St Pauls.

The remaining members will continue his fight for a Cultural Strategy for the City and ensure that the Ward meeting he was organising for 18th October will be an opportunity for us all to hear more about ‘Destination City’ and its cultural aims.

Finally, and most importantly for all elected resident councillors he has pushed with me for the repeal of Section 618, a clause which meant that alone in the country City of London councillors cannot vote on housing matters where they have an interest. We have been informed by the Remembrancer that the clause to repeal it has now been accepted into the ‘Levelling Up’ Bill and trust that this will soon be passed into law.

We are currently shuffling some committee memberships to cover for Mark’s absence and make sure we carry on his good work. Expect a by-election in early November with hustings in October.

Alderwoman Sue Pearson

Cripplegate Ward

Barbican Estate Office Review (Stage 2 Report and Action Plan)

There is an RCC meeting on the 7th August 2023 and the RCC has invited responses via the RCC rep for each block:

To Members of the RCC

From Sandra Jenner Chair RCC and Adam Hogg Chair BA

Altair Report on BEO for RCC meeting on 7th August

Members of the RCC have been asked to consider how to respond to the Altair Report on the Barbican Estate Office at a special meeting on the 7th August.

The review of the Barbican Estate Office was set up by the City as a result of pressure from the Service Charge Working Party (SCWP) by David Lawrence, Adam Hogg Chair BA and Sandra Jenner, now Chair RCC, following the City’s decision to reduce the number of Car Park attendants whilst increasing supervisors and managers in the BEO itself.

The review by independent consultants Altair, covered all services for which residents pay – those provided and by the BEO itself and also Repairs and Major Works which are not managed by the BEO. 

The review was managed by a project board made up of Paul Murtagh Assistant Director Community and Childrens Services, Ros Ugwu Interim Head of Barbican Estate Office, and Sandra Jenner.

For continuity Adam Hogg who was Deputy Chair of the RCC, a member of the SCWP and subsequently Chair of the BA has been closely involved.

The paper to be considered by the RCC on the 7th of August includes for completeness a number of appendices which have already been circulated. A list of the new papers and pages is provided at the bottom of this message to help you manage the volume of papers. 

[With reference to page numbers from the agenda pack…]

For an in-depth understanding two redacted reports Interim Pages 13-76 which sets out the failings of the BEO and Pages 77-124 Stage 2 and the Action plan 155-162.

Residents should be able to form a view from reading pages 3-9.

Some comments

The BEO review has demonstrated that the services for which lessees pay are neither satisfactory nor value for money. In a nutshell, this is because there is no cost control nor service culture in any aspect of the services provided to residents as identified in the review. 

To rectify this will require a Major Transformation Programme over a period of up to two years.

The Action Plan, at present an outline, will develop into a living document. 

Residents will be represented on the management board governing this programme.

It has been agreed that the new Head of the Barbican Residential Estate must be responsible for all aspects of the services provided for residents. A new Head will be recruited shortly. 

Detailed scrutiny of the reports by Sandra Jenner and Adam Hogg ensured that residents interests were paramount. 

Throughout, the residents’ position has been that the review is about providing value for money without any diminution of services. The City has not challenged this.

The redaction exercise should not have taken so long.  The City should have started work on it earlier, however, some of the time was taken up with the need to agree proper criteria with and for proper scrutiny of the process by residents’ representatives. The redactions were deemed essential to allow the widest circulation of documents and the criteria for them has been published. 

If you have any comments of questions please share them with you RCC representative.

New papers [with page numbers from the agenda pack] are:

Pages 3-8 The introductory paper from Ros Ugwu providing a summary.

Page 9 A forward from Judith Finlay Director of Community and Childrens’ Services

Pages 77-124 Stage 2 Redacted Report Options Development and Recommendation

Pages 155-162 Action Plan.

Pages 163-164 Approval to recruit Head of Barbican Residential Estate

Barbican Estate Office Review (update)

Please click on the button below to view a copy of the redacted version of the Altair Interim Report – Appraisal of Current Services which details their evidence-based findings in the first stage of the BEO Review

Fortunately, it did not need many redactions. Where possible generic headings/information has been inserted where it has been redacted to aid interpretation.

Redactions have been made based using the following criteria:

  • Information which could lead to individual employees being identified.
  • Reference to performance of individuals or teams in a way which could be identifiable of individuals.
  • Information or relative cost calculations which could cause general prejudice to our commercial position and is commercially sensitive.
  • Information which indicates a potential change to a substantive post, redundancy or change to contract of employment in advance of formal consultation with recognised trade unions and employees. 
  • Resident safety and security

The Altair Stage 2 Report – Options Development and Recommendations has needed significantly more redactions and therefore needs the action plan to accompany it to assist with interpretation. This is still being worked upon and should be posted shortly. 

These will be discussed at a special meeting of the RCC on 7th August.

Sandra Jenner

Chair, RCC


Following a ballot of local businesses within its area, the BID has been given the go ahead.  As can be seen from illustration below, the BID’s area is far more extensive than that of the recently proposed Barbican and Golden Lane Neighbourhood Area.

According to the BID’s proposal:

The Culture Mile BID wants to work collaboratively with its residential communities, recognising the valuable contribution the wider community makes to the vibrancy and identity of the area. We want to develop a framework for meaningful engagement, which enables residents to feed into the work of the BID, not simply be informed of its plans. This could take the form of a Community Forum, facilitated by the BID, resident involvement with steering groups and agreed channels of communication between the BID and residential communities, working closely with ward member and resident associations. We want to develop the specific mechanics through dialogue with residents but want to make it clear that we are committed to working hand in hand with residents. Collaboration, diversity and community will be the bedrock of our BID.

However, the BID’s board has yet to be constituted. As a result, details of how and when engagement with residents will be effected will “follow in due course”. In the meantime, further details of the BID’s proposal can be found at https://culturemilebid.co.uk/.

AGM 27th April 2023

The Barbican Association Annual General Meeting

Notice is hereby given of the

2023 Annual General Meeting 

Thursday 27 April, 2023, 7.00pm – 9.30pm

City of London School for Girls

St. Giles’s Terrace, off the junction of Wood Street and Fore Street, London EC2Y


1.         Claire Spencer Chief Executive Barbican Arts Centre

2.         Update on the BA’s work during the year

3.         Members’ questions

4.         Treasurer’s report

5.         Election of:


                        Honorary auditor

                        Nine General Council members

6.         Proposed change to the Constitution that RCC chair is a member of the GC

7.         Any other business

Socialising: wine and soft drinks will be served

The main decision-making body of the Association is the BA General Council, which consists of nine members and the honorary treasurer, elected at the AGM, along with representatives of affiliated house groups. The General Council meets about every two months. At the AGM existing council members stand down, and if there are more than nine candidates for election, a secret ballot is held at the meeting and the results declared at the meeting.

Both the honorary treasurer and auditor (the latter is not a member of the general council) are elected at the AGM. Other officers are appointed by the members of the general council at its first meeting following the AGM.

Please send details of any issues you would like discussed at the AGM to Adam Hogg (chairbarbassociation@gmail.com).

Written nominations for the elected positions must be submitted (form enclosed) to Ted Reilly Deputy Chair no later than Tuesday 25 April 2023 via email tedbarbican@gmail.com

Candidates must be proposed and seconded, and the candidate must indicate that he or she is willing to stand.

Notification of representatives of affiliated house groups should reach the Deputy Chair no later than Tuesday 25 April 2023 via email tedbarbican@gmail.com


Membership is available on the door (£5)

Beech Street Zero Emission Scheme

The BA’s Beech Street working party prepared and submitted the below response to the Beech Street ZEZ and the wider area consultation…

… accompanied by a message from the BA Chair:

The Barbican Association has long advocated for a properly thought out, planned and funded whole area scheme to reduce pollution and manage traffic.

The current proposals do not provide this.

Our attached response cannot be interpreted as support for the latest proposal.

On the assumption that irrespective of our views the scheme will be implemented, we make recommendations that could ameliorate some of its negative aspects.