27/1/18:  This note was delivered to all residents today - it is obviously in response to the open letter below entitled 'Meeting with the Accountant' below which was sent to residents to keep them informed of what was happening with regard to the 2016/17 account.

Why the director and committee of the SRA felt it necessary to put out such a note is unfathomable, perhaps they need to give the impression that they are actually doing something. 

The first issue with the note is how downright patronising they are to actually speak about residents in the terms they have - the director and committee would be wise to bear in mind that these are the people who should be given their full respect and who have voted them in over the past few years - they can easily vote them out come the next AGM if they so desire.

The second issue is how they have attempted to distance themselves from their responsibilities as far as accountability and transparency is concerned with regard to the content of the letter.  They in fact, are responsible for issuing the so called 'breakdown' of expenditure, in the full knowledge that this is not what was required.   Perhaps they feel with hindsight that they need to justify themselves at the realisation sinks as to what a mistake they have made either through ignorance or stupidity - or both.

And finally - given all of the problems and issues raised throughout the website over the past 8 months or so, that the director and committee would finally get the message that the old way of doing things are gone and it is way past time for them to be accountable to the residents.   They should really consider their positions because if they cannot conduct themelves in a proper manner expected of an elected committee, be open and transparent about the finances of the estate, give residents the full respect they deserve, then it is time they resigned their positions.  They need to also remember that the issues already voiced on the website are not going away and no doubt there will be future ones to expose, so if they choose to remain as members of the committee then they really do need to up their game - starting now.


Open letter sent to the Residents 16/2/18

Meeting with the Accountant

The Residents have a right to be kept informed of matters concerning the estate and have the right to know the outcome of the meeting which was held on 16/2/18 regarding the breakdown of Income and Expenses 2016/17 which had been requested for the past 5 months.   The Accountant acting on behalf of the Director of the SRA and the Committee finally agreed to supply this information and stated that the details of the breakdown supplied was not for publication and were for the eyes of the Residents only. As they do not have any control over the publication of the other matters discussed, the bulk of the letter is being published here, and the complete unedited letter was sent to all residents on the estate on 16/2/18.

          Dear Sycamores Estate Resident,                                                                                      16/2/18

For your information, a meeting was held yesterday 15/2/18 with our Accountant and Managing Agent at his office, following requests for details of our Estate’s Income and Expenses for tax year 2016/17.  Those present at the meeting were myself and another resident,  the Company Accountant, and 2 committee members.

Details of the information supplied as a 'breakdown' has not been published here at the request of the accountant.

Further Information from the meeting: 

The Garden Services as well as Repairs & Maintenance Services are not employed on a Contract basis. 

The Company Bank Account – it was confirmed that all Estate monies are kept in an ordinary bank account and not an interest bearing account.  The Accountant said that the Sinking Fund is ‘kept in trust’ for the benefit of the Residents – which may give the impression to a lay person that the money is deposited in a ‘trust account’ which yields interest, however it was clarified that all of the Estate’s money is kept in an ordinary bank account, which is why the Estate receives no interest on the funds it holds.  

Oversight of the Annual Accounts –It was clarified that there is no external oversight of the accounts and the only people who are fully aware of the Estate’s financial dealings are the SRA Ltd Director, the Committee and the Accountant.  As a not for profit Limited company, the SRA Ltd is not required to provide full accounts to the tax office (HMRC), and when Audited at the request of the SRA Ltd, only a sample of the accounts are checked.  It was also confirmed that the Residents do have the right to call for an external Audit should they not be satisfied with the financial management of the estate. 

Legal Responsibility – it was also confirmed by the Company Accountant that in the event of any irregularities coming to light either through examination of the annual account by for example HMRC, or an external Audit requested by the residents (as per the terms of the Lease), the SRA Ltd Director as well as the Committee members at the time would be legally responsible. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter – it is important for all Residents to be informed as to where and how their money is being spent and how the finances are being handled, I hope you not only find it informative but useful.   An undertaking has been given by Accountant that in future a full breakdown of all Income and Expenses will be issued to the Residents when the annual account is published.

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December 31, 2021

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