The Waterways Management Company (WMC)

If you own either the freehold to a house or the leasehold to an apartment then you are a Member of the Waterways Management Company (WMC).  Members are required to pay an annual service charge, to ensure the Company can meet its financial responsibilities.  During the early years of the development the WMC was controlled by the developer of the Waterways, Berkeley Homes.  In November 2006 Berkeley Homes handed over control of the WMC to ‘the residents’, in the form of a Management Committee of Directors, each of whom is a Member of the WMC.
 
The WMC is a properly constituted company and is registered with Companies House (the Company Number is 3968441).  It is a company limited by guarantee and not having a share capital.  The WMC has to follow certain rules, some of which are laid down in government legislation and some are laid down in a document called the Memorandum and Articles of Association (M&A).  The M&A are specific to the WMC but share much in common with those for other, similar resident management companies.
 
The M&A set out the principal objects and powers of the WMC, which can be summarised as follows
  1. to manage, insure and administer the Estate
  2. to act as an association of and for the property owners, and
  3. to acquire any freehold or leasehold property as an investment for the benefit of the Members of the WMC.
The Estate includes most of the communal areas around the Waterways, but not the two equipped play areas (which are looked after by the City Council) or those areas associated with properties that are looked after by GreenSquare (formerly Oxford Citizens Housing Association - OCHA), namely Rackham Place, Ryder Close and some apartment blocks and houses in Elizabeth Jennings Way and Stone Meadow. The Estate does not include the main roads around the Waterways but it does include communal parking areas and some short road sections, such as Clearwater Place, Complins Close and parts of Stone Meadow.  The Company is also responsible for the maintenance of the communal parts of the private apartment blocks, including roofs and balconies. The WMC is the only body authorised to carry out repairs and maintenance within the areas for which it is responsible and no one else is entitled to undertake such work.
 
The WMC can act as an association of and for its members but it is not be confused with the Waterways Residents Association (WRA).  The WRA is a separate organisation (a community interest company) that seeks to represent all residents of the Waterways.  You can learn more about the WRA elsewhere on this website.
 
The WMC has not purchased any additional freehold or leasehold property but the Estate includes some landscape areas retained by Berkeley Homes, the freehold of which may pass to the WMC in the future.  Meanwhile, the WMC is still responsible for the management of these areas.
 
If you want to know more about the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Company then an electronic version can be provided by email to any Member wishing to view it.  Please contact feedback.wmc@googlemail.com.
 
The business of the WMC is overseen and directed by Members of the Company who have been appointed as Directors of the WMC and who sit on the Waterways Management Committee.  Members can be co-opted on to the Committee between General Meetings or can be elected at General Meetings; any Member co-opted during the year is subject to election at the next available general meeting.  The Management Committee can have up to fourteen Directors and is always interested to hear from Members who may be thinking about becoming Directors - please contact the Chair at chair.wmc@gmail.com.
 
The work of the Management Committee is supported by a number of sub-committees that focus on particular areas of responsibility, such as the outdoor areas or the apartment blocks.
 
Minutes of the meetings of the WMC and of the AGMs are posted on this website.   Details of the accounts are circulated to all Members each year and are lodged with Companies House.
 
Those areas of the Waterways that are the responsibility of the WMC are looked after by the Company’s managing agent, First Port Property Services (formerly OM Property Management).  First Port oversee the work of those contractors who deliver services on site, such as the cleaning of the communal areas to the apartment blocks or the care of the areas of landscape planting, and they are also responsible for issuing invoices to property owners and collecting the money due.  All queries about the management of the estate should be directed to First Port.
 
Tel   0333 321 4080 or
Post First Port
       Marlborough House
       Wigmore Place
       Wigmore Lane
       Luton
       Bedfordshire
       LU2 9EX
 
If you have any concerns about First Port's’s handling of an issue then you can raise that with the Directors via feedback.wmc@googlemail.com. But please first follow First Port's’s own complaints procedure.
 
At First Port you can also manage your account online, see updates on maintenance issues and work in progress, and leave feedback. First you need to register and receive a password. To register, click here to access the First Port Get in Touch page and in the top right-hand corner click on Register Now in the Your property online section. You will need your First Port property reference number. If you are already registered click here to access the First Port website and enter your user name and password to sign in.


This page was last updated 3 June 2016.