The Waterways Management Company

The Waterways Management Company (WMC) is a properly constituted company and is registered with Companies House (Registration No. 3968441).

It is a company limited by guarantee and not having a share capital.  The WMC must follow certain rules, some of which are laid down in government legislation and some 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.

 

WMC Estate

The Estate of WMC 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 the 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.  

You can see the map of the estate here.


Management of the Estate

The Company is 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 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. More information on the Waterways estate and how it is managed is given in the Welcome to the Waterways booklet.

The WMC act as an association of and for its members but differs from the Waterways Residents Association (WRA). 

The WRA represents all residents and organises events and activities, including publishing a newsletter. The WRA is a separate organisation (a community interest company, Registration No. 08058658) that seeks to represent all residents of the Waterways.  Learn more about WRA here.

 

Members of the WMC

If you own either the freehold to a house or the leasehold to an apartment, then you are a member of the 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.

Please note that the WMC represents the property owners only (freehold houses and leasehold apartments) and manages the common private parts of the estate. 

 

Operations of the WMC

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 (14) Directors and is always interested to hear from the members who may be thinking about becoming Directors. If you care about the Waterways and want it to be a great place for everyone, if you enjoy taking responsibility and getting things done, are a good team player, (and perhaps a leader), and can spare a few hours a month, then there may be opportunities to get involved as a director of the Management Company. The principal task of the directors is to oversee the work of the estate managing agents. For further details, please contact the Chair at chair.wmc@gmail.com.

The work of the Management Committee is supported by several sub-committees that focus on areas of responsibility, such as the outdoor areas or the apartment blocks.


Current Directors of the WMC

Nazeem Dharamshi

Dr Ann Hall

Roni Hameiri

Kate Lack (Secretary)

Sarah Lally

Prof Nicholas Orme

Dr Aroul Ramadass (Treasurer)

Paula Reynolds

Louise Robertson

Dr Brian Shine (Agenda Secretary)

Raquel Stremme

Pat Strudwick

Liz Wheater

 

WMC meetings

Annual General Meetings

Annual General Meetings are held in the autumn and members of the Company are invited to attend these meetings. They are an opportunity to hear about how the Company is doing, learn about what has been done on behalf of all members and what is planned, participate in appointing Directors to run the Company on behalf of all the members and vote on matters and resolutions (limited to one vote per household). 

The Management Committee Meetings

The Waterways Management Committee convenes every two months to discuss the agenda items set out to manage the estate and review the activities of the FirstPort Property Services. 

You can access minutes of the AGMs and the Committee Meetings here.

 

FirstPort Property Services

The WMC has appointed FirstPort Property Services as their agents to manage the day-to-day running of the estate in accordance with the instructions of the management committee and to ensure that the terms and obligations of the transfer agreements and leasehold apartment leases are adhered.

FirstPort is responsible for the care and management of the common parts of the estate, i.e., anything used or shared by two or more properties within the WMC estate but nothing that serves any single property exclusively. It is also responsible for the structural and internal common parts of buildings containing leasehold apartments and the communal external estate areas but is not responsible for any internal parts of any individual properties. 

FirstPort delivers its service through the employment and management of contractors on site, such as the cleaning of the communal areas to the apartment blocks or the care of the areas of landscape planting. They are also responsible for issuing invoices to the property owners and collecting the money due.  

All queries about the management of, or problems on, the estate should be directed to the FirstPort. The best way to contact them is to email using the estate dedicated address below.

Telephone:  0333 321 4080

Email: the.waterways@firstport.co.uk

Website: https://www.firstport.co.uk

Post:

FirstPort Property Services
Marlborough House
Wigmore Place
Wigmore Lane
Luton U2 9EX
Bedfordshire

As a member of the WMC, you can register for a personal account in the FirstPort website and manage online using the My Home customer portal.

If you have any concerns about FirstPort’s handling of an issue, then you can raise the matter with the Directors by emailing chair.wmc@gmail.com. But please first follow FirstPort's own complaints procedure.

 

This page was last updated on 01 Jun 2024.