Tower Hamlets Watch

Poplar Harca Ban Door Mats | July 6, 2010

Sources within Poplar Harca tell me that at a recent set of meetings with different Poplar Harca boards, it was voted to ban the use of Door Mats, Plant Pots & Hanging Baskets from outside of all Poplar Harca Tenant & Leaseholder Properties. Apparently this policy is still yet to be announced, and the majority of residents are at this moment still completly unaware.

After looking at this for awhile, it seems that if true,(and I have a reliable source on this), then Harca is not the first to impose such a ban, and that their have been numerous other instances with various Housing Providers.

The question now though is how will residents react to the as yet confirmed but unannounced policy (coming I assume in the following weeks) by Poplar Harca?

Some of the more reserved opinions from residents who know of this are already arguing that this is a “step too far” and that we;

“dont live in a nanny-state, so why do we have to put up with it?”

Will tenants take matters into their own hands like those in Wolverhampton who openly flouted this restriction imposed on them by their own Wolverhampton Homes?.
Will they also like the Wolverhampton residents who then pressurised their elected councillors to lobby their Council to overturn the ban?. Although at present Wolverhampton council didn’t exactly bow to the pressure but rather ordered a review of the situation, it still shows the depth of feeling amongst residents to this much heralded of traditions.

I’ve been informed that this has apparently been voted through on the Harca Boards on some ‘Zero-Tolerance’ Anti-Social Behaviour Policy. It would seem this is probably going to be implemented by a warning, apparently threatening the resident with the possiblity of proceedings being carried out that could lead to you forfeiting your tenancy agreement, or your leasehold agreement, for non-compliance with this ruling/warning.

“Essentially meaning remove these items or will boot you out of your home, regardless of whether you own it or not”

Where most other associations/councils seem to have pushed these same policies through. They seem to be with regard to individual blocks of flats targeting communal corridors, and stairwells. I’m led to believe that Harca’s policy will be a blanket ban across all Harca properties, regardless of dwelling, flat, maisonnette, houses, even those items placed behind gates, well away from typically defined communal areas are to be targeted.

These type of policies, I’m told, are all linked to the tragedy that occured with the fire on July 3rd 2009 last year in South London at Lanakal House, which even members of City hall still cannot to this Date decide how it spread, and to be blunt dont seem to even want to talk about it. Even though there are plenty of theories regarding its spread, it seems that some councils and other housing organisations seem set on using this tragedy to push through some extremely authoritarian Health & Safety Policies
These kind of policies at first sight would seem to have started out as what would seem to be a knee-jerk reaction to the Lanakal House Tragedy, and that some Organisations immediately brought in their own Door Mat Ban policies within a matter of weeks.

If you dig a little deeper though, I believe that the Lanakal House Tragedy seems to be being used to push through policies that were already in the pipeline and were already being used in earlier cases by other housing providers. Why the need for such an extreme Health & Safety Policy though?, when you will create an uproar with tenants, and that ultimately has no link to the recent tragedy?

It would seem that rather than actually thinking about Health & Safety as a first regard, it can come across as if these organisations are more worried about litigation from trip hazards occuring, and who would be responsible.Policies who’s sole benefit IMO seems in some instances to have been set up to avoid possible litigous proceedings in our modern day compensation culture.

Thurrock Council recently introduced the policy;

It has cited the recent fire at Lakanal House in Camberwell in July 2009, where several people died, as an example of the importance of health and safety.

where residents seem to have been opposed to policy;

“Its crazy but really funny at the same time, its health and safety gone mad.”

Local Firebrigade officers I’ve talked to, also think this policy is a step too far. Asking, me;

“Has their been any consultation with residents? and going on to state that although they would not like to go against Poplar Harca policy, that the policies do not come from them. This seems to have been something that Poplar Harca have arrived to with outside agencies.”

Although they agree that communal stairwells and corridors potentially littered with chairs, settees, bikes and the like can be a problem. They have never encountered problems with door mats, hanging baskets, or pot-plants.

I’m told that this policy has been in full consultation with residents, and this was actually instigated by the results of that consultation. Angry residents are arguing though that there has not been any consultation regarding this to their knowledge. I myself have spent the day looking for any sign of this within Harca’s own web site, including the councils, and also talking to Harca residents. Too be honest I cannot find any sign of any consultation regarding this either. Not that that means its not out there, just to state, that it at least seems scant on the ground

Resident Groups realising this is an outrageous policy are now looking to follow the example of other areas and seeking to call meetings with councillors.

Even though I dont own a doormat personally, it makes me want to go out and buy one in solidarity. One of those that would abide by the Ancient and Beloved Irish Welcome placed on doormats all across the emerald isle, and that brings a tear to the eye when first heard;

– Please feel free to comment on this post, and any innaccuracies you find will instantly be rectified if you notify me.

Posted in Poplar Harca

1 Comment »

  1. […] I looked everywhere for this type of information when i wrote the last post regarding this “Poplar Harca Ban Door Mats – 6 July 2010″ a few days ago, and could not find any clarification anywhere. I wonder if anyone read this, and […]

    Pingback by Harca Door Mat Ban Update.. « Tower Hamlets Watch — July 9, 2010 @ 2:44 pm

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