Tower Hamlets Watch

Tower Hamlets Homes Residents Involvement Strategy?? | December 14, 2010


Upon perusing the Tower Hamlets Homes website today I was finally glad to see that THH had found it possible to at last consider creating a true Resident Involvement Strategy.

Link on THH website to Resident Influence

Clicking on that little blue link over at THH’s website brings you the following document;

Resident Influence at Tower Hamlets Homes

Which tells you that at the most recent meeting of the Tower Hamlets Homes Board on the 12th October, that board members discussed the findings in a document called “On Being Resident Led”.
This report carried out by Campbell Tickell and funded by Tower Hamlets Homes at a cost of around £3,500 pounds, with funds from the public purse, is about the need for resident involvement.

The problem is, is that Tower Hamlets Homes are refusing to release the contents of this publicly funded report into resident involvement. Its so secret that they have done their utmost to conceal not only the contents of this report, but also any minuted discussion of the report itself. The meeting on the 12th October 2010 is not even listed as a meeting of the board on its publicly available page on Tower Hamlets Homes website dedicated to meetings of the board.

What seems even stranger is that there were two meeting either side of this meeting of the 12th October 2010, these were held on Wednesday, September 29th 2010 at the Toby Club, Vawdrey Close, E1 4UA and also Tuesday, November 9th 2010 at Keddleston Community Centre, Hollybush Gardens, Bethnal Green, London E2 9RP, yet the agenda for the November Meeting does not even list the previous October 12th Meeting. In fact they list the minutes of the September meeting for confirmation in Agenda Item 4.

Why so secretive?, what does this report highlight?

Sources within Tower Hamlets Homes confirm to me that their definitely was a meeting of the Board, as highlighted in the report “Resident Influence At Tower Hamlets Homes”, but cannot tell me anything regarding the report itself, or release it, or even give me the minutes of the October 12th Meeting of the Board.

It gets even murkier, Paul Allen Head of Engagement who was at a meeting of the Residents Panel on the 21st October 2010, where this paper was finally discussed, was extremely reluctant to release copies of this paper at that meeting. In fact in the minutes of that meeting, panel members addressed the problem of being invited to a meeting to discuss the findings of this secretive paper “On Being Resident Led” without having previously been sent copies of the paper.

2.7 The Chair and other panel members expressed
their concerns regarding the way that documents
were being presented to the resident’s panel in
that they did not get enough information; no
involvement in decisions were ever brought to
the meetings and many items they are asked to
look at always comes to the panel too late to be
able to have any influence or input.
– Minutes of a meeting of the Tower Hamlets Homes
Resident Panel 21st October 2010

So where is this document? A document that discuses and apparently puts forward a Housing Association in the Borough (“well I suppose that counts out Poplar Harca) as a model of resident involvement, and as the title of the report suggests “Being resident led”, where is it?
A document that THH refuse to release, paid for by your taxes, that was first talked about at board meeting that has now been deleted from all but one record, that was not even produced to a special meeting of the residents panel before being asked to discuss and vote on its findings, that has had very little public scrutiny, all supposed to be about the benefits of resident involvement.

What a joke..


Posted in Uncategorized

3 Comments »

  1. Well, I reckon it cost a lot more than the £3500 quoted in the FOI, since apparently there was someone from Campbell Tickell there for some time. Normally this kind of cash is less than a week’s work for ‘consultant’. I have read the report, it is unexceptional and full of management-speak. One interesting area is that it is full of praise for Poplar Harca an organisation that is detested by its residents and practically everyone else in the borough. Perhaps this is one reason for the suppression.

    I am trying to get a cost of all the meeting that were mainly to serve as Potemkin Villages for the Audit Commission, to persuade them that THH were ‘engaging’. No comment.

    Comment by Hugh Barnard — December 18, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

  2. Aha, and the fact that Campbell Tickell also sponsored Poplar Harca’s recent award for Youth Empowerment and not disregarding that the TSA also employed Campbell Tickell recently to produce a report on successful RSL’s entitled ‘Better Than Before’, all leans towards an organisation that seems to be involved in a lot a backslapping..

    Comment by Cas — December 18, 2010 @ 5:19 pm

  3. What strategy, they won’t be delivering no resident engagement strategy. Just heard through a friend that works at THH, that they are cutting 80 jobs at THH including the whole repairs team (which has been privatised through their new repairs contractor Mears), the whole of the major works & decent homes team (which has also been privatised through another contractor), but shocking of all they are getting rid of the whole resident engagement team.

    They like to talk the talk, but when it comes to resident engagement and really listen to residents (and I mean REALLY listen) its just lip service. Wonder who will now make THH ‘more resident led’ if they are getting rid of the resident engagement team, as stated above. Wonder if this is being privatised too.

    Wonder if the board or this residents panel above have been consulted about these changes and if their views have been taken on board.

    Wonder how the new repairs service will be or the major works and decent homes service, now that both of them have been privatised and all these companies will think about is their profit margins.

    I really think the new Mayor should consider taking housing back in house like newham has done recently.

    Comment by Anon1 — December 20, 2010 @ 1:10 am


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