29 July 2011 | By Alex Wellman of ‘ Inside Housing’
Social landlords are set to be grilled by politicians over service charges issued to tenants.
Steve O’Connell, London Assembly member, is launching an investigation on behalf of the planning and housing committee at City Hall to discover if the charges are fair and find out how they are determined.
‘The issue is whether the charges are reasonable and whether they are being administered fairly and openly. I suspect there is significant variation in how landlords determine and manage the charges, which is something my review will seek to understand.’ more
Tribune letter from ILA Director 7.11
HOW can HfI board member Jessie White say “Residents do have direct access to board members at each board meeting. Residents are able to come and ask questions or raise concerns and the board will investigate”? I have attended these meetings as a leaseholder with questions to ask and have found them intimidating. Quite often questions are not answered at the board meetings. Instead, the poor old tenant/leaseholder is sent home with the promise of a written reply. Not democracy as I know it. more
Tribune letter edit
Many resident have recently received a questionnaire from the council regarding the future of Islington’s council housing , and you should also be aware of governments intention to move “arm’s-length management organisations (ALMO’s) in social housing into the housing association sector”
Despite strenuously denying the possibility of allowing Homes for Islington (ALMO) to metamorphose into a Housing Associations, Islington council, via their latest extremely ambiguous, and divisive questionnaire, leaves the way open for HFI’s continued presence in Islington
Dr. B. S. Potter, Chairman FITA / ILA suggests draw a line across each page and write in the “comments section” Close HFI…TUPE all staff back to the council…and return Islington’s housing stock back under the direct management of Islington council, and our ELECTED councilors…This statement clearly indicates to the council that we consider council homes safer under the council then in a private company. If you agree…go to www.disbandHFI.org.uk and have your say without it being re-interpreted…!!! More
- Audit Commission Act 1998, sections 15 – 16
- Accounts and Audit Regulations 2003 Regulations 13, 14 and 16
Each year the Council’s accounts are audited and any person interested has the opportunity to inspect and make copies of the accounts and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers and receipts relating to them. (A charge may be made for excessive copies.)
The accounts for the year ending 31 March 2011 and documents will be available at the Council Offices, 7 Newington Barrow Way, London N7 7EP between 9.30am and 4.30pm on Mondays to Fridays from on Monday 27 June 2011 until on Friday 22 July 2011.
If you wish to inspect any documents please apply first to Mohammed Sajid, Chief Accountant, at the above address or call 0207 527 2574/2432/3531 or email Mohammed.Sajid@islington.gov.uk so that arrangements can be made.
From 10.00am on 25 July 2011 until the conclusion of the audit process, a local government elector for the area of the Council, or his/her representative,may:
– ask the auditor questions about the accounts. Please contact the District Auditor, Mr Philip Johnstone, at the Audit Commission, 1st Floor Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4HQ to make arrangements to ask any questions.
– object to the Council’s accounts asking that the auditor issue a report in the public interest (under section 8 of the Audit Commission Act 1998) and/or apply to the court for a declaration that an item in the accounts is contrary to law (under section 17 of the Audit Commission Act 1998). Written notice of a proposed objection and the grounds on which it is made must be sent to the auditor at the address given above and copied to me at the following address:
Floor 2, Council Offices,
7 Newington Barrow Way,
London N7 7EP
Director Helen Cagnoni asks for credit where credit is due , and details how a number of ‘improvements in services’ claimed by HFI, came about about due to previous work done by FITA & Kier, and notes how so-called Tenant Directors elected as ‘volunteers’ , voted themselves Annualised Allowances. more
Chair Dr Brian Potter reminds pro HFi letter writers of the lack of accountability of HFI and notes that HFI directors are rushing to defend HFI when resident lead initiatives, such as, for example, the www.disbandHFI.org.uk petition, threatens their lucrative future?. more
We have started a new website mailing list so if you wish to receive information updates please input your email details above, even if you done so before on this site.
Wednesday 13th July
in Islington Town Hall at 7 pm
Guest speakers: Mr. Ian Pearce: – a local surveyor, who will offer advice on building issues, and a solicitor representing the “LEASE” organisation
Hosting the meeting: Dr Brian Potter, ILA Chairman
Please view our website www.ila.org.uk, if you wish to become a member or renew your existing membership you can download a membership form from this website.
Please inform any leaseholders on your Estate, or in Street Properties about these meetings, and suggest they attend…especially those who may not have email , Dr B.S. Potter, ILA Chairman
The Disband HFI petition has just past its first milestone – more than 250 signatures (so far…!!):
The petition has just over six weeks more to run, but in order to make a big IMPRESSION we need to let more people know about the petition and help anyone having difficulty. We’d like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has already signed. We’d also like to thank everyone who has sent us ideas, comments and in general very positive feedback – this petition belongs to all who sign it – we’re counting on your help and support. A little energy on everyone’s part could make a noise the Islington couldn’t ignore.
To HELP Volunteers:
The Disband HFI website is now updated with downloadable paper petition forms, a poster as well as smaller flyers – all available from the “YOU CAN HELP” button on the left had side – www.disbandhfi.org.uk We would be very grateful if you could encourage other Islington residents and citizens to support the petition initiative – Write and forward emails to others who lives / works / studies in Islington. Signing the petition is not limited to one person per household (though each email address needs to be unique for verification purposes)!
Do you have access to a printer?
This initiative is entirely unfunded and depends on supporters to promote the petition with others in the Borough, perhaps you could display a poster, share flyers or complete paper petition forms (for anyone who does not have access to an email address). More info www.disbandhfi.org.uk
Tell your friends and anyone else who might be interested
Tenants nowhere to turn
Councillor says “consulation” a sham
Please read the attached Tribune article…and if you agree…sign the petition at:- www.disbandHFI.org.uk If you have already signed…Sorry!
IslingtonGazette reports on TenantsPetition to take back housing from HFI reporting that the housing organisation is overstaffed, inefficient and unaccountable. More
ila.org.uk are now on twitter, if you want , you can follow us @ilaorguk
or check our tweets online http://twitter.com/#!/ilaorguk