whats happening with council housing stock in salford

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lucy82
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May 27 2005 11:13
whats happening with council housing stock in salford

I don't know if anyone is interested in this but just in case..

Salford have just finished their stock appraisal and 9% of council tenants responded. So the investment strategy that goes to the board this weeks is:

Central Salford ALMO

Beech Farm ALMO

Ordsall ALMO (with increasing self-management: Ordsall actually voted for PFI but you can't have two PFIs at the same time, so in the short-term they are going to be ALMO)

Pendleton PFI

Swinton LHC

Little Hulton/Walkden LHC

Eccles LHC

Irlam & Cadishead LHC (they voted for ALMO but Salford council want to ballot again in this area offering the LHC)

This is what is means:

ALMOs are arms-length management organisations where the city council owns the stock but sets up the ALMO to manage it. At the moment all the council stock in Salford is managed by an ALMO and all staff are employed by the ALMO. The current ALMO, New Prospect Housing, has to achieve two stars in the governement inspection next year to have any possiblity of tendering for the contract in areas that want to be managed by ALMOs. If New Prospect does not achieve this, there will be massive stock sell-off to other companies in the areas that want ALMO management because it will be impossible to get the goverment money needed without two star status.

LHC are local housing companies. Three companies will be set up to cover 16,600 homes. The housing stock is transferred to these companies who will own and manage it. Salford Council play an absolutely minimal role. Its their stock. We don't know the details about how these companies are going to be set up, who they might be, what the impact on tenants will be or what the impact on staff will be except we know we as staff will be shifted out to whichever company will take us if our skills are needed..

PFI is private funded initiative. Pendleton will be the first area to be managed by PFI where business and council enter into a partnership whereby the properties are leased for a long period of time from the council for the business's to manage (and where the intention is to make profit from). Ordsall will probably follow as thats what was voted for.

Salford also intend to set up a CSP (Common service provider) to work with the LHC, PFI, ALMOs re meeting governement guidelines on value for money. Draw your own interpretations on this one because I haven't any other info on it. As far as I can gather they will work with cross tenure services (services where provision has to be made across different companies like homelessness, asylum, older people). These services would run on short term contracts, approx 3/5 years.

In Sheltered Housing for the elderly, 4 sheltered housing schemes are closing, 9 schemes may well be losing warden service, and 17 schemes will stay as they are with three of the 17 providing extra care.

This strategy will go to the City Councils cabinet next week on 31st May and then to the government for approval. Tenants whose home are going under stock transfer to the LHCs will be balloted again in September 06 and the stock transfered in April 07. The PFI will happen in April 08.

For the staff involved who currently work in housing for the ALMO, we don't know what will happen yet. We are expecting to be moved with whatever company takes the stock but we don't know who that employer might be, where that employer might be located, whether we can be TUPEd over again as we've already been TUPEd over once from the city council to the ALMO (TUPE is being moved from one employer to another retaining your terms and conditions of employment and there are rules for how often and for how long this can be done). On top of all this uncertaincy we are meant to be working for two star status in the inspection or we know that the stock transfers away from the existing ALMO will be massive and the effects on the stability and continuation of our employment more far-reaching.

also although it says in two years time, these changes will take effect we have been told that the aim is for the structures to be in place by this time so the restructures start now.

lucy82
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May 27 2005 11:25

also its worth looking at this if you are interested in the deals being done around council stock

a contract intended to produce 250 million pounds profit for Capita within the next 12 years.....

http://www.capita.co.uk/Group/MediaCentre/PressReleases/Salford_City_Council_selects_Capita_as_preferred_Strategic_Partner.htm

and finally, last nights Manchester Evening News carried a comment about all the managers jumping ship. nice.

Mitch
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May 31 2005 09:05

yes, I'm very interested in this thanks. Burnley transferred all it's housing stock back in 2000 I think.

Unfortunately the vote was high amongst tenants in favour of transfer from Burnley Borough Council to Burnley and Padiham Community Housing, urr, now CALICO. Tenants voted for the transfer because they believed the council's housing service was appalling - they thought they might get something better from BPCH - but a few years down the line the situation has worsened. I'd be wondering what tenants are thinking in Salford at the moment. Are you aware of any residents associations?

Are there any strong Residents Associations in Salford - if so I'm sure they'd appreciate your support Lucy.

Also, Bryan posted this on our Burnley web forum over the weekend - thought you'd be interested. Are you involved in the Manchester Social Forum?

(Bryan's post/28th May)

".......NORTHERN VOICES welcome the most recent issue of FREEDOM we have recieved (May 7th) which shows that at last they have noticed the North. The headline runs: '400,000 HOMES TO BE DESTROYED' & reports on the government's HOUSING RENEWAL PATHFINDER schemes.

THIS LEADING ARTICLE IS SOURCED FROM 'Corporate Watch' (www.corporatewatch.org.uk) and shows how the PATHFINDER SCHEMES 'will demolish 400,000 houses, and thus involve the eviction of thousands of families, mostly private and RSL tenants, and also home owners.'

It says: 'The housing charity, SHELTER, has estimated that 167,000 currently affordable homes will be demolished and "thousands of families may be pushed out of buying or privately renting their home which could have contributed to homelessness rising twice as fast in the North of England than in the south.'

This problem, which may be only the latest bout of municipal vandalism, was addressed at the Manchester meeting 'THE SHOCK OF THE NEW' organised by Tameside TUC and Manchester Social Forum, & chaired by the journal Northern Voices. It must represent a problem for areas of Burnley like Piccadilly Road as well as Greater Manchester, not to mention the Victorian terraces of Liverpool now threatened by John Prescott's bulldozers in the bout of tarting-up for its new status as the CITY OF CULTURE."

PS. hope the job situation easing

lucy82
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Jun 1 2005 18:56
Quote:
Tenants voted for the transfer because they believed the council's housing service was appalling - they thought they might get something better from BPCH - but a few years down the line the situation has worsened. I'd be wondering what tenants are thinking in Salford at the moment. Are you aware of any residents associations?

there is a lot of opposition amongst the tenants in some areas like ordsall where there are generations of people growing up in the same area and a strong feeling of community. my mates uncle grew up with some of the gangster hard men in ordsall. now hes an tottery old man but he can go into any pub in salford and if younger men kick off, he can stop it with a word because anyone living there whose part of that respect the relationships that go way back...

ordsall is already getting demolition and lovely glass fronted yuppie houses. not the best choice for an area with stones. When they sold the playing fields off in another bit of Salford and made public the demolitian planned (so that the private developer could build five bedroom, two bathroom seriously posh houses in land near the city centre worth big money), they said it was for the community. but they were consulting the affluent jewish community on the left of the land who wanted the development not the poor sods in the council estate on the right of the land. what they succeeding in creating was the first real tension between the jewish people and the people on the council estate, where a fake bomb was planted on the dividing line between the jewish community and the estate and a pigs head was left on the corner near the soon to be demolished council block that was in the way of the development plans.

i'm not condoning doing that to the jewish community. its shit. but what people on the estate saw was that the playing fields and the housing were being taken away from them in a deal with the jewish community which involved expanding the school which was on the posh side where council kids didn't go and building yuppie houses, on which they were not consulted and which they could not possibly afford to live in. so basically, two previously relatively peacefully co-existing communities with no history of racial tension suddenly went pearshaped thanks to the actions of greedy buisnessmen, central government policies and bad council strategy, and everysaid it was a racist act. i don't think it was at its root. it was a reaction to gross stupidity and greed which still resonates between the communities as they wait for the demolition and the houses to go up i wonder how much worse things will get.

anyway, the problem with residents associations are they tend to involve few of the residents. ordsall have been getting more radical and there are stirrings of unrest in other areas but also a feeling of fatal inevitability. i think though, like what happened in burnley, at the moment many people are lured by the thought of new kitchens etc and the city council has deliberately not pushed the existing city wide ALMO (with the city council as its only shareholder) as the best option to go for cause council stock is a dead albertross around their necks and they want rid. the situation is tense to say the least.

Quote:
Are you involved in the Manchester Social Forum?

I used to be very heavily involved in the Manchester Social Forum right from the beginning and then for a long time. I did the website and loads of stuff but decided to stop going in the end. put simply, it was an interesting lesson in the use of power in supposedly non-hierarchical "spaces". anyway, some stuff we did was good and 'the shock of the new' sounds interesting.

i'm pulling some stuff together about housing stock transfer/links with new labour/private companies involved in this at the moment to write something which might end up with corporate watch if its worth having. i'd be interested in what happened in burnley.

if you can help, let me know via simple_things@riseup.net.

Quote:

PS. hope the job situation easing

nope. unison sent info re talks about redundancy today which was interesting given a week ago we were all told our jobs were safe. oh well.

but ta chuck. gonna meet you one day. might come to burnley with capt mission smile

Mitch
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Jun 21 2005 09:53

Hey up Lucy,

We learnt a great deal down at the Community Gathering this weekend, on autonomous residents organising particularly.

We should talk soon about it, I'd particularly like to talk with you on your knowledge of the housing situation.

We're currently looking at what's around us at the moment - because of the influx of regeneration money, the dumbing down of residents' challenge is rife in the area so we must look at gathering together with residents to set up something new:

http://oogleboogle.proboards23.com/index.cgi?board=P0LITICAL&action=display&thread=1119346308

Hope we can meet soon, as I think there's much we could discuss together about focusing more on genuine autonomous community action - and you as well mission.

What you can see with the Haringey and Hackney group, is that they have spent years working with residents in the community, tackling issues and making challenges on issues which affect them in the everyday.

They already have a strong federation of many residents groups - and at this point those groups are coming together over ID cards, and a discussion around G8.

This progression on organising seems really important to me. Residents need to see first that they can influence things in the everyday, before coming in with issues like G8 and ID cards - it's about growing self-confidence to influence change.

We should all meet soon. Apologies for missing the G8 gathering, but we have limited funds and time up here, so can't get to everything.

Best wishes Mitch

lucy82
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Jun 21 2005 17:46

any chance of you getting to manchester on friday for a big (after the g8 bike ride) picnic? we're hoping to have it in a public park. me and other people are cooking for it (about 80 people *feels the fear*) but it should be a good evening hopefully and we'll try not to poison people i promise. theres a sound system as well and the weather says cloudy and sunny. so can you come? would be good to meet up like you say. if not i'll come up to a burnley pub or park sometime very soon after we move into the house (there will be a movin in party but not till late august cause people are away).

Mitch
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Jun 23 2005 10:01

Hey up, no can do this Friday, but best of luck with it. Sounds like nervous breakdown territory - eeek.

Pushka & I definitely interested in coming to house warming wot not in August. Lets keep pluggin away - bound to find a good date at some point.

In meantime, you lot are always welcome at Thursday meetings up 'ere at the Burnley League, Mission knows where it is after his tour of Burnley that evening - titter.

Are you and Mission an item by the way - nose, meowse grin Blimey are you sure you wanna live with him?

If you bob to our meetings you can meet Seaumus!! He rather likes your posts - he has a thing for 'active' ladies.

tara Mitch

pushka
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Jun 23 2005 23:40
Mitch wrote:

If you bob to our meetings you can meet Seaumus!! He rather likes your posts - he has a thing for 'active' ladies.

tara Mitch

LOL...now now Mitch....leave those sort of comments for Gonzo in future! grin

bryan bamford nv
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Jun 24 2005 04:34

Lucy wrote:

"some stuff we did was good and 'the shock of the new' sounds interesting."

Northern Voices is covering issues of planning & housing in Salford, Swinton/Eccles in its next issue. Can you get in touch please. Paul has our details. We are also contacting Burnleyabout an update on the situation there.

lucy82
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Jun 24 2005 22:16
Quote:
Are you and Mission an item by the way - nose, meowse Mr. Green Blimey are you sure you wanna live with him?

eek grin

yeah, we just got handfasted wreathed in mistletoe during the solstice. it was great. we had samba bands, clowns and jugglers and someone threw the runes for us. tbh we would have tied the knot earlier but things were delayed by our fifteen children being swallowed by seperate whales and then unexpectedly regurgitated simutaneously in the same ocean at the same time as a nuclear holocaust raged across europe and a small blue frog was discovered eating peanuts on mars. now whats the odds on that happening? ey? about the same as me and capt mission being an item.

the house is a shared house btw. me and four friends and yes, i do want to live with him and the others (i think) update in six months time when we've all kicked the shit out of each other because someones slaughtered a cow in front of the vegans and left the entrails for everyone else to clean up and dave is driving us all insane with experimental jazz.

lucy82
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Jun 24 2005 22:23
Quote:
Northern Voices is covering issues of planning & housing in Salford, Swinton/Eccles in its next issue. Can you get in touch please. Paul has our details. We are also contacting Burnleyabout an update on the situation there.

well most of the info i have is already on libcom and you are welcome to pull it off and use it if its useful. i've been promising to write about the shit for other people too and i haven't written it yet and won't now until after the move.