Do you care about protecting resident and tenant voice?
Southwark Council is reviewing tenant and resident structures across the borough and are failing to consult.
This is yet another attack on social tenants and residents across the borough. They have forced us to write the following open letter to Stephanie Cryan (Cabinet Member for Housing Management and Modernisation)
Southwark has an extremely strong tenants’ movement that has existed since the second world war; ensuring housing standards are improved, green spaces are protected and communities come together. The movement has held the council to account and ensured that tenants are listened to.
We object to the Kaizen Report:
In 2017 Southwark Council paid £46,000 from the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) to the Kaizen Partnership and Social Engine to complete a “resident engagement review” which generated a report known as The Kaizen Report. This was commissioned by the Council without any consultation.
For many people residing in Southwark this will be the first they have heard of the report. Over a quarter of respondents to the Kaizen Report do not reside in council owned properties or pay towards funds that support improving council estates and the local area. There are more than 55,000 council tenant & leaseholder households in Southwark but only approximately 569 council tenants and approximately 160 leaseholders responded. Southwark Council failed to fairly consult with tenants, leaseholders, Tenant and Resident Associations (T&RAs) and Southwark’s tenant federation, Southwark Group of Tenant Organisations (SGTO).
Representations highlighting concerns about insufficient consultation were made to Southwark Council, however, they were ignored. Tenants in the borough are tired of not being seen as people with expertise. In 2009 Southwark experienced a tower block fire in Lakanal House, Camberwell in which 6 people died. Evidence reveals that tenants’ concerns were ignored prior to the fire. As Southwark Council’s approach to fire safety remains a severe threat to tenants, with reports not being published and facts being misrepresented, it is extremely important that united groups continue to fight for their homes and the community.
Southwark Council have failed to engage and consult key members in the sector. Decisions have been made behind closed doors. Paid councillors have failed their tenants and fail to attend meetings or engage. Other boroughs that have undergone a similar review have suffered exactly the same pattern of events and resulted in halls being closed and tenants’ voices being stifled. We fear that if this review continues Southwark’s tenants and residents will face the same fate as other boroughs with community halls being closed and voices restricted.
People will be advised that the only way to communicate with the Council is online and through social media. SGTO did write to Cllr Stephanie Cryan, Cabinet Member for Housing Management offering to meet to discuss a way forward and as always, this request was ignored.
Tenant Council and SGTO have voted UNANIMOUSLY to boycott this review.
We demand Southwark Council suspend the Resident Involvement Review immediately until Southwark Council have:
• Involved T&RAs, Tenants Council, Homeowners Council and the SGTO in a proper decision-making process.
• Demonstrated they have listened to concerns raised by T&RAs, Tenants Council, Homeowners Council and the SGTO.
• Given T&RAs the tools to carry out their own reviews and strengthened existing structures.
• Worked with T&RAs to improve resident engagement in the Borough.
• Honoured their obligation to properly consult on issues affecting tenants and residents, most especially where they have a legal obligation to do so.
• Guaranteed a protection of T&RA halls so that residents can come together not only for the transaction of their business but to promote community involvement and social activities.
Show your support by adding your signature to our OPEN LETTER now: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/bury-the-resident-involvement-panel-rip-open-letter?just_launched=true
Please note; we are using 38degrees online platform to create the open letter, this is not a petition.