Saturday, 30 March 2013


News that Mr Patrick Leonard is to leave Riverside Housing Association came as an unexpected surprise  this week.

His reason for moving  is not yet known. Nor is it known who will succeed him a regional director in charge of Riverside`s Carlisle operation.

Mr Leonard`s new job is at Howgill Children`s Centre at Whitehaven,  a registered charity.

Mr Leonard took charge  of Riverside  Carlisle  when the city`s 9000 council houses were privatised ten years ago.

Since that time, Riverside`s Carlisle operations have been criticised  many times by the Federation which is now campaigning for the houses to be returned to  city ownership.

The Federation says the houses  should belong to the city as  part of Carlisle`s 100-year old heritage of  building council houses.

News of Mr Leonard`s departure came on the same day  that the Federation was discussing Riverside with members of a Carlisle City Council scrutiny panel. A Federation representative went along  to ask a  couple of questions about Riverside.

Particularly, the Federation wanted to  know how well Riverside was coping with its tenants` bedroom tax problems. And also, whether Riverside was being properly  checked  by the council as being fair and efficient with its tenants.

The answers from the panel were very  disappointing- there seemed to be  no scrutiny of Riverside, scrutiny which  might prod the organisation into a better performance.

The Federation will  discuss the disappointing panel meeting and Mr Leonard`s surprising departure at its next meeting  on April 18.


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