Saturday, 6 April 2013


Room at the top at Riverside Carlisle has given the Federation a chance to sit back a little, and to chill out.

And also to think of the Federation`s past and to think of its future.

And also to consider this: what has Riverside Housing Association  achieved in the ten years since it bought the 7,200 Carlisle council houses and ran them from Liverpool 100 miles away.

And what has the Federation achieved in trying to speak up for the tenants after Riverside`s controversial privatisation?

Mr Patrick Leonard `s resignation a couple of weeks ago gave the Federation  an opportunity at its committee meeting this week to think on these things. And to reflect on Mr Leonard`s decade in charge of Riverside since the handover from the council.

The ten year anniversary also gave the Federation an opportunity to reflect on its tremendous difficulties over ten years in trying to speak up  for tenants and holding Riverside to account.

It also gave the Federation an opportunity to plan for the future and  to thank M.P.`s, and city councillors (of all parties) who have helped and supported the Federation in its efforts.

Mr Leonard, Riverside`s regional director,  is expected to leave in three months time to take a job at Whitehaven. It is rumoured that he has ambitions as a Labour politician to become an M.P. following his recent failed entry into the political arena  to become Cumbria police and crime commissioner.

A spokesman for the Federation said: ”Riverside has been involved in controversial issues with the Federation since it took over in Carlisle. Some of these issues are still  outstanding- they have yet to be   addressed  by Riverside.

“The taxpayers of Cumbria will also be interested in Mr Leonard`s  coming departure following his decision only four months ago to  stand  for election as police and crime commissioner.

“He said then that he was prepared, if elected, to share the commissioner`s job  with the Riverside job he is now leaving.

“Sensibly, Mr Leonard had second thoughts about this. It was a sharing of jobs that was impossible”

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