Tuesday, 16 July 2013



There is no stopping a Liverpool Housing Association from  telling the world of just how much it cares for its staff.

Paul Taylor, the Carlisle  operations manager, is the latest executive of Riverside Housing Association to take up the theme of Duty of Care.

In  just a short report to Carlisle councillors last week, Mr.Taylor introduced the theme several times, to emphasise Riverside`s policy towards its staff and just how much--how very, very much-- Riverside cares

All very  admirable. No one now can  possibly doubt that Riverside takes its duty of care to its staff very seriously. But is all this banging on really necessary?

Paul Taylor`s hymn of praise for the much- caring Riverside, reminded some people of a similar “hymn”  a year or two ago  after a group of Riverside staff walked out of a community meeting. The  meeting was being held in a community club.

It was a quiet, well-ordered meeting. The Riverside walk-out was a total surprise to everyone. Afterwards Riverside explained that because alcohol was being served in the club, its staff were at risk from drunks. That was why they walked out, they said.

There was no sign of drunkenness anywhere. Riverside said it was a health and safety issue and added:” We have a duty of care to our staff.”

Riverside needs to remember that its duty of care to its staff is not its only duty of care. Riverside has a duty of care to a group of people many times greater in number than all its staff.

That duty of care is to its tenants- all 50,000 of them.

Some banging on about  Riverside`s duty of care to this army of tenants would now be very welcome from Paul Taylor and his colleagues.

Particularly welcome would be some Paul Taylor banging on to help the anxious tenants in Dixon`s Court, Shaddongate, Carlisle who barricade themselves in their homes at night because of their undesirable neighbours.

Dixon`s Court tenants are due to meet Riverside this week hoping to get some assurance about Riverside`s duty of care. And to get some assurance that Riverside`s duty of care will make them  feel safe enough to take down their barricades.

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