Monday, 22 July 2013



What is the next organisation in Carlisle to be  judged among the worst in  the country following this judgement in a damning report on the Cumberland Infirmary  by Sir Bruce Keogh?

Not  many months ago there was a similar report –this time by Ofsted--about the two Carlisle Academy schools. The report  put these schools among the worst in the country.

Today, there is a third report. This time it is about the Carlisle housing organisation, the giant  Riverside Housing Association.Sadly, this report has not  the weight of  Sir Bruce Keogh behind it, nor  has it the nationwide authority of Ofsted .

This third report is simply based  on what took place at a meeting of about a dozen people that lasted under an hour.It was prepared by Carlisle Tenants` and Residents`Federation. And this report came to the same conclusion as Sir Bruce and Ofsted. It concluded that Riverside is among the worst housing associations in the country.

The meeting hadn`t a good start.The dozen or so attending were cramped like sardines into the lounge of one of the flats of Dixon`s Court, Shaddongate.( Riverside don`t cater for tenants` meetings. And previous funding for tenants groups to hold such meetings  was  cut off without any reason when Riverside took over the  council houses ten years ago)

The Dixon`s Court tenants called the meeting because they are  so worried about the standard of care by Riverside that they barricade themselves in at night following the imprisonment of two of the tenants, one for raping a 14 year old girl and the other for drug offences.

Two Riverside executives attended the meeting. But what they had to say offered  no help to the anxious tenants.
***The executives would not talk about any problems in the past, such as why  Riverside withdrew its cash community help for such groups as Dixon`s Court.
***The executives  had no answer to the many criticisms of  Riverside`s  tenant allocation policy of mixing old people and young people together which leads to explosive relationships.
***The executives appeared  to have no proper appreciation of Riverside`s duty of care to its  tenants . Any duty of care appeared to end at 5 pm when Riverside staff finished work.And  any duty of care appeared to be a police problem.

Perish the thought that it was Riverside that had a duty of care to frightened  tenants.

The  government has ordered special measures for the Cumberland Infirmary  and for the Academy Schools.

Special measures for Riverside to help the frightened tenants of Dixon`s Court cannot come quickly enough.

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