Wednesday, 11 December 2013


Dean man at the top

New Riverside
boss and links to 
return-to-council-control city

With the national housing crisis getting deeper, questions are now being asked in Carlisle about whether the city`s biggest landlord, Riverside, under its new boss is up the job of tackling  problems in the city.

Could the answer be a return to council ownership of Riverside`s  6.500  former council houses, particularly as the new boss, Mr. Dean Butterworth has a Sheffield background associated with  a similar return to council control ?

Mr Malcolm Craik of Brampton who was a member of the Riverside board that took over Carlisle`s  council houses eleven years ago now questions Riverside ability to tackle the  housing crisis and solve its own long-standing problems.

In a letter to the Editor of the Cumberland News, Carlisle, Mr Craik addresses   his  questions  to Mr Dean Butterworth who took over  as Riverside`s Carlisle regional director a few  weeks ago.
 Mr Craik`s letter says:
”Tenants and leaseholders will be watching with more than a little interest to see how Mr Butterworth performs in his new role.
“Riverside’s rents in Carlisle are around 30% higher than those in Barrow in Furness, which retained its council housing, and the organisation’s former City Council leaseholders are still in dispute with Riverside over the terms of their leases and new service charges.
“Homelessness continues to be a major issue in Carlisle while at the same time Riverside claims that it can’t let three bedroomed homes because of the bedroom tax. All are serious issues that require urgent resolution.
“Mr Butterworth says his team is committed to improving customer services and satisfaction, delivering a consistent service to all Riverside’s customers. His customers will have to hope that he can deliver what he has promised.
“I understand that he was formerly an Assistant Director of council housing services at Sheffield Homes, an Arm’s Length Management Organisation set up by Sheffield City Council in 2004 to manage its 42,000 council properties.
“ In February 2012 tenants voted to return their properties to Council control with 88% voting in favour of the move. Sheffield will manage its own homes again from April 2014.”
“I wonder if Mr Butterworth will want to canvass the views of Carlisle tenants to see how many would like their tenancies to return to City Council control should that option become open in the future.”
Issued by Carlisle Tenants` and Residents` Federation
December 10 2012.

COMMUNITY VOICE CARLISLE is the blog of CarlisleTenants` and Residents` Federation. Information about the Federation is  available in the first blog, dated March 25 2013

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