Sunday, 4 June 2017

THE OTHER FIGHT FOR DEMOCRATIC FREEDOM




  Sarah Paton and the Islamist
terror threat

The terror threat continues with last night`s London slaughter… and as the country grapples to defeat the Islamist militants, another fight for democratic  values  and human rights goes on.

This is the fight against the bossy and autocratic rule of Riverside Housing Association.

Some people reading this article will reject its lumping together of international terror and the  operations of a comparatively insignificant  Merseyside housing organisation . Certainly there is a massive difference in the operating scale of the two bodies.

But the  aim of both organisations is  identical: that is to  use force to impose undemocratic rule .



The British people have confidence that the Islamists will be defeated and crushed. But what about  Riverside`s 50,000 tenants and leaseholders?  Can they be confident that their autocratic and bossy rulers will be defeated?



New light on the undemocratic nature of the Riverside operation was shone recently by Carlisle city councillors expressing concern that tenants have no democratic structure to get their problems addressed.



Councillors are hoping that they will gain new rights for tenants and leaseholders following the current negotiastions with Riverside`s  Carlisle boss, Ms Sarah Paton the recently-appointed north regional director.



And nationally, there is a new challenge to Riverside and all the other hundred or so housing associations.




UKIP has promised to “launch a review” of the operation of housing associations after including an attack on the sector in its election manifesto.



“Housing associations are accountable neither to taxpayers, who provide much of their funding, nor to their own tenants,”  said the manifesto



 “They are not building as many homes as private developers, the homes they do build cost more to put up, and they are failing to tackle anti-social behaviour.



“Housing associations manage 60% of the socially rented sector… but UKIP is not convinced they are benefiting either tenants or the taxpayer..”


The UKIP manifesto sparked a debate in the columns of Inside Housing, the social housing trade paper.

Some of the views expressed in that debate echo the views of the concerned Carlisle councillors and the views of campaigning groups such as Carlisle Tenants`` and Residents` Fedeartion which publishes this blog.

Here are the views of one Inside Housing reader, Andy Thompson(below):

  • “Gosh - how do you express support for what UKIP has said about housing associations without implying support for the party? Difficult! However, what has been said about housing associations is not a million miles away from the truth.

They are inefficient when it comes to new build costs compared to both developers and local authorities. They are increasingly out of touch with communities and tenants - how can a mega association covering the UK really be part of the community?

They have had subsidy in cash and kind (cheap land, Section.106 deals, cut price stock transfers - average £15k a unit et al) that manufacturers would give their right arms, left legs and both ears for.

They do have appalling rates of pay at the top for providing a product with more buyers than sellers - I suspect the bosses of Honda UK or Sainsbury's would like to have waiting lists for Civic cars and Rice Krispies rather than have to go out and battle for every sale.



   Carlisle Tenants` and Residents` Federation publishes this blog. Information about the Federation is available on 01228 522277 or 01228