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Clapham Area Housing Forum: 7pm Thurs 12 May

Clapham Methodist Church Hall, 121 Clapham High Street, London, SW4 7JR

Greetings all,

As you will see from the minutes of the last meeting, it was not quorate, and since it was the AGM, we were unable to elect officers for the coming year.

I must admit that the agenda has been less than exhilarating of late, and it’s hard to expect people to attend meetings that they do not feel to be a good use of their time.

As many of you are aware, our Chair, Ros Munday, has not been active in the recent past due to ongoing health problems, and with Joyce Wilson, the other Vice-Chairs support, I have chaired most meetings for the past year.

I am asking that you make a special effort to attend the meeting this Thursday, (12th May), because there are a number of issues coming up that will have a great and long term effect on all council tenants (including those in TMOs).

Nationally, the government is pushing through a Housing Bill, which will mean immense changes for all council tenants. There will be changes to your secure tenancies as they stand, and an end to secure tenancies in the future. Compulsory sales of council homes means that for anyone with a larger family, or living in much of the Lambeth will see any council homes that become vacant sold off, preventing those in need of a home from getting one. Anyone on the waiting list will never be able to get a home. A whole raft of other things in the bill shows that the government is trying to get rid of council tenants as a whole. There will be a briefing on this at the Forum Meeting to give you more info as needed.

Locally, Lambeth Council is proposing to remove all existing tenant involvement, forums, Tenants Council etc and replace them with some sort of ill-defined panels/boards etc, the key thing being that these new structures will not be elected by you, nor answerable to you, but organised and run by councillors/officers. The only thing being retained is TRAs. If you have a local problem that you need support from other tenants, you will only be able to go to council officers. If you are happy with that then great; if you feel that this could be a problem, come along and discuss your concerns. There will be a briefing on Tenants Councils views on this.

Between the Government on one side, and the Council on the other, it seems that Council Tenants are being denigrated, relegated to the sidelines, their existence something to apologise for, rather than to celebrate their great involvement in their communities.

I hope that as many of you as possible come to the forum meeting, if only because we want to be there for you when your community needs support and help from your fellow tenants across Lambeth.

Ron Hollis
V-Chair, Clapham Area Housing Forum

Please feel free to pass this invite on to any tenants who you think would like to be kept informed, or be interested in attending the meeting.

Ron Hollis 0771 265 1509

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