23 April 2008


I was most surprised to read the article which appeared in The South London Post (Friday 18 April 2008) relating to Ms. Asuman Ozkan, who was elected to the Shadow Board of the organisation which is now called Lambeth Living Limited, at the same time as myself, and who has since become its chair (See - http://www.icsouthlondon.co.uk/tn/news.cfm?id=5811&y=2008&searchword=asuman.ozkan) , and this morning I have forwarded a letter to the paper, which I copy below:

With regard the article in last Friday's edition of your paper:

1. Angell Town EMB has had a turbulent history, and the fact that its board might have considered a member disruptive would not necessarily imply that he, or she, has behaved in an unreasonable manner.

2. It is impossible for Officers not to have been aware of the circumstances leading up to Ms. Ozkan's forced resignation, or removal, from the board of Angell Town's EMB.

This being the case, why has it suddenly become a major issue?

Could it be that there are other reasons why they wish to see her off the board? Her history on Angell Town's EMB, and my own experience on the ALMO board, suggest that officers and those councillors responsible for the housing service may have regarded her as an embarrassment, as she may not have been prepared to act as a rubber stamp to implement managers' decisions, but wanted (as I did) to see a real improvement in services.

3. A story has been widely circulated over past weeks that "a member of the ALMO board" is alleged to have committed a serious offence of dishonesty the circumstances of which are currently under investigation by the Chief Executive and the Chief Internal Auditor. [WHY NOT THE POLICE, ONE WONDERS - IF SUCH AN OFFENCE HAS BEEN COMMITTED?]

What is mentioned in your article is something completely different, which to my mind suggests that the original story was part of a malicious attempt to silence her by bringing about her resignation or removal - without the inconvenience of an investigation.

4. There is no indication that members of the ALMO board have made any complaint about her. Quite the opposite: they have only recently appointed her as their chair.

Curiously, also, I have heard no mention about any complaint by residents. In this connection it should be noted that she and and Mr. Alan Bevan are the only members of this board who sit there by virtue of winning their seats in a contested ballot.

5. Finally, a board member can be dismissed; but there is no provision in Lambeth Living's constitution for a member's suspension.

Despite allegations to the contrary, I have always seen an ALMO as being the best solution to Lambeth Housing's problems, and the only one that is able to produce the required funding to bring Lambeth's residential estate up to the Decent Homes Standard.

However, after my recent experience on the Shadow Board, I am now convinced that this project will only succeed if Lambeth Housing is put in order by being placed under Special Measures, as I do not believe that either Council Members or its current management have either the will - or the ability -to carry out the reforms that will be necessary to enable it to effectively manage the extensive building programme that is contemplated.

David Prichard-Jones
[Former Resident Member ALMO Shadow Board for Stockwell and Vassall Housing Area.]

28 March 2008


Yesterday members of the ALMO Board and Tenant Council were told that Lambeth Council had received the Minister's consent to their s.27 Application and that Lambeth Living will now "go live" towards the end of May. However, it has not yet been disclosed whether the Company will receive the full amount requested in the Council's bid. Whatever amount has been agreed, such additional funding will only be released after the ALMO has been inspected by the Audit Commission and has been awarded a two-star, or better, rating for the service it provides.

27 March 2008


On 23 March 2008, I received information that Loughborough TMO, the principal component of United Residents Housing, whose accounts have recently come under scrutiny, had been put into liquidation on Thursday 20 March 2008, and that the properties that it manages would now come under direct management by URH.

This was not correct. This TMO has, indeed, experienced serious management problems, and were it not for the intervention of Lambeth Council would be insolvent. Through mismanagement it had incurred debts in the region of £400,000, but arrangements have now been made for the Council to advance funds to cover this deficit. There is apparently no question of any money having been stolen, the funds have merely been wrongly applied, and not properly accounted for.

URH estate is composed of 2514 properties, of which 141 are freeholds. It manages 1910 tenancies and 463 leaseholds.

Loughborough contains 1262 properties, of which 39 are freeholds. It manages 1015 tenancies and 208 leaseholds.

Post updated 15/04/08

14 March 2008


With regard to David Prichard-Jones: he has published his correspondence as well as other material which sheds an interesting light on the practices of Lambeth Housing on a google groups page at -


It does not look as if the management of Lambeth's Department of Housing and Regeneration are very interested in resident participation , or have grasped the concept of corporate identity.

Read the material, and you can make up your own mind.

Some people might find it surprising that anyone would want to be on a board whose members are treated as he has been.

12 March 2008


Starting a blog is always sticky, but surely there must be lots of people out there with things to say?

  • A skeleton of the main ALMO (Lambeth Living) has been running for nearly a year now, but we still don't know whether it is going to be allowed. Can someone tell us the latest news? What is the cause of the delay?
  • What are the chances of getting the money that we need to bring our homes up to date? How have other applicants fared? How much money is in the kitty?
  • Why aren't the names addresses and telephone numbers of all board members available to the public?
  • Why was David Pritchard Jones removed from the Board? Why has he not been replaced?
  • What is happening with United Residents Housing? Is it true that it is experiencing severe financial and management problems?
  • What is happening with Latmos? Is it true that a settlement has been reached in the on-going dispute regarding allowances?

I am sure that there are many other questions that people will want to ask. And that if you ask them councillors or officers will want to reply.