Email response to Andy Bates/Leathermarket JMB

From: Tabard North <tgntra@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Jan 25, 2016 at 11:23 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Tabard estate
To: Andy Bates <Andy.Bates@leathermarketjmb.org.uk>
Cc: Karl <Karl.Eastham@southwark.gov.uk>, Helen <Helen.Dennis@southwark.gov.uk>, Lee <Lee.Page@southwark.gov.uk>, Vijay <Vijay.Luthra@southwark.gov.uk>

Hello Andy

The matter of the approach to the Tabard Gardens Estate proposed by Leathermarket JMB was discussed last week at a committee meeting of Tabard Gardens North T&RA.

Copies of the proposed offer had been circulated prior to the meeting, to committee members as well and tenants and residents of the T&RA in general prior to the meeting, and copies of your report of 7th December were made available at the meeting.

It was felt that the advantages and disadvantages of the proposal for residents ( as well as for the local T&RAs ) were open to and deserve proper debate. There were a number of questions as to how the approach would work, the time-scale, the legal niceties and so on, and it was thought best if the JMB would facilitate the debate. The committee of Tabard Gardens North T&RA feels that if the approach is at all serious, then Leathermarket JMB should organise and advertise an estate wide meeting, so that tenants and residents of the Tabard Gardens Estate can have their questions answered in an open and honest public manner.

Our committee further requests that we are copied in to any correspondence with the ward councillors on the matter, as well as any mail-outs sent to tenants and residents.

Regards

Peter Davis

Chair, Tabard Gardens North T&RA

 
From: Andy Bates
Sent: Tuesday, December 22, 2015 9:53 AM
To: Eastham, Karl ; Dennis, Helen ; Page, Lee ; Luthra, Vijay
Cc: Christine Parsons ; Len Dalrymple ; John Paul Maytum ; Cormac Hollingsworth ; Peter Davis
Subject: Tabard estate

Dear Karl, Helen, Vijay and Lee

With the cold wind of the Housing Bill blowing through we think that there is more safety in numbers. We’d like to talk to residents on Tabard estate about whether they’d like to become part of the JMB. The JMB does not have the capacity to take on the management of the whole of Tabard estate and we’d be very surprised if there is a willingness to take on the work that being a tenant managed organisation involves across the whole estate. So we are interested in talking to activists in particular blocks- especially if there are a cluster of activists.

I’m conscious that the JMB does not want to be cold-calling on residents. So I’ve had an email exchange with Lee Page, Southwark’s Tenant Involvement Manager, to agree this approach. Please see below our tenant managed offer.

If you can share this offer with residents in your network I’d be really grateful.

Benefits of tenant management by joining with an existing TMO

It’s always worth remembering that the people who receive most benefit from Tenant Management are Council Tenants as they use the full range of housing services. But both tenants and leaseholders benefit from a more responsive, accountable and efficient service.
Tenants always remain formally tenants of Southwark Council (and leaseholders formally Southwark leaseholders) – with all the rights and privileges that brings. A move to tenant management is just about the running of services

Tenant management offers four main improvements for residents (both Tenants and leaseholders) – improved Responsiveness, improved Accountability, improved Quality and improved Cost & Efficiency. It also offers residents that little bit extra compared to direct council management.

Responsiveness

· With a TMO, you have an office you can go to when you need to get things done Many things can be sorted on the day, from getting a new entry fob to checking your rent to reporting a repair

· The JMB office is open five days a week, you can just drop in and don’t need an appointment.

Accountability

· Residents decide the priorities of the JMB, so things get done because residents’ want them not just because housing managers think it’s a good idea

· The JMB works as an office, not a call centre. The team is small enough that residents know exactly who is responsible for what – and who to go to when they have questions or issues. Nobody can ‘hide’ at the end of the phone or claim they don’t know what’s going on.

· JMB managers and staff report back to the monthly meetings of the TRAs in the JMB area – so the TRAs can make sure things get done when they are promised and can chase up any areas they are not happy with

· The JMB office team is large enough to ensure that all residents are dealt with fairly and equally – no-one has special privileges and the Board of directors ensure that all the estates and blocks have their fair share of work and activity.

· The JMB has a long-term plan for ‘major works’ on its buildings, so residents know when big items of refurbishment are due and can prepare for them

· Things always go wrong, or not quite to plan, but the difference with tenant management is that you know where to go to when things needs sorting out – and they get sorted out much more quickly.

Quality

· Leathermarket JMB have much tighter management of their work and contractors – so issues are more likely to be sorted right first time.

· The JMB has a specialist team that manages ‘major works’ contracts – with a committee of residents overseeing its operations – to ensure that these works are carefully managed to the right standards.

· TMO residents are much more satisfied with the running of their estates than residents in Southwark-managed estates. TMO tenants are 78% satisfied with their housing services (compared to 64% for Southwark estates) and TMO leaseholders are 49% satisfied (compared to 29% for Southwark estates)

· TMO tenants are much happier with the repairs service – with 83% of TMO tenants satisfied, compared to only 62% satisfied with the repairs service in Southwark-managed homes

· The JMB staff take enormous personal pride in the work they do and know almost all of their tenants and resident leaseholders on a first-name basis.

· The JMB’s operation was judged sufficiently good for it to become the country’s first ‘self-financing’ TMO – meaning that it has complete control over the money that comes in.

Cost and efficiency

· The Leathermarket JMB repairs team cost 40% less than the standard Southwark prices for work, and their contractors cost 25% less. So resident’s rent and service charge money goes further – meaning that more can be done for less.

· Residents set the priorities for the JMB – so people’s money isn’t wasted on things that the residents don’t want.

· Tenant management – and the JMB’s ‘self-financing’ status means that residents’ money only pays for things that happen on their estates – the money cannot get used to cross-subsidise anything on other estates or elsewhere in the Borough.

Giving a bit extra

· The JMB helps and supports residents in a number of non-housing activities – from local history groups to social trips to youth football teams. There is a real culture where people come first and are supported as individuals.

Most importantly

Joining a TMO is a win-win scenario. If residents don’t want to be part of a TMO they can vote to come out and go back to Council management – with the opportunity to vote at a meeting every year and a formal ballot.

Andy Bates

JMB Manager,

26 Leathermarket Street,

London,

SE1 3HN

Tel 020-7450 8021

andy.bates@leathermarketjmb.org.uk

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