The contract with Hackney Homes came to an end on 31 March 2016 as the council’s cabinet voted not to renew it.
Chair of Hackney Homes Rupert Tyson, and Vice Chair Alice Burke, who have been involved in Hackney housing for a combined 60 years, were present at the meeting.
All 33,742 Hackney Homes tenants were consulted on the plans through a process run by independent research agency Ipsos MORI.
Hackney Homes was formed in 2006 to deliver improvements to the council’s housing stock through the Decent Homes programme. The original five-year contract was extended to 2014 and subsequently to 2016.
Cllr Philip Glanville, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “Hackney Council has come a long way over the last decade and Hackney Homes has been a major part of its success story.’
“I’d like to thank Hackney Homes’ Board, and staff for all of their hard work and look forward to welcoming them into the Council.’
Rupert Tyson said: “Hackney Homes and Hackney Council agree that the time has come to return housing management to the Council. Hackney Homes has achieved what it was established to do and I’m proud of our achievements over the last nine years and would echo Cllr Glanville’s thanks to my colleagues on the Board and the staff of Hackney Homes for their hard work over the last 9 years.”
As Austerity Policies continue their brutal assault on public services, Barnet UNISON has looked to see what is happening to the ALMO’s
Today is the first of a number updates on ALMO’s.
This post is about Brent Councils decision to bring their ALMO back in house here are some extracts from the Council reports.
Feel free to open the links and ready all of the reports yourself.
Cllr Harbi Farah, Brent Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, said:
“The interests of tenants and leaseholders are my top priority and the results of the consultation show now is the right time to bring housing management back in-house. This decision will allow us to respond more swiftly to the Government’s housing policies, deliver savings and ensure our tenants and leaseholders receive nothing but the best service in the future. Our decision also follows a national trend of local authorities bringing their housing ALMOs back in-house. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Board and everyone at BHP for their hard work over the past 14 years.”
Joanne Drew, Chair of BHP’s Board of Management, said:
“BHP was set up to improve homes as part of the government’s Decent Homes Programme. We have always been committed to working with Brent Council and ensuring local residents are at the heart of the organisation. We will continue to work closely with the council, residents and staff over this transition period to provide modern, efficient and effective services for the benefit of all council tenants and leaseholders.”
Short Summary of the Review Report
“The In-House option offers the best opportunity to make savings and provides the strongest levels of control. This option also puts the housing management service in a better position in relation to the Council’s wider plans to secure improved outcomes for residents. It will be necessary to look at how this option will address Member and resident engagement and there are various options that could be pursued. For example a Members and residents committee may overcome the loss of the ALMO Board under the In-House option. In conclusion, taking into account the challenging financial situation, and all other factors outlined above, it is recommended that the In-House option is chosen. This is the option which the Council believes will best serve residents in Brent but it wants their views on this proposal.”
“As part of the review of aged debts, we noted that the Council had excluded two older debts from the calculation of the allowance for non-collection or for impairment as management was of the view that these were recoverable.
The first relates to The Barnet Group at £296,000 that is in excess of one year old. Management has stated that as The Barnet Group is a wholly owned subsidiary that this debt is secure. However, we have not seen evidence of why this amount is considered to be a valid debtor.”
“The second relates to Comer Homes at £925,711 that is in excess of two years old. Management believe this is recoverable and relates to energy costs paid on the North London Business Park premises that should have been paid by Comer Homes. We have seen correspondence in 2015 suggesting that this will repaid at £50,000 per month but we have not seen any recovery to date. The case has been passed to HB Public Law.
Due to the aging of these debts and lack of recovery action to date, we are seeking a specific management representation to confirm that these amounts are recoverable.”
I am currently involved in a consultation in Street Services Cleansing services. Approximately 25% of posts are being deleted in order to make a £600K saving.
Imagine my disbelief and then anger that we can let the above debts go without a fight.
Furthermore I have since learnt from a post by Barnet Blogger Mr Reasonable “Capita have claimed a saving of £942,000 made up of actual annual energy savings of £111,071 plus £202,420 of “corrected overcharges”.”
West Sussex have written to Jeremy Hunt seeking emergency powers to bring Children’s MASH Service back in house.
“The proposal is to bring the administrative function of this MASH service back ‘in house’ so that the entire service sits within Children’s Social Care. This will ensure that the MASH will be able to fulfil its statutory threshold decision making function on critical safeguarding matters within 24 hours, as is required in Working Together 2015.”
The above list of payments by Barnet Council to the two Capita contracts has been produced by Barnet Blogger Mr Reasonable. In both contracts the Council appears to be paying more than they said they would have to pay when they first signed the contract.
The difference is quite shocking and when considered in the context of vital frontline services facing cuts and/or closure it is difficult to understand where the money is coming from to pay all this money.
If you want more detail here are some links to some of Mr Reasonable posts on #BarnetCouncil spend
Barnet Audit Fiasco Part 2 – Capita penalised £55,000 but disaster looms after 2020
For years now, public service workers have seen their pay held back by government in the name of austerity. First a freeze then a cap saw public sector pay rise by just 4.4% between 2010 and 2016 while the cost of living rose by 22%.
Barnet UNISON has produced some examples based on the top of each grade within the Council in order to provide an insight into how much pay our members working for Barnet Council has lost as a result of the Pay Cap imposed on public sector workers.