Housing concerns

Housing concerns

Housing concerns

First published in News

In the past your paper has covered various issues and concerns of tenants over Selwood Housing and I would be grateful if you could allow me to bring your readers up to date.

The board of Selwood is made up of tenants, councillors and independents and the system that originally operated allowed tenants and councillors to decide who they wanted to represent them at this level. A review took place, a letter in your paper mentioned the name of the individual conducting the review and mentioned that she was from the Housing Corporation, a body that had ceased to exist five years earlier.

Despite objections from tenant representatives, who were described in this same letter as dinosaurs, changes were made - board members were to be decided by a system that involved the chair and the chief executive of Selwood.

The same thing now also applies to councillors. This information was obtained by a Freedom of Information request to Wiltshire Council; the request was for copies of all the correspondence leading to the appointment of councillors to this board. Councillors voted in favour of this change.

Selwood Housing are, in law, a public body. We would like to know from both councillors and tenant board members why the way they are now appointed to the board can be seen as being reasonable, equitable and fair?

Selwood also say their chair, who is also a tenant,is involved in these processes.

We would like to hear what members of her former tenants and residents association think of this.

The three-year period of time which tenant members serve is about to end and Selwood has written to every tenant informing them of this and inviting them to apply to serve on its board.

The board members now have to sign a confidentiality agreement. The way the board operates is when issues comes up they split us into small groups and discuss the matter with an officer. Of course this is what the board wants. Why?

Mike Sutton, Chairman, SW Wiltshire Labour Party.

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