Labour councillors are proposing a motion on Tower Hamlets Homes (THH) at a meeting of Tower Hamlets Council on Wednesday 18th January which calls on the local authority’s Mayor to enact concrete measures to ensure effective democratic oversight of the performance his proposed in-house housing management service., The motion also calls for much greater direct accountability to council tenants and leaseholders and clear targets for improved performance in the coming months.

The motion notes that simply bringing THH back in-house will not deliver the improvements in repairs and services and value for money tenants and leaseholders consistently say they want to see. It argues that the current arrangements for the democratic oversight of THH’s performance are already inadequate and will be even more so if the service is brought back in-house without a plan which includes elected representatives to serve on its Board.

The motion calls on the Mayor of Tower Hamlets:

  • To commit to instruct THH/LBTH to proactively organise a minimum of four Tenants & Residents Association meetings on each estate/neighbourhood.
  • To instruct officers to begin an open and transparent consultation with stakeholders on the level of performance an in-house service would be expected to achieve over the next three years.
  • To establish and resource either a new Housing Committee of elected councillors to oversee the performance of THH increase the number of meetings of the existing Housing & Regeneration Scrutiny Subcommittee to ten each year, with an expanded membership.
  • To re-establish the Borough wide Tenants Federation with resources.

 

Cllr Marc Francis, who proposed the motion, said:

“Over the past 15 years, Tower Hamlets Homes has delivered a better housing management service to tenants and leaseholders than what went before. However, the covid pandemic has knocked back the service and it has struggled to get back on track.  Local councillors regularly receive reports and complaints about repairs not being done and there has been slow progress in recent times improving our estates. 

We are not persuaded simply bringing the service back in-house will significantly improve those services. That’s why Labour is now proposing much more transparency in terms of performance and stronger accountability back to local councillors and especially to tenants and leaseholders themselves. We hope Aspire will back this motion so we can work collectively for the housing services our constituents need and deserve.

Cllr Asma Islam, who seconded the motion, said:

“Residents in this borough deserve to be listened to, and this motion calls for vital safeguards for Tower Hamlets Homes tenants and leaseholders. This includes regular Tenants and Residents Association meetings on each estate, a Borough-wide Tenants Federation with resources and increased accountability over service performance so that it answers to the actual residents not outside vested interests.

“I hope the Mayor and his Aspire colleagues support this motion.”

 

Full Text of the Opposition Motion on Tower Hamlets Homes (THH)

Proposed by: Cllr Marc Francis

Seconded by: Cllr Asma Islam

This Council believes:

  • Tower Hamlets Homes (THH) has on balance led to a significant improvement in the quality of housing management than was achieved when council housing was last a direct in-house service.
  • Simply bringing THH back in-house will not deliver the improvements in repairs services and value for money tenants and leaseholders consistently say they want to see.
  • Stronger direct accountability to council tenants and leaseholders and to elected councillors is an essential component of the alternative governance arrangements.
  • The current arrangements for the democratic oversight of THH’s performance are already inadequate and will be even more so if the service is brought back in-house and councillors no longer serve on its Board.

 

This Council therefore resolves:

  • To call on the Executive Mayor to commit to instruct THH/LBTH to proactively organise a minimum of four Tenants & Residents Association meetings on each estate/neighbourhood.
  • To call on the Executive Mayor to instruct officers to begin an open and transparent consultation with stakeholders on the level of performance an in-house service would be expected to achieve over the next three years.
  • To call on the Executive Mayor to establish and resource either a new Housing Committee of elected councillors to oversee the performance of THH increase the number of meetings of the existing Housing & Regeneration Scrutiny Sub-committee to ten each year, with an expanded membership.
  • To call on the Executive Mayor to re-establish the Borough wide Tenants Federation with resources.

 

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