Posted by: Closed Circuit30/03/2012
Delegates attending the ‘New kids on the block’ session at the Welsh Chartered Institute of Housing conference last week might have expected a panel of bright young things, new to the heady world of housing.
But one panellist, Robin Staines, chair of the all-Wales chief housing officers’ panel, seemed surprised to be part of the session at all. Walking rather sheepishly to the podium he pointed out that he’s been in housing ‘quite some time’, even if he has only been in his current post for a matter of weeks. Closed Circuit thinks he should be flattered - after all, it’s not every day an old dog is presented as a new trick.
At the National Housing Federation’s finance jamboree in Warwick last week, keynote speaker and born-again media darling John Prescott was having a grand old time regaling the assembled finance directors with tales from his days on the Ultimate Fighting Champion circuit.
Towards the end of his rabble-rousing address, Prezza revealed that David Orr had asked for a comedy performance worthy of Jimmy Tarbuck.
Returning to the stage, the federation’s chief executive was happy with the results. ‘John can tell jokes like Jimmy Tarbuck, but I doubt Jimmy can talk about housing.’
Clearly Mr Orr had missed Tarby’s gag-a-minute session on stamp duty land tax.
Despite the tidal wave of free pens on offer at their stands, the poor put-upon banks were very much cast in the role of the bad guys at the National Housing Federation’s annual housing finance conference.
But their villainy reached Bond-like proportions when Trowers & Hamlins’ Sarah Gooden delivered an address on the danger of banks repricing their loans.
Just as the lawyer was explaining how landlords could overcome this threat to their finances she was suddenly overcome by feedback, her voice lost among the gremlins.
Far be it from Closed Circuit to suggest that any bankers had tipped off the sound engineers, but they’ve got to spend their bonuses somehow.
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