Posted by: Caroline Thorpe16/12/2010
In tomorrow’s Inside Housing we will take you on a ride through the highs and lows (and yes, there have been some highs…) of 2010 in our annual review of the year. In case you can’t wait that long, the editorial team has come up with their most memorable moments from the last months. Let us know your favourite – and feel free to add your own.
Carl Brown, business reporter:
‘The one that springs to mind is communities department permanent secretary Sir Bob Kerslake revealing he’s a hip-hop fan when I interviewed him while he was still boss at the Homes and Communities Agency. He said he was especially fond of 1980s act the Pharcyde.’
Stuart Macdonald, editor:
‘Memorable: Despite throwing out almost all other of the previous government’s housing policies, the coalition kept intact Labour’s plan to allow councils to become self-financing.
‘Memorable: going out with housing officer Colin McLean of Homes for Haringey and seeing how effortlessly he manages tenants’ myriad concerns.
‘Bizarre: housing minister Grant Shapps claiming to be the MP with the most followers on twitter until foreign secretary William Hague usurped him.
‘Bizarre: The government scrapping the Tenant Services Authority yet keeping the bulk of its functions in the Homes and Communities Agency and effectively resurrecting the Housing Corporation.’
Lydia Stockdale, best practice editor:
‘I learned that some people are inexhaustible. I was pretty astonished when Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow still turned up to show me around New Horizon, a day centre for homeless young people in London, in January despite the fact he’d just found out he was flying to an earthquake-struck Haiti that evening.
‘I also learned just how much people don’t care about politics until it directly affects them. Time and time again, I’ve been told that tenants will only realise that the benefit cuts are happening when their payments suddenly go down.’
Caroline Thorpe, assistant editor (features)
‘When I interviewed Iain Duncan Smith just before the general election in May, we talked about the photo of him with former US vice president Dick Cheney which is proudly on display in his Westminster office. It really struck me that it was obviously one of his proudest moments.’
Sonny Dhamu, designer
‘I’d only been at Inside Housing for five months when I designed our ‘End of Social Housing’ cover. It was exciting to work on it, and I believe it’s been fairly controversial with readers split between loving and loathing it. But for me it’s definitely in the top three covers I’ve designed during my 10-year career on magazines.’
Nick Duxbury, deputy features editor
‘Seeing that front cover and thinking, “oh, do I have a job still?”. I’ve never seen a trade mag herald the end of its trade.’
From Out of office
What the Inside Housing writers have been up to when they’ve been prised away from their desks