Posted by: Closed Circuit14/05/2012
Michelle Reid, chief executive of the Tenant Participation Advisory Service, is no stranger to Closed Circuit - so much so that we’ve become part of her routine. At last week’s TPAS’ southern awards events Ms Reid told the audience she was on her best behaviour because of a recent spate of appearances in this column.
During her speech she - just about - stuck to her word. But after getting into the awards spirit Closed Circuit couldn’t help but think that TPAS’ head honcho deserves her own prize.
So step forward Michelle Reid, the inaugural winner of the lifetime achievement award for services to Closed Circuit (housing minister Grant Shapps was a close second place). The trophy is in the post.
Since Supporting People ring-fencing was removed it has clearly been tempting for councils to divert resources to other issues.
Perhaps they’ll change their minds when they know just how tough the communities secretary is going to be if they do this.
Lord Richard Best, addressing the charity Crisis’ annual homelessness conference last week, told delegates that Eric Pickles had said he would ‘sit down hard’ on people using SP funding inappropriately.
Pausing for the amused audience, the urbane Lord Best deftly added that the ‘secretary of state sitting on people hard is a frightening thought’.
Perhaps councils thinking of diverting SP funding will now reconsider.
As if the double-dip recession wasn’t gruesome enough it has now potentially created ‘zombie families’ - at least according to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
The alarmingly named phenomena refers to households that are effectively insolvent but kept ‘alive’ by low interest rates and leeway from their lenders.
A NIESR report, published last week, quotes figures from the Financial Services Authority, which suggest between 5 per cent and 8 per cent of UK mortgages could be subject to forbearance.
While it makes horrifying reading, at least the report is one of the few things Closed Circuit has read recently that doesn’t refer to bankers as vampires.
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