Special seminars for tenants are welcome, but a heavily moderated sideshow is not good enough when the main discussion is taking place behind closed doors.
It is not too late to include serious tenants’ representation in the five review sub-groups that will inform the discussion and inform other tenants of the discussions.
‘A tenant-focused questionnaire and focus groups [which] will gather evidence and test proposals later in the year’ could also be a real asset – as long as it includes all the options, is supported by balanced briefing material and is objectively reported.
Too many of these events put more emphasis on the lunch than an informed discussion, and rely on tokenist focus groups that get written up so that none of the participants recognise the conclusions.
DCH has produced an interim submission. It’s not glossy, but is packed with considered argument, background information and references.
Perhaps the CIH Review Team, Tenant Participation Advisory Service and others who will be convening sessions and producing questionnaires and briefing material could distribute the DCH document as part of an information pack?
The submission and a new spreadsheet that models fully funding allowances to meet government’s commitment ‘to ensure that we have a sustainable, long term system for financing council housing’ is available from the DCH website.
Hopefully tenant participation officers and others will make it available to tenants in their areas too?
Alan Walter, chair, Defend Council Housing