Concerns over the judgement of David Orr, an Islington councillor trolls for council housing and a housing association goes Christmas crazy
Happy New Year to all our readers and welcome back to the world of cold, miserable, grinding, frustrating, cold, upsetting, grim, cheerless, bleak, cold, grey, desolate, drab, dismal, cold reality – also known, of course, as the first week back at work in January.
We hope you enjoyed your Christmas and ate as many boxes of festive chocolates as Closed Circuit did (73). On which note, we feel obliged to inform you of some disturbing news regarding the sector’s leading man – the venerable chief executive of the National Housing Federation, David Orr.
Before Christmas, Mr Orr revealed on Twitter to a Closed Circuit spy that his favourite chocolate in a box of Celebrations is a Bounty.
Closed Circuit wonders how we can still trust in the leadership of a man who would pick a sickly coconut mess over a smooth Galaxy – but that is for the sector to decide.
It's my favourite Pete. What's yours?— David Orr (@natfedDavid) December 13, 2017
How do you get a secretary of state to sit up and listen to your thoughts about their housing policies? Diarmaid Ward, executive member for housing and development at Islington Council, might have found the answer.
He tweeted communities secretary Sajid Javid every day for 61 days asking him to #StopTheSellOff – to drop the high-value asset levy.
Finally, on 19 December, Mr Javid cracked – at least a little. He wrote to Mr Ward to confirm that councils will not have to make a payment under the policy until at least April 2019.
“With the announcement in the letter, councillor Ward is going to stop trolling [Mr Javid] for now,” a spokesperson from the council’s Labour group told Closed Circuit. Effective lobbying indeed.
Just before Christmas viral marketing got a bit… weird… with Poundland making a Christmas Elf do frankly unspeakably things to help flog its cut price teabags.
Not to be deterred by the gutter use of Christmas elves on Twitter, the good folks at Halton Housing Trust got in on the act with their own Christmas elf which they snapped playing table tennis, shooting pool and, er, riding a large electronic cow around the office.
Closed Circuit has some questions, the first and most pressing being why in God’s name does Halton Housing Trust have a large electronic cow which can be ridden around the office? Our only assumption can be that this is how enigmatic and innovative chief executive Nick Atkin arrives at work in the morning, or possibly uses to ride into board meetings swinging a lasso and shouting yee-hah. Perhaps we’ve let our imaginations run away with us, but we would love to see a clip if we are right.