The £50.00 Adventure.

Eleven years ago, Jan (my wife) and I, along with two other couples started a TMO (Tenant Management Organisation) we call PETRA (Parkhill Tenants and Resident Association). I wrote to the Council and explained that we intended to form a TMO with the intention of setting up a business that eventually would allow the tenants of the estate to take over the management of both our homes as well as the grounds maintenance of the grass and flower beds surrounding the flats. The Council made it very clear that they had not the slightest wish that we would tread that path as they were of the opinion that we did not have the necessary housing management experience, nor be able to handle the financial responsibilities of running a legal business entity. Nevertheless, the six of us decided that we would continue to see if we could manage to overcome the Council’s hostility, and learn the skills required. In those early days we held some quite fraught meetings to work out the best strategy to adopt. As it turned out it was easier than we first believed as I started to write a regular newsletter in which I encouraged all the tenants to get behind the six of us and at the same time pointed out the failure of the council in general and the two council caretakers in particular to carry out their responsibilities to us the tenants of the estate. Those newsletters were blunt and slanted very much towards the positive side of self-management and why we believed with the help of others on the estate we could address the graffiti, litter, dumped cars and drug dealing nuisances that were attracting a host of scruffy villainous bullies that were plaguing the estate, at the time. So, between a plumber and my wife who was the stock controller in a smallish electrical company, a pub manager and his wife that managed a pub in Islington, and a “white van man” and his wife who we used to call a “housewife” we did embark on that journey. With a small grant from the Government we set about registering PETRA as a TMO and with £50.00 of my money, I opened a PETRA account with, we quickly registered with the Industrial and Provident Society and basically showed the Council that we were serious about taking over the estate. Under Section 16 of the 1994 Local Authorities Act we had to find a registered section 16 agent who would provide any necessary skills and training that we needed as well as taking us through the very prescribed stages of feasibility, development, and finally be able to demonstrate competence, as both an agent of the council and an independent employer of staff.

This entry was posted in Autobiography, housing, local politics and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The £50.00 Adventure.

  1. Dennis Cook says:

    When do we get chapter 2?

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