Monday, March 15, 2010

Letter to the Mayor

The Council's own Scrutiny Committee reviewed leasehold services last year and produced a report published in Dec/Jan 2010 that contains many recommendations which cut a swathe through the garbage leaseholders have been fed by Lewisham Homes over the past year (see Leasehold News page). The recommendations must be passed by Mayor and Cabinet first. This was scheduled for 3rd March but has now been deferred to 24th March. We wrote to the Mayor on 2nd March but still await a reply.

Dear Mayor,

Lewisham Council's Scrutiny Review into Leasehold Services

We are told that tomorrow you will be responding to the above at the Mayor & Cabinet meeting. We sincerely hope that you will accept all the recommendations for service improvement.

Presently, gross errors are afforded by Lewisham Homes (and the council's) failure to properly audit accounts, with a corresponding dereliction of duty in scrutinising contracts and contractor's invoices against the actual work or service supplied. Since Lewisham Homes have collected or continue to collect payment, this is tantamount to fraud.

There is little or no monitoring of communal repairs and maintenance and standards of caretaking remain appalling. There is still no contract in place for cleaning refuse bins, nor – until recently – grounds maintenance. Overdue reviews of Repairs & Caretaking, and Leasehold Services are not scheduled to take place until 2012. Estate inspections are wholly inadequate and record fictional repairs. All residents, both leaseholders and tenants are still charged varying amounts for exactly the same services depending on the size of their block, and we have seen absolutely no benefit from the additional payment for Antisocial Behaviour and Resident Involvement.

In challenging Lewisham Homes we have met obsfucation and defiance from its senior managers, both in our own communications and in forums such as Area Panels and Special Interest Groups, where serious questions are ignored. There is widespread dissatisfaction across the borough, and because there are no checks and balances in place for communal repairs, contractors and workers are not held to account, and both the council and leaseholders are charged for work that is not done, or done badly.

We wish to reiterate the absolute necessity of the Committee's recommendations being implemented as soon as possible, since mismanagement of properties under Lewisham Homes' care has an ever increasing impact on the proper appropriation of public funds.

Yours sincerely,
Crossfields TRA


  1. Apologies for the rant filling up an entire page!

  2. Cycling GrandfatherMonday, March 15, 2010

    Viz top tip: Next time make the pages smaller, that way it will be 2 pages long...

  3. Council (Top) Tip: make everything 12pt and use 10 times as much paper because everyone is visually impaired. Disability v. Sustainability?
    Council (Top) Tip: make everything 12pt and all the text into bulleted soundbites cos no one actually reads anymore.

  4. Great letter, hope he takes note and responds accordingly, tho I doubt it.