Saturday, 10 October 2009

The end of an era and a new beginning at Hounslow Homes

Thursday evening may have been the fourth time that I'd attended an Annual General Meeting of Hounslow Homes, the London Borough of Hounslow's Arms Length Management Organisation, but this one was a tad different. Not only was it the first time I'd sat it out whilst a new Lead Member did the necessary, but it was also a landmark meeting for another reason. Alf Chandler, who had chaired the ALMO since its inception, stepped down from the hot seat following the introduction of the new two-term rule, and was replaced at the immediately ensuing Board Meeting by former Vice Chair Mohammad Chaudhry (above left).

Alf has been a giant within Hounslow's housing movement for longer than most people can remember. When I first took on the role of Lead Member for Housing back in 2006 I had assumed that he and I would rapidly find ourselves on a collusion course. Whilst his renowned socialist views on housing and some other issues are not in themselves antithetical to my own, my fear was that they would lead him axiomatically to line up with the Old Guard, and its instinctively Stalinist resistance in the face of my unbashful programme for tenant emancipation.

As it happened though I soon discovered that Alf was very much his own man. Whilst there may at first have been an element of suspicion, as my true agenda became clear I feel he came to realise that my objectives in housing were not after all in conflict with his own, and over the course of my three year tenure I like to believe that a real sense of trust and deep respect developed between us both.

Mohammad, who was victorious in a contested election for the top spot, will undoubtedly bring a new style and perspective to the role. As President of the Pakistan Welfare Association and during his time as Chair of the Hounslow Borough Community Police Consultative Group he has established himself as a respected and authoritative presence in the Hounslow community, and ably assisted by his Vice Chairs Andy Lee, Paula Lewis and Councillor Gill Hutchinson he will put his own stamp on the organisation as it progresses over the months and years ahead.

The AGM itself, chaired by Alf, was addressed by the Hounslow Homes Chief Executive Bernadette O'Shea and the ICG's own Jon Hardy, the London Borough of Hounslow's Lead Member for Housing. Below are a few selected pics from the event:


Cllr Andrew Dakers said...

Unfortunately I've never gotten to know Alf Chandler, but Mohammad Chaudhry I have a lot of time and respect for as a colleague on the Hounslow Pension Fund Committee - he makes excellent contributions. I look forward to supporting him and Hounslow Homes in the years ahead, particularly on the environmental sustainability agenda as we all work towards reducing substantially the CO2 emissions of the borough's housing stock. Andrew

Belated Birthday Greetings said...

What did you get for your birthday
Monogrammed hankies and socks ?
Cheap after-shave and soaps on a rope
Or something more out of the box ?
A contemporary portrait of Annie, with hubby by her side
A worn-out looking Terry & June, naffness personified
How about a day trip to Southall, to meet its favourite son
See your position on his spectrum of hate, now wouldn't that be fun ?
Maybe a book about Mogden and it's relationship with the community
Economical with the truth and transgressing with impunity
Perhaps you went to the boozer and saw some unwelcome faces
Bitter ex-Labour councillors, can't we bar them from such places ?
But modest old Phil prob'ly just stayed indoors
Surfed the net and washed his hair
Then drafted his acceptance speech
For next year if they make him mayor

Anonymous said...

I do not expect this comment to be published given the ALMOS focus on controlling the true sentiments of the tenants. But here it is: 1) the ALMO came into Hounslow in an underhanded way, sheltered housing tenants were not properly informed as to what they were voting for, they were wined and dined and told to vote for the ALMOS if they wanted their schemes updated.(2) the Council should not have handed over elements of Council business that involve a social care element, eg. Sheltered Housing, because HH management, only care about the bottom line, which is fine for corporate affairs, but not where it involves vulnerable people (3) Since HH was created, the tenants at Sheltered Housing are not kept informed, their notice boards are empty, most of them do not even know about HH Board let alone about elections or eligibility to stand (4)The Board of HH is rife with conflicts of interest, the 5 so called "independents" are not independent, they are handpicked by HH management so that they go along with what HH wants, (5) Alf Chandler is not neutral, he is flanked by HH management and told what to say and do (6) You Phil Andrews, former National Front official, have your own agenda, you should disclose who your wife is when she is on the Board (7) now HH have even installed Alf Chandler under some bogus role as "Board Champion" of the Tenant Forum just so that Jill Gale and HH Homes can control what is going on those meetings. (8). all the expensive surveys you agree to commission that HH suggest are all skewed to not bring out the truth (9) HH has consistently made efforts to get rid of or not replace wardens at Sheltered Housing, get this, THEY ARE NEEDED, REQUIRED , they have statutory protection and you are all trying to circumvent the law by trying to get rid of them.
You live in a vacuum if you think that there are people that don't know whats going on. You, Alf and others sold out the elderly and vulnerable. All of the above is provable.