Thank you for your response to the questions. They were read out
at the TBRA meeting of 25 May, and I have been asked to respond to
them on behalf of TBRA.
The first point to make is that these are definitely "responses",
rather than "answers", and we have observed that the response you
gave in person on 28 April, as recorded in our minutes, also show
a similar trait. However, we at TBRA would like the precision of
answers whenever possible.
For the first group of three questions, we hope your policy
document in July will fully answer the first two of them, but it
is unlikely to answer the legal point of a property being CPO'ed
twice. We do not understand why there should be any difficulty
with giving a clear answer to this point.
On the second group of questions, you are saying without
providing any evidence that "condition .. is very poor", and "The
HRA cannot afford this cost". We have no grounds on which to
believe those statements, and will not accept them without
supporting evidence. The failure of YourMK to supply that evidence
appears to us as contradictory to the promises on you web site to
be "trustworthy" (this is not earning the trust of local people)
"responsible" (How can you be "held to account" if you do not show
the reasons for you actions) and "Empowering" (you are not
empowering TBRA). We therefore request firm information from
the HRA figures and stock condition survey, specifically looking
- The prevalence of structural faults in the surveyed
properties, as a percentage of the total properties
- What percentages fail each of the 4 criterion of the 2006
Decent Home standard
- The standards used to judge Kitchens and Bathrooms, (noting
the Decent Homes guidelines regards kitchens under 20 years old
and bathrooms under 30 years old as acceptable (Criterion c)),
and the percentage judged as being "very poor"
- The number of minor faults noted during the survey as needing
attention (such as holes giving access to birds into roof
spaces, loose ridge tiles, damaged doors to outbuildings
and bin stores) which have been feed through to the maintenance
side of YourMK
- The qualifications and training of the surveyors which gives
then the standing to declare our homes as "very poor"
- Formal fault investigation of the common defects identified -
from the automotive sector of industry, I would expect a FTA,
and a 8D/root cause analysis. Without such techniques being
applied, how can you be certain the same problems will not
appear some years further on, on other estates, or even on these
ones after regeneration?
- Cost estimates for repair of the commonly found defects.
Although exact costs would be impractical, some cost estimates
are needed to justify your course of action, so should be
available, and be open to being challenged.
- We want to see evidence of the level of maintenance activity
on council houses over the last 20 years, to see if the current
state is due to underspending over that period. We estimate that
the following number of works should have been done each year,
and so request to see how many were done in each year:
||Expected number per year
- In addition to the items detailed in the previous point, there
will be other significant maintenance expenditure (for example,
on turning round a property after it has been vacated by a
tenant). A breakdown of all these costs which appear to have
totalled about £9m each year is desired, to clarify that
maintenance has been correctly handled
- The HRA accounts have very large amounts against "interest and
cost of debts"(£10m) "Depreciation & impairment" (£11m to
£14m), and "Capital improvements". More details of these are
required, including the nature, magnitude, and age of debts,
and, if amounts have been transferred to other accounts (such as
reserves or capital improvements), the balance sheets and
revenue sheets of those accounts.
Our minutes also list as one of the queries you took away "HRA
spending",(to which you have not replied), which is expanded in the
above request for firm information. We acknowledge that YourMK has
not been responsible for the HRA over the last 20 years, and so
accept that you may have to refer these questions on to MKC, but
trust you will be able to give at least the name and email address
of someone who can answer these questions in a useful fashion.
On Carbon footprint and air quality, what data will you be
publishing, and will it include tracking the effect of any loss of
green space on the air quality?
On the support of existing communities, you appear to be saying that
until engagement starts with an estate, YourMK has no responsibility
for the social facilities on that estate, that they are outside your
Mission statement of "..Supporting the involvement of local people
and groups in their community", and "Providing access to appropriate
training, education and employment". Is that correct? That would
almost imply a desire to run these estates down, socially, to make
complete rebuilding of them more likely. If this is not the case,
what steps do you expect to do in support of the residents
activities in the Woughton estates before 2020?
You appear to have missed the query about David Gleeson's promise of
the full order of the estates by the end of April. Can we expect a
full, direct, explanation from David himself within the next week?
If not, please explain what your website promise of being
"trustworthy" actually means.
Turning to the minutes of the TBRA meeting of 28 April, which have
been available for some time at http://tinkersbridge.org.uk/tbra/download/TBRAminutes/2017_04_27_minutes.pdf
(the current version having 2 minor corrections noted when the
minutes were received on 25 May), we would like further clarity on
- If rebuilding at a higher density is planned, where are the
plans for the additional infrastructure for education and
- How will the views of residents who are not on the electoral
role be included?
- How will RAs be included in the selection of independent
- The query about being in the bottom 15% had a response about
disability and mental health. This does not appear to make
sense. Please explain the lifestyle that YourMK wants to create
for the bottom 15% of social wealth distribution - we want it to
include a good social network, local employment, good public
transport, adequate health, education and housing -
and would say that our present estate largely offers these
things, the biggest problems being public transport and poor
- The query on council accommodation for lodgers who would be
made homeless by regeneration had the response of the council is
looking at these needs. Looking does not imply action. We want
to know how long they may have to spend homeless waiting for the
council to provide them with accommodation.
- The minutes record that if council houses are demolished,
tenants will be moved to a temporarily built area, and then can,
if they wish, be moved back to Tinkers Bridge. Previously, a
"single move" policy was being supported, so please clarify this
area, including the nature of "temporarily built area" - the
post-war temporarily built areas of prefabs lasted decades in
It does appear to us that the repairs on council houses are now
happening faster under YourMK than previously, and we would like to
acknowledge the improvement that YourMK has made in this area.
We look forward to your response.