24 August 2010

What do your local councillors do? A case study from Brenchley Gardens

Brenchley Gardens estate is in the southern part of Peckham Rye Ward, opposite Camberwell New Cemetery. By common consent it is a pleasant and quiet place to live with a strong sense of community. People living in Brenchley Gardens are a mixture of tenants, leaseholders and freeholders.

Following our election in May, members of the tenant management organisation (TMO) approached us to ask for our help with some problems they were having with various charges, repairs and a dispute with the council over the ownership status of a fence on the estate. The problem seemed to be that communication had broken down between the TMO and officers at the council over these issues. Both sides had taken up entrenched positions and meaningful discussion seemed to have completely stopped.

As local councillors we were able to talk to both officers and the TMO in a constructive way to see if there was a way we could resolve these issues. After much persuading and several meetings we were able to get everyone round the same table last night. I'm really pleased to say that the TMO and the officers were able to agree a way forward on all the outstanding issues. The TMO didn't get its way on all the issues it was concerned about, but the members present were able to get an honest, face to face explanation and no longer felt their views were being ignored or dismissed. The officers for their part agreed to take action on many of the concerns residents had been raising.

When council officers had left one of the board members of the TMO said something to me which I think summed the whole thing up. He said, "What pleases me is that, at last, someone was prepared to come and speak to us like we're human beings."

2 comments:

  1. Well done, all of you. This is a marvellous example of local councillors making a difference, locally.

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  2. Being a local councillor is not very glamorous and it's very hard work but you have a very important part to play in making communities work better together

    Well done in Brenchley Gardens

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