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18 September 2012
All organizations running social housing in South London need to be accountable for the public money they spend and the quality of the services they deliver says GMB
GMB is calling on MP's and councillors in South London to scrutinise the performance of Wandle Housing Association after it learned that the emoluments of Chief Executive Sara Thakkar and the highest paid director increased by £18,000 from £121,000 in 2010 to £139,000 in 2011.
Wandle Housing Association is a partly publicly financed social housing provider based in South London with 6,401 homes operating throughout the following boroughs: Wandsworth (1,695 homes); Merton (1,315 homes); Croydon (1,119 homes); Southwark (1,081 homes); Lambeth (427 homes); Lewisham (269 homes); Sutton (246 homes); Kingston (120 homes); Bromley (85 homes); Hounslow (22 homes); Other (22 homes).
Like all housing associations it is required to operate in accordance with guidelines laid down by the Homes and Communities Agency and the Regulation Committee of the Homes and Community Agency as well as its own policies and procedures. Philip Sturrock is the chairman of Wandle Housing Association board.
Paul Maloney, GMB Regional Secretary for Southern Region, said“I am shocked to learn, in the middle of a recession with most public sector workers enduring a pay freeze, that the emoluments of the Chief Executive and highest paid director of a public sector organization with responsibility to house low income families increased by £18,000, an increase of nearly 15%.
The performance of this social housing provider came to my attention when GMB members who are tenants complained that Wandle is planning to close two remaining offices in Clapham and Tooting and move into a prestige office block, Minerva House at London Bridge far removed from the tenants.
The location is remote from its tenants and is, moreover, in Zone 1 making it expensive and inconvenient for tenants to visit. Clapham Junction would be the transport hub if a move is needed. I don't know whether they plan to buy or rent but if they plan spending money on rent this will be a shocking waste of tenants' rent.
GMB members also complain of poor cleaning and maintenance standards and a lack of response to complaints.
All organizations running social housing in South London need to be accountable for the public money they spend and the quality of the services they deliver. There can be no justification for this rise in emoluments for the Chief Executive and highest paid director nor for her organization to become more remote from her 6,401 tenants. That is why GMB is calling on MPs and councillors to scrutinise the performance of Wandle Housing Association.”