Sunday, 25 September 2011

The Proposed "Eric and Treby Residents Association"

If you live on the Eric, Treby and Brokesley Estate you may have seen this handout (right click to open in a new tab and see a larger image)

Why not come along to a meeting of the residents association?

MERA wishes to make it clear that this is nothing to do with the Mile End Residents Association which up until now has been the ONLY active and effective residents association covering the Eric and Treby Estate - and continues to be the only residents association in the Mile End area which uses proper processes.

Next week, the "Eric and Treby Residents Association" is to hold its first meeting.

MERA has always anticipated that some blocks, streets or estates within the MERA area might want to set up their own residents associations and we have absolutely no problem with that whatsoever. People can of course belong to two associations if they choose.

We initially thought the intention of this new association was to do the same sort of things as MERA had to do when our residents association was set up over two years ago.

In fact, the MERA Chair has been helping out by advising on the proper processes required to set up a new Residents Association. Although it might seem longwinded, it is ESSENTIAL for any residents association trying to be openly democratic, representative and accountable to the people it aims to serve to:
  • give people adequate notice of meetings (normally about two weeks)
  • ask for nominations for officers
However it rather looks as if the Eric andTreby RA wants to get started fast and
  • has called the first meeting with less than a week's notice
  • elected its officers BEFORE announcing its existence to residents of the Estate and calling for nominations
Having said that we wish the new association well in making progress towards becoming a proper and representative organisation, We know only too well that starting an effective new residents association takes a lot of hard work and lots of time and effort on the part of those involved.

Setting up the new association

Meeting: This meeting will be held on Wednesday 28 September 2011 at 5 Wager Street, off Bow Common Lane starting at 6pm.

Notification of residents: We understand that all EastendHomes residents will be notified by a leaflet drop which started to arrive on Saturday.

Status and Independence of the RA in relation to EastendHomes (EEH): One question that people have been asking us is how independent this new residents association will be given the nature of the relationship between EEH and the new RA.
  • Will the new RA be dependent on EEH for financial help and other support?
  • Will it be wholly independent of EEH or will it become part of their formal framework for engagement with tenants?
  • Will it stand up for the rights of all local residents - including challenging the actions of EEH as and when required?
Note in particular that EastendHomes have provided the group with a suggested draft constitution.
    • You might like to compare it to the Constitution of Local Boards see the EastendHomes website
    • Ask yourselves also where does this leave the Mile End Estate Management Board.
    • Do all revisions to the Constitution need to be agreed with EEH? (see wording "in negotiation with EastendHomes (the landlord)")
  • Note that
    • EEH has been trying to rationalise its liaison and dialogue with other EastendHomes Estates' Residents associations in order to reduce the level of officer time spent at their meetings.
    • EEH now wants one framework and everybody working to the same rules - and also recognises that it needs to address the problems experienced in relation to the Eric and Treby Estate - as highlighted by MERA!
  • We suggest you have a good read and bring your feedback to the meeting.
Please also note that the proposed constitution is very DIFFERENT to the constitution of the Mile End Residents Association which was
  • written after we researched best practice employed elsewhere
  • was made available on the MERA website for two weeks prior to the first AGM
  • was (and is) made available on request to anybody who wanted a paper copy
  • approved by local residents after formal consultation.

The role of the Mile End Residents Association

For the record, and in case of any doubt, the Mile End Residents Association (MERA) is wholly independent of East End Homes. We were created because of actions relating to the redevelopment of the Estate by EEH but we do not exist solely because of EEH.
  • MERA will remain independent for the foreseeable future - which means, if necessary, we are able to voice your concerns and challenge what EEH does or proposes to do as our funding and existence are in no way dependent on EEH
  • MERA will represent the interests of ALL the people living in the MERA area to the best of our ability - including ALL the people who live on the Eric, Treby and Brokesley Estate. Our members will continue to be our members.
  • MERA will always focus on ALL matters affecting the quality of life of people living in the MERA area. We do NOT limit our activities or interests to those of a social housing landlord. So if you are concerned about housing matters (irrespective of who your landlord is), the rubbish, anti-social behaviour, green space in the area, the education of your kids and any other local services then MERA is always interested to hear from you. We will endeavour to help you or provide you with the information as to the individual or organisation best able to help you. Our experience in the past has been that this is NOT the organisation set up as the nominal representative of tenants of the Estate ie the Mile End Estate Management Board.
  • MERA will raise concerns about matters relating to Eastendhomes and their contractors which are seen or thought to have a negative repercussions for any local residents in the way we see fit - and not the way EEH would like us to - eg through the Mile End Estate Management Board which has failed to act in a credible manner to address issues which needed prompt action. If, after trying to get action at a local level, we get no satisfaction and MERA wants to raise matters direct with Council Officers, Councillors, MPs, local newspapers etc then that is what we will continue to do. One of the reasons being that it's very fast and very effective - and that means we make things happen!
The successes we have had - as documented on our website and this blog - speak for themselves.

Just a reminder of what it says at the top of the right hand column of this blog.
MERA's activities include:
  • emphasising quality of life issues relating to Mile End Residents
  • scrutiny of all regeneration and development in Mile End and affecting Mile End - in particular matters relating to planning and licensing
  • scrutiny of anything/everything which affects the look and wellbeing and safety of the place we live in: social housing performance, waste management, local green / open spaces, health and safety issues associated with street and traffic management and crime reduction issues and initiatives associated with safe neighbourhoods.
  • campaigning on all matters which have an adverse impact on the safety and residential amenity of our neighbourhood in Mile End.
  • promoting the positive aspects of and activities within Mile End eg community events for people living in our area.

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