Update on TRA

Hello everyone

This is a joint email from Tom and Sally about the future of the TRA.

Tom has moved away from the estate so is no longer the TRA chair, and Sally (the TRA’s elected Treasurer) is acting as a point of contact for TRA matters until we have elections for new officers later this year.

This seems like a good moment to talk about what we thought the TRA can do – and it’s limitations, in light of our experience over the last year and in consultation with Islington council.

We see the TRA as a friendly space for residents to meet each other and discuss their concerns. It needs to be open and fair, and create space for everyone’s voices to be heard. We think the TRA should primarily exist to organise a couple of informal social events each year to bring the residents of Bevin Court together. The Christmas party we organised in December is a model of how the TRA can do fun and friendly things that enhance our community. As an example of how this has real benefits, at the party some residents met, found out they had similar repairs issues, and since then have worked together to press the council to get their repairs fixed.

The TRA should help facilitate consultations with the council about what its future plans are for the estate. It should also work to keep the residents informed about what is going on in the area.

The TRA shouldn’t be a substitute for the council managing the estate well. Each resident should have their repairs issues dealt with promptly when they report them.

We don’t think the council should seek information from the TRA about other individual tenants and residents, because this gives power tothe TRA officers that could potentially be abused. At the end of the day, we are all volunteers and it would be unfair to expect any of the officers to take on this responsibility.

The council is planning a programme of training for anyone wishing to be a TRA officer soon. We hope lots of you come and take part. The more people who participate, the fairer and better the TRA will operate. Essentially, we want this to be fun! (It’s the council’s job to deal with our grumbles…)

Julia Barclay mentioned that some people have emailed us and not received a reply. I can’t find any that haven’t been answered but do resend if you’re waiting. Thanks. This remains the TRA contact email and will be checked on a weekly basis.

Any urgent issues should be addressed to the council. If you need to escalate a repairs issue beyond the housing direct helpline, or need to speak to the council officers about any other concerns you have here are the officers you should contact:

Catherine Shawsmith, estate services manager:

t: 020 7527 4787

e: catherine.shawsmith@islington.gov.uk

Pritpal Chhoker, head of the St John St area housing office:

t: 020 7527 6213

e: Pritpal.Chhoker@islington.gov.uk

Jo Murphy, head of housing operations, Islington:

e: jo.murphy@islington.gov.uk

Happy New Year to you all.

All best

Tom and Sally

Bevin Court Tenants’ & Residents’ Association

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