'It is absolutely disgusting if they have expelled him. His analysis of the housing situation has been extremely useful to tenants like myself. It has been a David and Goliath situation. He has won the battle and should not be silenced.' -- Donald Simpson, Waverley tenant
'As I had submitted some pertinent questions received from tenants, for officers to address, we might deduce that the panel and staff's decisive actions were to avoid having to respond.' -- Jeremy Hyman Waverley tenant and founder of Tenants Watch
Last December, Waverley joined a growing number of tenants across the country who said no to privatisation of their homes. [see Waverley say no to housing privatisation]
Thanks in no small measure to Jeremy Hyman and Tenants Watch which he founded, Waverley council tenants said no to privatisation of their homes. The backlash has now begun.
The tenants have been threatened with a reduction in the amount to be spent on the maintenance of their homes, because they voted the wrong way.
Now Jeremy Hyman has been kicked off the Waverley Tenants Panel because he spearheaded the campaign for a no vote.
The Panel voted eight to one, with two abstentions, to expel Jeremy Hyman from the panel.
If anyone should go, it should be the panel members who failed to act for the tenants, two of whom are on the board of Weyfold, the housing association that was poised to take the housing stock if the tenants had voted yes to privatisation.
Waverley head of housing David January has accused Jeremy Hyman of pushing out misleading information. This is a bit rich coming from January.
I attended a meeting at which January spoke. Having stomached his lies for an hour, I attempted to speak. As soon as I tried to speak and it was obvious to January I knew what I was talking about, he tried to get his heavies strategically positioned around the room to physically eject me from the meeting.
The pro-privatisation material pushed out at great expense to the local taxpayer (money that could and should have been spent on housing) was little better – lies, half truths and misleading information.
If tenants believed their homes were safe, or they'd even remain with Weyfold, once the tarnsfer was a done deal, they only had to look north to see what was happening to Pavilion tenants.
Tenants of Firgrove Court in Farnborough, woke up one day to find their homes were earmarked for a car park, part of the unwanted town centre redevelopment. A little more than tens years on from when their homes had been transferred to Pavilion, they found Pavilion had been acquired by Eastleigh-based Atlantic. They had no say in the acquisition by Atlantic. [see Tragedy of Firgrove Court]
Speaking to a Waverley tenant who lives in Godalming, she told me she had written at least twice to Pat Wright (chair, Waverley Tenants Panel) seeking help on housing matters, and showed me a copy of one of her letters. Not only did Wright do nothing in the way of interceding on her behalf with the Council and her housing problem, she lacked even the decency and common courtesy to respond or acknowledge receipt of the letters.
This will be a situation all too familiar to Pavilion tenants. When Pavilion received a damning report from the Audit Commission and the then chief executive Mervyn Jones (he has since been fired) was summoned to appear before a committee of Rushmoor councillors to explain his piss-poor performance, he put forward the chair of their Tenants Panel to defend Pavilion. [see Audit Commission savage Pavilion Housing]
One of the reasons why Jeremy Hyman was kicked off the Waverley Tenants Panel, was to gag him. He has evidence which shows that Waverley has more money to spend on housing than they are willing to admit. He was going to use the opportunity to put a series of difficult and embarrassing questions to head of Waverley housing David January.
Having done the dirty business for Waverley, the Tenants Panel then adjourned and received a briefing from David January!
In the neighbouring Rotten Borough of Rushmoor there is a conspiracy between Pavilion Housing Association and Rushmoor housing department to have Peter Sandy removed as a Rushmoor councillor for daring to criticise the behaviour of both organisations and their treatment of tenants.
Due to a letter sent out by mistake by the Standards Board, it had been thought that Peter Sandy had been cleared. He has not. He is still under investigation, an investigation the Standards Board says may take six months. [see Peter Sandy cleared by Standards Board]
'Banana republic jibe over continuing homes transfer row, Farnham Herald, 23 December 2005
Alan Golden, Tenants front man expelled: Housing stock rumpus prompts 'no confidence' vote, Godalming Times, 28 June 2006
Homes transfer activist expelled from panel, Farnham Herald, 27 January 2006
Corina Larby, Waverley bites the bullet after housing stock transfer failure: Council examines cost cutting options, Farnham Herald, 13 January 2006
Keith Parkins, Audit Commission savage Pavilion Housing, Indymedia UK, 27 July 2004
Keith Parkins, Waverley say no to housing privatisation, Indymedia UK, 22 December 2006
Keith Parkins, Rushmoor Private Landlords Forum – January 2006, Indymedia UK, 23 January 2006
Keith Parkins, Peter Sandy cleared by Standards Board, Indymedia UK, 23 January 2006
Keith Parkins, Tragedy of Firgrove Court, Indymedia UK, 30 January 2006