End the Big League Obsession - Kemp 14th November 07
“Housing Association Chief Executives are becoming obsessed with size and growth and badly need to be cut down to size” according to the Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Local Government Cllr Richard Kemp. Speaking at a meeting of Liberal Democrat Councillors at a conference at the Local Government Association on 15th November Cllr Kemp will say,
“When I talk to RSL Chief Executives I am appalled at how out of touch many of them are with the areas in which they work and the realities of the communities which their organisations need to reach out to. Too many of them cannot name more than a tiny minority of cabinet members in the areas in which they work. Too many cannot say how their organisation interacts with the sustainable community plans of the Councils within whose areas they work. Too many cannot begin to tell me how their RSLs are contributing to the wider economic and social needs of the communities and councils within which they have a remit.
They are obsessed with size and very narrow interpretations of value for money and the drive for enlargement seems inextricably linked to egos not compassion for the people whose interests they need to serve. I have no objection to appropriate mergers of RSLs which would bring them up to a size of optimal and regional efficiency. But the mighty leviathans which are currently being created are a curse and not a cure.
I hope that all Liberal Democrat Cabinet Members with responsibility for Housing will immediately call the Chief Executives of RSLs that operate in their area in to meet them and to hold them to account for their activities. I hope that you will join with me in asking the new Homes and Communities Agency to put a cap on a maximum size of RSLs and stricter controls on areas in which RSLs are allowed to operate”.
Editors Note: Cllr Kemp is the former Chair of the Housing Executive of the Local Government Association and chairs PLUS Houisng a medium sized RSL in