Friday, July 31, 2009

Exclusive: Ealing Chief Exec Darra Singh to Quit

I've heard a rumour from a usually reliable source that Ealing Council's Chief Executive, Darra Singh, is resigning to take up a new post running Job Centre Plus.

Darra has been a very effective Chief Executive. Everyone agrees that he represented a vast improvement on his predecessor. It makes sense that a high flyer like Darra would get a high profile national job like this.

This will be a blow for Ealing's Tory administration as they will find it difficult to find someone else with Darra's skills.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Labour Government threaten Ealing Homes cash

Within the last 24 hours, I've learned that the Government is threaten to withdraw some of the 'Decent Homes' funding it gives Council's Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMOs) to bring former Council housing up to scratch. The Council's under threat are those with ALMOs that failed to get more than 1 star in their latest inspection, which includes Ealing's ALMO, Ealing Homes.

Ealing Homes has been bungling the Decent Homes programme from the outset, to the extent that the scheme had to be suspended and restarted, but withdrawal of the programme would be a huge blow for Ealing Homes' tenants, who had been expecting much-needed works to be carried out to many estates soon.

I will campaign vigorously for the government to reverse its decision. The management of Ealing Homes and the Council's supervision of them has been poor, but this is not the fault of council tenants. Hard-pressed tenants must not be punished for the failures of bureaucrats and politicians.

The one sliver of silver lining in the cloud is that many Ealing leaseholders, on the Village Park estate in South Ealing for instance, are currently being fleeced for huge amounts for works to their properties under Ealing Homes' decent homes programme, and presumably this would stop if the work ceased!