Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The final Pollards Hill board meeting

Over the last four years, I have sat on the Board of Pollards Hill Housing Association. Since the formation of the Pollards Hill Housing Association board in 1998 the area has had £40 million spent on rebuilding large parts of the Pollards Hill estate and replacing sub-standard housing. While at times it has not been without its problems and at times issues have arisen, it has made a significant improvement to the area and has helped regenerate the Pollards Hill area. The rebuilding of the estate was completed on time and on budget last year.

Tonight was the last meeting of the board before it is absorbed into the main board of the parent company MOAT. This change was approved earlier this year by Merton Council and will allow MOAT to take out borrowings that they would have been unable to undertake under the current arrangements. In place of the board an estate committee will be established which will give residents a say over how the estate is run and will allow scrutiny of the performance of MOAT. This will also include overseeing the community initiatives fund that exists for the residents of Pollards Hill and was established as part of the housing transfer from Merton Council. This fund has been used to fund initiatives on behalf of residents including outings, trips to the theatre and to find schemes that are beneficial to the Pollards Hill community.

Thanks to the work of the then Labour controlled Merton Council that set up the housing transfer; this has led to the considerable improvement in housing. Along with the Single Regeneration money Pollards Hill received under a Labour government between 1998 and 2002 this has contributed greatly to improving the overall environment of the area.

Pollards Hill is not without its problems; it is one of the most deprived areas in Merton but thanks to the decisions taken by then Labour council this area has improved considerably. If anyone's says that politicians cannot make a difference they should come to Pollards Hill.


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