welcome to worlds-end.org.uk
WEMO - What's been happening?
An update on what progress WEMO has made with the estate's right-to-manage bid since the WEMO Open Meeting held on the 24th of February.
Background: The Right-to-Manage Regulations 1994 state that once a right-to-manage development is complete the development's appointed agent must submit a report to the local authority (the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea), the estate-based TMO under development (WEMO) and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. The report will, amongst other things, indicate whether the appointed agent believes that the development should proceed onto the next stage: the ballot. Once the appointed agent has submitted a development report recommending that the development proceed to the ballot stage the local authority (the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea) have two months in which to either organise the ballot (if they agree with the recommendation) or refer the matter to arbitration (if they do not).
The development report from WEMO’s appointed agent (PPCR) - which did indeed recommend that the WEMO right-to-manage development proceed to the ballot stage - was delivered to the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea in December 2003. The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea formally rejected the development report in February 2004. The regulations state that in this case the local authority must refer the matter to arbitration before the two month period has elapsed. The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea have not only failed to refer the matter to arbitratrion within the two month period but they have continually failed to do so despite numerous requests from the WEMO board over the last six months.
The WEMO public meeting held on the 24th of February was convened to decide whether the organisation should continue to demand that the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea refer the matter to arbitration or whether it should try to negotiate an alternative management arrangement with the Council, such as an Estate Management Board (EMB). After much discussion a vote was taken and the meeting unanimously agreed that the organisation should do both. This would keep the organisation's options open as well as try and prevent further time being wasted should either option prove unsuitable.
On the 11th of May, the WEMO board visited the Lancaster West estate in the north of the borough. The Lancaster West estate has been operating an EMB for over 12 years and the aim of the visit was to find out more about how the EMB operated, whether it had managed to provide better services to its residents and improve the estate, how it had managed to do so and help determine whether such an arrangement might be suitable for World's End. The board found that the EMB had indeed managed to improve the delivery of services to the residents of the Lancaster West estate. The board was impressed with what the EMB had managed to achieve but was concerned that this had only come about as a result of the tenacity of the residents serving on its board. There was no indication that the EMB had received any extraordinary help from the Council nor that it had gained the support of the borough-wide TMO. As a result the board was not convinced that an EMB would deliver the improvements to World's End required any better or quicker than an estate-based TMO like that currently proposed by WEMO. The board did however agree to continue investigating the EMB proposal further.
The WEMO board subsequently met with Councillor Coleridge (the Council's Cabinet Member for Housing) and a member of the Council's housing department on the 12th of May. At this meeting all of the issues that had been raised by the Council in its rejection of the development report were discussed at length, as was the outcome of the public meeting. The Council was asked to progress the arbitration process and supply the WEMO board with more information on the "EMB proposal" they had put forward as quickly as possible (the minutes of this meeting are available from the WEMO minutes page).
At the time of writing the WEMO board is disappointed to have to report that the Council has made little or no progress with either arbitration or the EMB proposal.
For more information on WEMO, and the WEMO right-to-manage proposal, see the WEMO Homepage.
This page is published by the World's End Residents Association.