Saturday, 1 March 2008

Networking - together we can achieve more

My first CHC Conference - and a very useful event for me as a new Independent member on a new Shadow Board - Tai Ceredigion Shadow Board.
I am sure the Stock Transfer organisations already up and running - or nearly so - can help those of us now going down that route - what worked for them; what didn't.
I don't think there's a magic formula, but there will be parallels.
How can we best share that experience and knowledge? How can we build an effective network which will be of continuing benefit to us all?
My thanks to CHC for a well-run and very useful event.

1 comment:

Peter Hayes (Vice-Chair) Bron Afon Community Housing said...

This was my first CHC conference as well, and being one of these new fangled stock transfer landlords, I wondered where Bron Afon as an organisation and we as Board members would fit in the sector, and whether or not we would gain from or bring anything useful not only to the conference but to CHC and the RSL sector itself?

However, throughout the course of Friday and Saturday it became obvious to me that the stereotypical ‘Housing Association’ that we as an organisation definitely aren’t, actually isn’t either, it doesn’t exist, and whilst lots of the organisations present at the conference might benefit or suffer as a result of the label with which they find themselves attached, no two Housing Associations represented could actually be compared as being ‘Like-for-Like’ and that somewhere along the line we will all find our own little ‘fit’ in the sector, and by making the most of the knowledge and experience to be gained from opportunities to share our stories with colleagues, such as we have done this weekend, I feel much more comfortable with the notion that we do indeed have a valid ,(and hopefully valuable), contribution to make.

Some time has past since we last met, but the Shadow Boards of RCT, Monmouthshire, Torfaen, Newport and Swansea did come together on a number of occasions via TPAS Cymru and the folk of the i2i project. I know that the Bron Afon Shadow Board members who attended gained a great deal from these meetings, and would recommend the experience to any localised cluster of Shadow Boards going through the stock transfer process.

Unfortunately, or otherwise? A positive ballot outcome almost too quickly turns an Offer Document proposal into a full blown commitment that we as a Board have to deliver, and things get mighty busy, mighty quickly, priorities change, Shadow falls from the Board title in what seems like a blink of an eye, and you suddenly find yourselves in a post-ballot, pre-transfer wilderness where it seems, (at present at least),like it’s every man for himself, as the enormity of the task ahead hits home and settles itself firmly in the driving seat. I sincerely hope that at some point after the tyre smoke of the sprint toward the transfer deadline has cleared, the newly established post-transfer landlords will have the opportunity to take stock of their experiences and to share them with those who come behind.

In the meantime, I’m sure that TPAS and i2i would be happy to supply some useful information on the work that Shadow Boards have done so far in South-East Wales, and I wish all Shadow Boards the best of luck in the run-up to ballot or transfer, and to thank CHC for an interesting and informative conference and for making us feel so welcome.