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Out and about with Carol - May 2024



This month I travelled to the quirkily named Turkey St station in Enfield for a visit to Larmans Road where we own and manage 59 traditionally built two-bedroom homes in three low-rise blocks as well as terraced houses, as part of a wider scheme owned and managed by other providers. It is a well-established scheme and community, and people like living in the area.

Accompanying me on the visit was longstanding Neighbourhood Manager, Gillian Bleasdell; Estates Services Team Leader, Terry Flynn and Caretaker Derek Mancktelow, who has looked after our homes here for 10 years. Derek felt that the quality of grounds maintenance had declined in recent years. This contract is due out for tender soon, so we expect to achieve an improvement. Certainly, the grassed areas contained a lot of weeds which need attention, and some hedges were overgrown (though there has been a lot of rain in recent months which hasn’t helped!). He also pointed out problems with pigeons gaining access to the roof space and gutters that need clearing. In each of the blocks, we saw that the flooring and decorations were looking tired. I explained that with the extra investment coming in as a result of joining Places for People we will be able to address this more quickly than we otherwise would, but we need to prioritise the worst affected first. In the coming couple of years, we will construct a longer-term programme informed by our updated stock condition surveys as well as feedback from residents and staff.

In our walk around we were able to meet with two residents, one of whom has had problems with persistent roof leaks. Some remedial work has been done and appears to have been successful, but more is needed as other rooms are now affected, so Gillian promised to follow up with the maintenance team. This resident also has a large family so their home is overcrowded and they need to move. They are on various waiting lists, but the issue is the lack of supply. Another resident we met is also awaiting a move, but to a smaller, more manageable home now her family has grown up and she has mobility issues, ideally a retirement scheme. Gillian will follow up again with the Council to see if they can help, especially as it will free up a family home.

Gillian gave me a welcome lift back to the station and I reflected that she knows our residents well and clearly does all she can to provide help and support. All in all, a worthwhile visit which underlined our priorities to invest in existing homes, offer support and advice to residents (working with other agencies) and build as many new affordable homes as we can.