|Cockell: 'Buying' Resident Associations|
What is the point and purpose of a Royal Borough Resident Association? A question long intriguing the Dame. She poses the question, alerted by a resident surprised that Cockell, on the recommendation of Head of Propaganda, Mr Fitzpatrick, had instituted something called the Gold Standard Award Scheme for Resident and Tenant Associations.
Briefing Cockell, Fitzpatrick said his brainwave would go some way to neutralising associations stepping out of line.
Cynically, Cockell has this to say, “We proudly offer the Gold Standard Award to recognise tenant and resident associations representing their local community. A Gold Standard association is one that is an expert at seeking out residents' views and has put in place procedures to ensure those views are heard, but totally ignored- unless they agree with me."What utter nonsense...tell that to ESSA, whose views on the development of the Commonwealth Institute have been comprehensively ignored: or Camden Hill Residents Association, whose detailed research on the new Holland Park School School was ridiculed by Cockell and his colleagues. Or West London Residents Association, whose chairman, Doctor Gordon Taylor is the subject of continual vilification by councillor nonentities. The list is endless.
These are the pathetic baubles offered to RA's, who take the Cockell shilling.....
- a one-off grant of £500
- recognition at an annual ‘Gold Standard’ event with opportunities to meet Councillors and key partner(how boring!)
- increased access to decision-making bodies in the Royal Borough
- councillors to attend AGMs subject to availability(what AGM's or Councillors?)
- a certificate to display
- a logo to be used on association letter heads or newsletters
Along with the Dame, Resident Associations can be a vitally effective opposition to a dictatorial and un-hearing council like ours. They should refuse to play Cockell and Fitzpatricks' patronising game.
Instead they should form an umbrella group, able to present a forceful opposition on issues of common interest.
Resident Associations are there to vocalise the concerns of residents, in the face of a dictatorial and undemocratic practices, by a council noted for corrupt manipulation of residents' views.
Associations should not be getting into bed with a council which rides roughshod over the views of those they represent. They must remain aloof.