Children’s Christmas Event

Our 2017 Children’s Christmas Event proved to be very successful indeed and we were pleased that we could put on this free event.

It was very well attended and enjoyed by all including children, parents, grandparents, helpers and even the entertainers said what a great party it was.

We had balloon modelling, face painting, nail varnishing, hair braiding, tombola, guess the number of sweets name the leopard, guess the weight of the sweets, a raffle, lucky dip, Christmas biscuit decorating, crafts etc which all went down a storm and Father Christmas was wonderful. We also provided a variety of complimentary refreshments.

All the children had lots of fun and went home very happy with at least one gift each, a specially modelled balloon plus any crafts that they did.

We are very grateful to the Meriden Community Centre for letting us use their large hall free of charge so that we could put on this very successful community event.

We are thankful for the twenty volunteers that worked hard to make sure the event went well including friends, family, the Hillside Residents Association Committee and the WCH team who supported us beforehand and during the party.

We very much appreciate the Co-op for donating mince pies, John & Sarah from Martins who donated sweets and ASDA who donated all the fairy cakes.

We are now all looking forward to our next event!

URGENT! View plans of the amendments to the Redevelopment

MRA Office, 149 York Way


It’s happening now, at the MRA building on York Way. A representative from Watford Community Housing will be there from 12:00 to hopefully answer your questions. We know it’s short notice, but we’ve managed to get WCH’s project manager to clear his schedule to be there. We will have further announcements on this later today, so do keep looking in.

In the meantime, go along to the hub, have a look at the plans and ask questions.

MRA – It’s about where we live.

High Rise Lift Failures


On Monday, we contacted WCH about the breakdowns that had been extant since the weekend (0ne lift in each building) and also asked a number of questions. At the time of writing, none of the questions had been answered and we are aware that at this moment, both lifts in Abbey View are now out of order (we are waiting for confirmation of the status of the cars in Munden View).

The trust has published this on their website:


Lifts at Abbey and Munden View

We are aware that the lifts at Abbey and Munden View have been experiencing technical difficulties over the last few days, resulting in lift breakdowns. We’re really sorry for any inconvenience this has caused and are working hard to resolve these issues. Senior engineers from our lifts contractor, Temple Lifts, will be on site shortly, as well as members of our staff.

If you have any specific concerns or requirements, please get in contact on 0800 2182247 and we will do our best to help.


The MRA are doing what we can do keep the pressure on the Trust; all four lifts were fully refurbished within the last year and as far as we are concerned, should not be subject to such catastrophic failure. We are aware of an eyewitness report that someone from Temple Lifts was seen leaving site yesterday at approximately 4.15pm. sat in his van for a short time on the phone and drinking, then drove off. The lack of meaningful communication from the newly renamed “Watford Community Housing” is shameful.

If you, or anyone you know is affected by this breakdown, please can they make their specific situation know to WCH on the number above, or contact us and we’ll collate the complaints and send them all with our concerns.


MRA – It’s about where we live.

Meet us tomorrow at Meriden Park!


Saturday 9th September 2017

Meriden Park, Garsmouth Way. 12:00 – 4:00 pm



We’re going to be present at the fun day, with activities for the children, a raffle with some absolutely fantastic prizes for everybody and the chance for you to meet some of the team from your residents association. Have a chat, learn more about what we do and maybe you’d like to become involved? We’re always looking for new people to join the team and would particularly welcome some input from younger members of the community. (Our youngest member is 46, so if you live on the Meriden, are aged between 16 and 45 and can spare a few hours a month, please don’t hesitate!)




MRA – It’s about where we live.

UPDATED: Open Letter to Tina Barnard, CEO of WCHT

UPDATE: 19:55 hrs, Wednesday 6th September

We received a reply from Tina Barnard, WCHT in the post this morning, which is reproduced here.



Whilst we accept that the Trust do mention assistance with transport, we feel that it could have been much  clearer. We are also concerned that potentially a lot of money could be spent on cabs to get people to/from the Meriden when it may be more cost effective and certainly more environmentally friendly to lay on a dedicated bus service. Steve Moss, Chair of the MRA, responded as follows:



Whilst the deadline for acceptance of proxy votes to be lodged with the Trust passed at 5.00pm today, we are still committed to raising awareness of the AGM and ensuring as many of the residents as possible are aware of it and the importance of taking part. If you need any background information, please see our previous postings. If you only vote once this year, please make it the AGM.

It’s about where we live.



Transport to and from the Trust for the AGM



This has been hand delivered to the WCHT today. The MRA are concerned that the Trust seem to be able to provide free shuttle buses from Asda/Sainsbury’s for the 10th anniversary event, yet have not considered the slightly more important matter of their tenants being able to vote at the AGM on the 11th. The last bus into town from the Meriden leaves at 5.35pm and the last one back leaves Clarendon Road 6.42pm, which is far too early for anyone intending to go to the AGM and fully participate. For reference, the 2016 AGM went on past 9.00pm.

Why is the attending the AGM so important?


The Trust are trying to change and ultimately limit the way in which they are governed – at the moment the power lies with the tenants, if the proposed rule changes go through on the 11th, that power will be severely limited and we feel will eventually be withdrawn in its entirety. If you want to stop this, you need to be a member of the Trust and either attend on the 11th or give your proxy vote to someone who can. Proxy votes need to lodged with the Trust by 6th September. The MRA have arranged a collection point in Abbey View, you can drop your completed forms off between 5.30 & 7.00 pm today or tomorrow between 5.00 & 6.00 pm. We’ll deliver them to the Trust on Wednesday.



MRA – It’s about where we live.


Trust AGM – Have you had your voting pack?


21:00 Sunday 3rd September


We’re hearing from quite a few people who have previously voted in AGM’s that they’ve not received their papers this year. If this applies to you, please get on to the Trust on Monday morning so that the papers can be sent to you urgently.

They can be contacted on 01923 209000

Remember, they are looking to change the way we make decisions about how and where we live. You can’t have a say unless you’re registered to vote!


WCHT AGM – Proxy Vote Collection Times

The collection times for your proxy votes if you cannot attend the AGM are confirmed as follows;

Monday 4th September 5:30 – 7:00pm in the foyer at Abbey View
Tuesday 5th September 5:00 – 6:00pm in the foyer at Abbey View

For details on why this is so important, see our previous posts from the 11th August and the 31st August.

Please note that all proxy votes must be with the Trust by the 6th September, we’ll be ensuring all completed forms left with us are delivered on the day.

This isn’t about national or local politics, it’s about where we live!

URGENT – WCHT’s AGM – Don’t let them take away your right to have a say!

We recently wrote about WCHT’s proposed adoption of the National Housing Federation’s 2015 Model for the operation of Trusts. The information contained in the post was taken from the Trust’s own website. We’ve now been made aware of a posting by the Trust on another site in response to some concerns about the proposals which we reproduce here:

We recently wrote to all Watford Community Housing members with regard to our upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM), where members will consider a proposed change to the Rules which govern how we operate. A number of residents have raised concerns through social media or by telephone about these changes. We hope that the following information will be useful in providing reassurance by addressing these concerns and clarifying the key points where there may have been confusion. I’ve heard that Watford Community Housing wants to make changes that will seriously impact residents – what does this mean? The proposed changes are largely administrative and will help to ensure that we continue to meet the same standard as other housing organisations. They will not impact negatively on residents and are designed to ensure that we engage more effectively with residents, giving you a voice. We are proposing to adopt the National Housing Federation’s 2015 Model Rules, which are used by the majority of other housing associations. These would replace our existing Rules, which were based on the National Housing Federation’s 2005 Model Rules and are now out-of-date. If you would like to read about these in more detail please click here: Our Gateway Membership Team (GMT) has recently created some newsletters that were posted out to members. These newsletters are written by residents who are members of the GMT and are eager to boost the engagement we see from our residents, by including calls to action so that residents don’t miss out on having their say. However, it is important to note that any opinions put forward in these newsletters represent the GMT’s own interpretation of the changes to the Rules, and are not endorsed by Watford Community Housing’s Board. Are you proposing these changes because you want to stop residents having a voice? Not at all. We are currently working on a menu of involvement that outlines the many and varied opportunities for residents to have an increased role in holding the organisation to account and identifying ways to shape and improve our services. Moving forward we are only looking to increase opportunities for all our residents to have a voice. For us to be a community-focused social landlord, it is essential for us to place residents at the heart of the work that we do and this is not going to change. Keep an eye out for our upcoming opportunities menu outlining all the different opportunities for residents to have their say. We have included a range of small, medium and large projects in the hope that there is something suitable for everyone to participate in. Is Watford Community Housing looking to reduce the amount of social housing we provide? No, this is definitely not the case. We are not proposing to make any change to existing tenancies and we also remain committed to providing social and affordable homes for Watford and the surrounding communities. Who should I ask if I have questions or concerns about the AGM or the proposed changes? We are committed to being open and transparent about the proposed changes, and we would be happy to discuss them with you.

As we noted in our previous points on the subject, the Trust tried to push a similar motion through last year but had to withdraw it because of pressure from the GMT and residents. Some points to note:

All WCHT Trust tenants and leaseholders are automatically entitled to be a member of the Trust with full voting rights

Not all leaseholders or tenants are made aware of this at the time of signing their leases/TA’s  (based on people we’ve spoken to that have recently moved into Trust properties who tell us membership was not mentioned)

The Trust don’t make joining later on easy – you’ve got to look hard for the form on their website (we included a link straight to it in our previous article and have also included it below)

People that can’t get to the AGM on the 11th September can appoint a proxy – a yellow form was sent out with the notice of the AGM and has to be retuned to them by the 6th to be counted

If the NHF’s rules are adopted at the AGM, it will give the Trust far more autonomy which by default means less accountability to its members – basically they’ll be able to do what they want without consultation – this will affect every one of us no matter which part of the Trust’s estate we live on.

The MRA cannot stress the importance of making your voice heard enough, it is vital for the future of the community in Watford that the Trust are not able to make decisions that affect us all without having to seek our agreement first.


What Are the MRA doing?


In addition to our first posting on the subject, we’ve been doing our best to make residents aware of the issue and urging them to vote or appoint a proxy. Over the next few days we’ll be increasing the publicity and will have collection points for people to bring their forms to – dates and times of the collections will be announced shortly, so please check back. Of course, it’s better if you can attend the AGM in person but we’ll be happy to pass your forms on at the time.


What Can I Do?


Join the Trust if you’re not already a member – the more members they have, the harder it’ll be for them to push through changes without proper consultation

If you’re already a member, make sure your voice is heard – either go to the AGM on the 11th or take your proxy to one of the collection points once they are announced – we’ll ensure they get to the Trust in time for the 6th

Tell your friends and neighbours about this – as we said before, it’s not about national or local politics – it’s about how and where we live!