Reply from Emma Reynolds MP, shadow housing minister

Labour’s shadow housing minster Jack Dromey MP was written to on May 1, 2012 about Labour Lambeth’s housing co-op evictions. He did not reply. Emma Reynolds MP, Dromey’s successor, has replied. The reply falls short of what we need to hear from Labour, but it does raise awareness.

See correspondence strand below:

Date: 6 November 2013 19:20:19 GMT
To: “REYNOLDS, Emma”
Cc: Kate Hoey
Subject: Re: Housing co-op evictions in Lambeth?

Dear Dominic,

I would like to thank you for replying on behalf of Emma Reynolds MP. Given how long we waited for a reply from Jack Dromey, it is something of a relief to hear from a Labour spokesman on this issue.

I do understand the constraints of parliamentary protocol. However, I would point out that spokespeople for any party are always happy to run up and down the country to showcase when their council is doing well, so it is a great pity that they cannot be expected to deal with the very real fall-out that happens when a council is behaving badly – as is the case with Lambeth, a supposedly ‘co-operative council’.

Obviously it is good to hear that Emma is supportive of housing co-operatives and the role they have to play in providing affordable/social housing. We had a number of representatives from the co-operative movement support the social housing solution that we presented to Lambeth on numerous occasions, but sadly this fell on deaf ears. You can read about the proposal here and how it was dealt with here:

It is disappointing not to have a more substantive reply. This matter has also been raise with Ed Miliband in correspondence and in person, and a response was promised.

Ultimately it is important that Emma is aware of this issue and the damage that it continues to inflict on the Labour and Co-operative movement. It shouldn’t have to be like this, and if Emma is at all minded to look into the issue further we would be happy to provide further information.


On 6 Nov 2013, at 18:43, “REYNOLDS, Emma” wrote:

Dear Julian,

Emma has asked me to thank you for bringing the below matter to her attention. Sincere apologies for the delay in answering your email.

Emma is fully supportive of housing co-operatives and believe they play an important role as a provider of affordable housing for people.
However, due to parliamentary protocol, Emma is unable to act on the specifics of the case you have mentioned, as she is not your MP and, therefore, cannot make any representations to Lambeth Council. I understand you have taken up the case with your constituency MP Kat Hoey, who has made representations on your behalf. As Shadow Housing Minister, Emma is responsible for formulating Labour’s policies for housing at a national and not a local level, this is the responsibility of councils. If there are any proposals that you have about housing cooperatives then please do send these through.

I understand that this response may be disappointing, but Emma is not supported by civil servants. Unlike the Government, she has an ordinary office, and is, therefore, unable to comment on every housing incident or issue that is happening in every constituency across the UK.

Many thanks for your understanding in this matter, and I hope that a resolution is arrived at which proves satisfactory for you in this case.

Best wishes,

Dominic Palma
Office of Emma Reynolds MP

Sent: 29 October 2013 21:11
Subject: Re: Housing co-op evictions in Lambeth?

Dear Emma Reynolds,

I would like to chase up the email below.

I would be happy to re-send the briefing if need be – or look at the website below my sign off.



On 8 Oct 2013, at 15:36, “Julian Hall” wrote:

Dear Emma,

I never received a reply from Jack Dromey MP on the below correspondence that started in May 2012.

Perhaps you will be able to help, now that you are Labour’s housing spokesperson?

Please note that you should have received a separate update on Labour Lambeth’s eviction programme today. I have attached just in case.

I would happily supply further information – much of which can be gleaned from the website below my sign off.



Subject: RE: Birmingham Mail article & Housing evictions in Lambeth?
Date: Sat, 2 Feb 2013 15:33:27 +0000

Dear Mr Dromey,

I’ve not had a response to this housing issue – see below – since first raising it on May 1, 2012.

I would be grateful for a response.


Julian Hall

Subject: RE: Birmingham Mail article & Housing evictions in Lambeth?
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 17:53:00 +0000

Dear Mr Dromey,

I wanted to follow up my previous emails to you, particularly my emails of 1st May and 11th September (see below).

In my last email I attached a link to a piece about councils selling off homes in which you are quoted as attacking the move.

It has been suggested to me that Lambeth Council has a policy of selling off their streetside properties and, if so, this would be a similar move.

This may also help explain why Lambeth’s “co-operative council” are not engaging with housing co-op residents and their plan for a Super Co-op for their homes, as part of the plan suggests that these homes could pass into council stock and these homes are streetside houses.

This plan has been suggested as a way to give the council a revenue stream and thereby negate the perceived need to pursue housing co-op residents through the courts and sell off their homes (of 40 years or more) on the open market.

Whether or not it is true that Lambeth want to get rid of streetside properties (and I have it from reliable sources including councillors that it is) could you not comment, in some way, on the unsatisfactory way that Lambeth is handling its so-called “shortlife” properties – homes for some Lambeth residents for up to 40 years – by selling off social housing at auction?

I have copied in both my local MP, Kate Hoey, who has been unswerving in her support in the face of Lambeth’s intransigence on this issue and Jonathan Reynolds MP whose proposed legislation on co-ops might have helped Lambeth avoid this mess in the first place and may have helped them more effectively aspire to being a “co-operative council”.

Could you help put Lambeth on the right track?



Subject: RE: Birmingham Mail article & Housing evictions in Lambeth?
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2012 11:02:48 +0000

Dear Mr Dromey,

I just read a piece online in the Birmingham Mail about a proposed council housing sell-off in the West Midlands, in which you are quoted. []

Given your opposition to this move I assume that you are also against what Lambeth Council is doing by selling off housing co-operative homes in the borough?

I wrote to you in your capacity as Labour’s housing spokesman about this situation on May 1st and I still await a reply.

If you need more information you can visit:

I look forward to hearing from you.


Julian Hall

Subject: RE: Housing evictions in Lambeth?
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2012 16:01:11 +0000

Dear Mr Dromey,

I’d like to follow up my email to you of 1st May, see below.

I have had replies from the minister and I’d be interested in your view on this, as Labour’s housing spokesman.

All the best,


Subject: Housing evictions in Lambeth?
Date: Tue, 1 May 2012 12:47:11 +0000

Dear Mr Dromey,

I am sure that you are already aware of the speech made by my local MP, Kate Hoey, in December last year about “Shortlife” housing in Lambeth.

Since Kate made her speech, more and more housing Co-op residents have been lined up to go through the courts at the behest of Lambeth’s “co-operative council” in order that Lambeth can seize their homes – homes that some people have lived in for nearly 40 years.

It is a pitiful state of affairs, strewn with inconsistencies, intimidation and hypocrisy and one that totally goes against the grain of extending social housing along the principles of small-scale, proactive community initiatives.

It is with this in mind that “Shortlife” residents have been laying the groundwork for a “Super Co-op” structure that would allow them to stay in the homes that they have maintained for so long and leave a legacy of social housing in the borough.

I would welcome any support that you could give to Lambeth’s Co-op housing community (and to their “Super Co-op) to rectify the injustice of the borough’s “recall”.

I have enclosed a briefing for information.

Best wishes,

Julian Hall

UK Parliament Disclaimer:
This e-mail is confidential to the intended recipient. If you have received it in error, please notify the sender and delete it from your system. Any unauthorised use, disclosure, or copying is not permitted. This e-mail has been checked for viruses, but no liability is accepted for any damage caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.

One Response to Reply from Emma Reynolds MP, shadow housing minister

  1. Mrs Marie Thurogood says:

    Dear Mrs Emma Reynolds

    I am contacting you after reading the artical in the sunday Mail on the 11th of May 2014 (STOP THE GREEDY)firms that prey on flat owners. and campaigners demand help to curb big bullying freeholders who charge exorbitant fees.

    I am one of many Leaseholders that live on the Victor Walk Estate in Hornchurch Essex RM12 4XG I am one of many Leaseholders that are very concerned about the charges that are being put upon us from our Land Lords called Hastoe housing association, we have a very seriouse problem regarding our land lords.

    It started in 2012 regarding roof replacements to thre of our blocks on our estate and two other’s elsewhere on a different estate, at a cost of £800,000,00 the charges against us are as follows, a two bedroom property is charged £12,900, for a three bedroom property £13,154,98p. and on our estate are pensioners and people on very low income, and others on benefits.

    When we went to a previous meeting we requested the use of the reserve fund and where has this money gone, there was no response from any of the managers. Now we are told in a recent letter and a meeting for the leaseholders that we have to pay money into a new reserve fund being set up, some people are looking at £411 a quarter on top of their orginal service charges which is £300 per quarter so the final sum will be £711 per quarter. WE have voiced our concerns, and was told Hastoe legal team state it is the obligation of the beholder to enforce such a fund, but their is already a reserve fund in place under the service charges.

    We strongly feel that an investigation should take place into Hastoes Housing ass management team, we also strongly feel they do not know what they are doing each block over ten years will amass a fund of the £101.000 per block with interest on the three blocks who have had major works done, this fund will not be used and the money will be a credit, we are also being charged this year estate insurance plus electrics to every block this is excessive charges against us, we need help and we are asking you Miss Reynolds for your help, as we feel and know that we are being ripped of by greedy landlords preying on us Leaseholders and something now has to be done about this, we know when you are in business you have to make a profit but do not get greedy and prey on vulnurable people such as pensioners like myself and people on very low income who are just about surviving and struggling with inflation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>