Pembroke Estate Management Board

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Pembroke Estate Management Board's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Pembroke Estate Management Board is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.pembrokestreet.co.uk

BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
42 | ETHICAL MAINTENANCE
authorities and consumer bodies, the
message is not getting through to
homeowners. Complaints about factors
reported to the Tribunal for Scotland
Housing and Property Chamber are
littered with homeowners saying they
didn’t know how to change property
manager and that their factor would
not help them.
Four changes in the industry would help
address this imbalance ofinformation:
»There has to be increased transparency
of the service provided by factors.
»The factor has to seek reappointment
by the owners each year.
»Housebuilders should not tie
homeowners into restrictive title
deeds that do not allow them to
switch property manager, and if the
property manager has paid a nominal
sum for the common areas, then the
owners should pay that same sum to
get out of the agreement.
»The Property Tribunal should be
given more power to ensure factors
comply with the Code of Conduct.
An example of an imbalance of
information is with buildings
insurance. Most title deeds enable the
homeowners to arrange their own
insurance, but many factors override
this, insisting that their packages
are used. Many factors receive a 25
per cent commission for arranging
insurances, setting up a real conflict of
interest. As we take no commission on
insurances, we consistently find better
deals for our owners.
The Land Management Company
model of property management is
restrictive in that to switch factor,
owners must buy their common areas
at a current market valuation from the
current manager, even though the
LMC may have been gifted or paid a
nominal sum for these areas.
The Property Tribunal publishes its
findings on complaints against property
managers, but property factors know
that even if a complaint gets through
to the Tribunal, they can pay a small
fine and continue very much as before.
There could well be a wider impact –
the public’s lack of confidence in the
factoring industry. The Royal Institution
of Chartered Surveyors reports that in
Scotland, tenement properties make
up a quarter of all domestic dwellings,
and as much as a third of these need
extensive, urgent and critical repairs.
There is now debate on appointing
compulsory property managers to
address this. Even RICS have said the
Property Factor Code of Conduct
needs to be significantly strengthened.
Maintaining Ethical
Maintenance
Ethical Maintenance is thriving, staffing
up to meet the growing demand for
our services. The number of enquiries
we receive from homeowners reviewing
the management of their property is
noticeably increasing, and we see more
owners prepared to work together
with their neighbours. And finally,
Kevin’s thanks are with the Ethical
Maintenance team and contractors,
who have wholeheartedly adopted our
ethos of service first.
We ensure the
quality of
workmanship
through having
a good
relationship
with our
workforce. We
work with local
contractors and
where possible
invite social
enterprises to
tender
Property managed by
Ethical Maintenance
43PEMBROKE ESTATE MANAGEMENT BOARD |
HOUSING
Manager Will Watts with
Pembroke Street resident and
board member Kay Launder
Community projects and events help to bring
people together and cement a sense of belonging
and pride in the neighbourhood
Pembroke Estate Management Board in Devonport,
Plymouth started as a resident-led campaign in the 1980s.
It officially formed as a tenant management organisation in
1994 and formally took on the management of the estate from
the city council. Manager Will Watts tells
The Parliamentary
Review
that the company has achieved excellent practical results
and national recognition over the past 25 years. Its work has
included a diverse range of community development activity and
sparked wider regeneration across the locality.
Try to imagine a place akin to a war zone: smoke hanging in the area from fly-
tipped waste set on fire, buildings with doors ripped off and rubble sprawled
over the pavement, interspersed with the occasional sound of a fuel tank from an
abandoned stolen car exploding. Steel panels covering abandoned properties.
Now imagine a quiet street. Properties fully occupied and well maintained, with
neatly pruned shrubs, vibrant floral displays and children playing in the street.
People passing the time of the day on the street corner. Crime close to zero.
This is the Pembroke Street Estate in Plymouth, as it was in 1987, and as it is today.
These changes were hard fought. In the late 1980s a small group of residents on
Pembroke Street decided to make a stand. This was community-led, grassroots
change. Aided early on by key professionals who offered timely guidance and
direction, the residents led a campaign to secure government funds for the
complete resident-led redesign and refurbishment of their estate.
FACTS ABOUT
PEMBROKE ESTATE MANAGEMENT
BOARD
»Manager: Will Watts
»Founded in 1994
»Located in Plymouth
»Services: Management of
the Pembroke Estate and
associated community projects
and services
»No. of employees: 6
Pembroke Estate
Management Board
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
44 | PEMBROKE ESTATE MANAGEMENT BOARD
This transformation began in the
late 1980s and kickstarted the
regeneration of the wider locality,
once considered the most deprived in
the country according to government
statistics. Investment in training and
employment for local people, new
community businesses, community-
designed public art and safer by design
principles were groundbreaking then
and are now accepted mainstream
regenerationpractice.
Tenant management
organisations
A crucial aspect of our project was
that the residents went further,
insisting they could manage the
estate far better themselves. In 1994,
Pembroke Estate Management Board
was formed. It is still providing a wide
range of resident-led services 25 years
later, with popular support and high
levels of resident satisfaction.
The capital investment in Pembroke
Street in the mid-1990s has been well
maintained. PEMB has also developed
multiple community-led projects
and services leading to routes out
of poverty and isolation – evidence
that small amounts of investment can
achieve outstanding results in the
righthands.
In keeping with national government
policy applicable to all tenant
management organisations, PEMB
faced an anonymous resident ballot
this year to decide whether the
organisation should continue to
manage the housing or whether
this will revert to the landlord. No
other body, with the exception
of parliament, faces such a stark
reckoning every five years. Many
regulated organisations receive an
external inspection, but TMOs are
unique in facing such an in/out vote.
The result was a 95 per cent vote in
favour of the EMB continuing.
We aim to deal with issues such as
fly-tipping and dog fouling as soon
as they occur and to represent the
majority who want a decent life and
to work to support those who may
struggle with this.
Commitment to common
sense
Our commitment to common-sense
rules and standards, consulted on and
agreed by residents, is the backbone
of our success. We can respond quickly
and more adeptly to most issues
because we are on site in a walk-in
office – this means that small problems
invariably do not become bigger
intractable issues. Time and money are
saved as a result.
Green spaces
maintained by PEMB
have attracted awards
There is a real sense
of community; here
generations come
together for a street
party, one of many held
on the estate
A crucial aspect
of our project
was that the
residents went
further, insisting
they could
manage the
estate far better
themselves
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
44 | PEMBROKE ESTATE MANAGEMENT BOARD
This transformation began in the
late 1980s and kickstarted the
regeneration of the wider locality,
once considered the most deprived in
the country according to government
statistics. Investment in training and
employment for local people, new
community businesses, community-
designed public art and safer by design
principles were groundbreaking then
and are now accepted mainstream
regenerationpractice.
Tenant management
organisations
A crucial aspect of our project was
that the residents went further,
insisting they could manage the
estate far better themselves. In 1994,
Pembroke Estate Management Board
was formed. It is still providing a wide
range of resident-led services 25 years
later, with popular support and high
levels of resident satisfaction.
The capital investment in Pembroke
Street in the mid-1990s has been well
maintained. PEMB has also developed
multiple community-led projects
and services leading to routes out
of poverty and isolation – evidence
that small amounts of investment can
achieve outstanding results in the
righthands.
In keeping with national government
policy applicable to all tenant
management organisations, PEMB
faced an anonymous resident ballot
this year to decide whether the
organisation should continue to
manage the housing or whether
this will revert to the landlord. No
other body, with the exception
of parliament, faces such a stark
reckoning every five years. Many
regulated organisations receive an
external inspection, but TMOs are
unique in facing such an in/out vote.
The result was a 95 per cent vote in
favour of the EMB continuing.
We aim to deal with issues such as
fly-tipping and dog fouling as soon
as they occur and to represent the
majority who want a decent life and
to work to support those who may
struggle with this.
Commitment to common
sense
Our commitment to common-sense
rules and standards, consulted on and
agreed by residents, is the backbone
of our success. We can respond quickly
and more adeptly to most issues
because we are on site in a walk-in
office – this means that small problems
invariably do not become bigger
intractable issues. Time and money are
saved as a result.
Green spaces
maintained by PEMB
have attracted awards
There is a real sense
of community; here
generations come
together for a street
party, one of many held
on the estate
A crucial aspect
of our project
was that the
residents went
further, insisting
they could
manage the
estate far better
themselves
45PEMBROKE ESTATE MANAGEMENT BOARD |
HOUSING
There is sometimes frustration among
residents that remedies to address
low-level antisocial behaviour can be
inadequate. This can become a source
of stress and anxiety to residents. The
primary means of dealing with negative
behaviour is by consensus. Existing
residents have drawn up a “good
neighbour agreement”, which all new
residents are asked to sign upto.
One of the biggest challenges facing
PEMB is that newer residents do
not always appreciate why PEMB
was established. They may see the
enhanced management service as
standard practice.
Shortage of social housing
Social housing is in even shorter
supply, and the way it is allocated
has changed as a result. In the past,
residents could express a preference
for wanting to live on Pembroke Street.
The flats are now allocated centrally,
according to assessed need with
the top bidder in line for a property.
Those who are assessed as having
insufficient need are directed towards
often inadequate and expensive private
rented accommodation.
Despite Pembroke Street being
comprised entirely of flats and less
popular than brand-new houses now
available locally, PEMB still attracts a
high number of applicants. Tenancy
duration is ten times what it was 30
years ago.
Pay-ins and paybacks
After 25 years, the fabric of the
buildings is showing its age and capital
investment will be needed very soon.
The EMB does not own the estate.
The landlord – Plymouth Community
Homes – pays an annual allowance
to Pembroke EMB to carry out the
estatemanagement.
PEMB has no assets to borrow
against to be able to invest andgrow.
Wearecurrently working with
partners to explore the development
of local new-build housing under the
government’s community-led housing
programme, which would see PEMB
manage additional housing that meets
identified gaps in local need, but
opportunities to expand are generally
very limited.
One of the things we are often asked
is why there are not more TMOs across
the country. It takes a lot of voluntary
effort and success is not guaranteed.
Residents cannot always commit when
the pressures of everyday life must
take priority.
When TMOs work, they unlock the
potential of the community to address
challenges in their own unique way.
The resulting savings to the public
purse are a major payback for everyone
in the long term. Pembroke EMB is
testament tothat.
Our commitment
to common-
sense rules and
standards,
consulted on
and agreed by
residents, is the
backbone of our
success
Residents worked with
artists to design the
unique metalwork
throughout the estate

www.pembrokestreet.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Pembroke Estate Management Board. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development