December 2023 Newsletter

How can it possibly be the end of the year already?  2023 certainly flew by fast! It’s been a packed twelve months and we’d love to catch up with as many residents as possible at the forthcoming General Meeting on the 5th December 2023 from 7 PM, followed by festive drinks and snacks in the Co-op Meeting Room. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this final newsletter of the year. It’s packed with information so do read through and let us know if you have any questions or suggestions!


How to make a complaint
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction with a service received, however, expressed, and requires a response. The service may have been provided directly by the Co-op, the Council or by a contractor or partner. Complaints can be made in any format and should normally be addressed to the Manager at the Co-op office.
Contact us via, call 020 8874 6856, or drop a note through the door.
If the Manager is the subject of the complaint the complaint should be addressed to the Chair or Secretary of the Co-op.
Please provide your contact details. We cannot respond to anonymous correspondence.
If necessary, use numbers or bullet points, and try to keep the narrative short and precise. The manager will acknowledge receipt within two working days.
A written response will be provided within 20 working days from receipt of the complaint. Please be clear about your desired outcome, which should be fair and proportionate. While we understand you may feel strongly about the issue, please refrain from being aggressive.
If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you may raise your complaint with the relevant Housing Area Manager at Wandsworth Brough Council. A senior manager will review your case and respond, again within 20 working days from receipt.
If you remain dissatisfied, you may contact the Housing Ombudsman.

Co-op manager Lorraine recently attended a Residents Conference organised by Wandsworth Borough Council. Residents across London have been campaigning for more up-to-date practices and working with the government and councils to improve housing. For co-operatives, this means ensuring all residents feel welcome at general meetings, and are also fully aware of how to get involved, or how to register a complaint when necessary. Health and safety has also been a concern and there is a raft of new and updated regulations rolling out over the coming months and years. With that in mind, we are re-sharing the shorter version of our recently updated Complaints Policy. You can find a full copy on the website and hard copies may be requested from the office. Alternatively, pop in and take a look at a copy there. Like most people, we also love positive feedback, so please let us know what makes you happy about living on the estate too. With your permission, we may even include it in a future newsletter.

We are pleased to share the latest borough-wide service charge figures alongside the Co-op’s. With that, we wish all residents a fantastic holiday season and a Happy New Year!!

Year WBC Co-op Diff.%
21/22 £ 917.00 £ 795.00 £   122.0014%
22/23 £ 1,123.00 £ 863.00 £   260.0026%
23/24 £ 1,180.00 £ 840.00 £   340.0033%
Note: 23/24 WBC figures are estimates

You can see from all the unopened advent doors, there are quite a few spaces still to fill! We do not have a Deputy Chair and the current members have to carry these responsibilities. Please do consider joining in the new year. There are currently six annual management meetings, although we may be able to reduce this to four, and one or two sub-committee meetings. Call the office and find out more!

Don’t forget, “Co-ops like Convent often manage their housing more effectively than their landlord. Their performance matches the top 25% of local councils in England. This better performance covers repairs, relets, rent collection, and tenant satisfaction. Being on the spot, and aware of local knowledge, they tend to act sooner and more effectively when dealing with tenancy management problems. They can get involved in community activities and play an important part in neighbourhood regeneration. And finally, they can increase community spirit and ultimately improve quality of life.”

(Adapted from the WBC Induction Pack for Co-op committee members)

The committee would like to thank Monica Meighan for her time as Chair. She stood down at the 2023 AGM and Maureen Poole has taken over that role. Committee members from top left to bottom right are: Janet Raffety (Treasurer), Jane Wilkinson (Member and resident gardening expert), Andrej Baran (New member), Nick Harvey (New member), Lydia Thompson (Member) Sue Daley (New member), Farrokh Hessamian (Member and finance support), Monica Meighan (Secretary and Staff Liaison Manager), Maureen Poole (Chair and finance support).