Leathermarket JMB held a giant tea-party for residents on Monday April 8 to mark becoming the first TMO (Tenant Managment Organisation) in the country to become completely financially independent from its local council.
JMB Resident Chair John Paul Maytum and Southwark Council Leader Cllr Peter John (pictured, from left) marked the event by formally signing the new legal agreement between the JMB and the Council before going on to ceremonially cut a giant cake in the shape of a tower block.
This new arrangement sees the JMB keep all the rent and services charges it collects, with the power and flexibility to decide where it spends this money. This will allow the JMB to better plan for the future and deliver improved services for people living in JMB homes.
Sorting out the mechanics and the operation of this financial independence has required 18 months of hard work and careful negotiation by staff within JMB and Southwark Council and has required formal permission from the Secretary of State for Local Government as a major progression from the existing legislation for TMOs. The Government has asked the Southwark teams to fully document the process so that it can be used as a model for resident management of housing estates in the rest of the country.
JMB Chair John Paul Maytum said:
“Today is a triumph of belief and confidence from everybody involved in this: the directors of the JMB who decided to take this forward, the political leadership of Southwark Council who had the vision to see the benefits of greater local control for residents, the staff teams within the JMB and the Council who have worked up the detail to make this happen. Most important of all has been the belief and confidence of the residents of our 1500 homes who have stood with us and supported us every step of the way.
“After 17 years of operation, it is now time for Leathermarket JMB to grow up and take full responsibility for its services and delivery.
“These changes give us the chance to take a real step forward in the quality and standards of services that we offer to our residents. The real action starts here!”
Cllr Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council said:
“This is the beginning of something very new and exciting. This is the first TMO in the country to be given the level of responsibility that the JMB has. This is really setting the standard across the nation.
“I want to pay tribute to the work of the tenants and residents of Leathermarket JMB for wanting to take on this responsibility and demonstrating over the years your commitment and dedication to providing really high quality management for the residents.
“This is very much a partnership going forwards and I think he model that you have is really going to set the standard for the rest of our properties in Southwark for years to come.
Good luck to the future for everyone who has made this possible.”