Below is a copy of the letter delivered to all residents at College Bank on Friday 29th July 2022.
Some of you will have seen or heard about the Council’s decision to re-open its “Housing Revenue Account” and what this might mean for the future of College Bank. We want to make sure that residents are fully informed and have all the facts available to them.
We have not received any proposal from the Council on an alternative approach to carry out the works that College Bank needs.
It is misleading and unfair to you for the Councillors to suggest that there is an alternative plan to invest what is needed to keep the blocks safe and decent, when no plan is forthcoming. If the Council does have any clear alternative proposals, then these need to immediately be shared – with you as residents and with RBH.
We know that to carry out the works needed to all seven blocks at College Bank would cost around £90m. This figure has been confirmed by the Council’s own independently commissioned report.
It is not uncommon for a council to reopen its Housing Revenue Account. However, while it appears that the Council now plans to reopen its Housing Revenue Account, Councillors have not explained how they intend to fund this account. An empty bank account cannot provide the quality of homes that local people need in College Bank.
We are committed to our long-term plan for College Bank – the biggest investment in the area since the flats were built in the 1960s. We have allocated £12m to carry out the works needed to Underwood. We will also continue with the essential fire safety work on all seven blocks – the safety and wellbeing of residents is our overriding priority. Our dedicated and professional team are providing individual support to enable residents in Mitchell Hey and Town Mill Brow to move, and they are also working with residents in Underwood to move so that the work needed can be carried out safely.
Our door is always open. Remember you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org, visit our dedicated website, or call us on Freephone 0800 027 7769. We will continue to keep you informed as we deliver our long-term plan for Rochdale town centre.
Gareth Swarbrick – RBH Chief Executive