Survey on future of Stewardship

  • The meetings of the LVCA take place monthly, alternating between the first Saturday of each month and the first Thursday evening of each month. They typically take place at Lawley Academy, but please check before leaving, as the venue can sometimes change.

    The meetings for 2019 are as follows

    Saturday 5th January 9am to Noon
    Thursday 7th February. 7pm to 9pm
    Saturday 2nd March 9am to Noon
    Thursday 4th April. 7pm to 9pm
    Saturday 4th May. 9am to Noon
    Thursday 6th June. 7pm to 9pm
    Saturday 6th July. 9am to Noon
    Thursday 1st August. 7pm to 9pm
    Saturday 7th September 9am to Noon
    Thursday 3rd October. 7pm to 9pm
    Saturday 2nd November. 9am to Noon
    Thursday 5th December. 7pm to 9pm

    All are welcome to attend
  • I wanted to make some comments on the recent announcement of funding for Lawley and some of the reactions and to answer some questions. I will try to answer some of them here, but I would encourage residents to come to our monthly meetings, as we really do discuss all these issues and could give you the answers you may be looking for. In relation to the Stewardship Charge itself, I agree that it is like double taxation. We are legally required to pay it and there is a major democratic deficit in how it is governed. In the last year, there has been a significant change in BVT's level of engagement with us and support for our efforts to make changes. It has taken time, but changes are coming which will address your concerns. Over the last year, I have talked to campaign groups, Homes England, submitted evidence to an inquiry by Sajid Javid, spoken and worked with Lucy Allen, MP, the Parish Council, particularly Jayne Greenaway and with Shaun Davies, Leader of the Council and Raj Mehta, Borough Councillor and Mayor. The LVCA is non-political and we have worked with all parties to try to effect change. We welcomed this funding because it will allow us to fix some of the things residents are concerned about. Bringing infrastructure up to standard and improving the environment we live in. It will provide funding to develop facilities for Lawley, but the most important benefit will be their commitment to working with us to transform governance and to change how stewardship works. We hope also that we can work jointly with the Parish council, the LVDG and Homes England on these changes. I know some residents would like to see the scheme scrapped. Whilst there may be an appetite to reform Leasehold issues and make some changes to Stewardship schemes, I don’t think there is any realistic prospect of legislation to relieve residents of new developments of the burden of management charges. I live in a Band E house and pay roughly £1,960 including Adult Social Care, Police and Fire. On top, we pay a Parish Council Precept of £120 and a Stewardship Charge of £250. It is a lot and we will only change things if we get involved. The Parish Council has a budget of roughly £450K and Stewardship £425K but both budgets will increase significantly over the next few years, as the estate continues its rapid growth. Lawley is a great place to live, but we do have problems. There are quality issues, problems with infrastructure maintenance, adoption of the roads by TWC, costs and control over stewardship, lack of dedicated community facilities, etc. These problems involve lots of agencies including Homes England, Lawley and Overdale Parish Council, TWC, BVT and the Developer Group (LVDG). We need clearer lines of accountability and more co-ordination. In the last year the LVCA has been exploring options. We set up community meetings to consult with residents, looked at other schemes, some managed by commercial companies and others by resident groups. We concluded that the best way forward was: 1. Seek to reform the Stewardship Scheme for Lawley to deliver greater resident control over the budget and priorities and to seek to make it a model of best practice in the future 2. To look at the governance structures set up in Lawley and try to bring each of the key stakeholders to work more collaboratively to resolve some of the problems we face It is in that context that we welcomed the announcement of funding for Lawley to support this process. We have had dozens of residents working with the LVCA, working groups and with BVT. We are are working with an Independent consultant to help us to prepare a report to with our recommendations for transformation of the Stewardship scheme. The LVCA will shortly be sending out a survey to all residents asking for your detailed views on the problems and what your priorities are to get this fixed. (The funding for this is coming from BVT’s central costs, not from the local Stewardship scheme). The survey is independent of BVT and the findings will be shared with all residents through our website. The working groups recommendations combined with the survey results will be the basis for reforming the scheme. If you want change, now is the time to engage with the process to making it happen. I cannot go into all the details but there very positive development and opportunities which could have a huge impact on what Lawley will look like in the future. You are welcome to come to the meetings and join us. On the 4th April, the LVCA will have its AGM, from 7pm to 9pm. We will elect the board and would welcome you to stand or participate in any way you can. If you are interested in standing, contact me.
  • Following our community meeting about the future of the Stewardship Scheme, we have begun work on re-designing the Stewardship Scheme. We have 3 working groups which are

    Group 1 Delivery of Stewardship and Charges – Strategic Objectives
    1. To shape the current and future stewardship offer to Lawley residents.
    2. Identify concerns with regard to services and covenants, complaints and enforcement, including practices and procedures in the Stewardship contract
    3. Develop ideas on how to develop service and covenant delivery, which meets the reasonable aspirations of residents
    4. Clarify service charge expenditure, collection and how residents may influence potential spend of service charges
    5. Develop and improve transparency and information flow on service charges and expenditure for all residents

    Group 2 Establish effective working relationship with the Development Group - Strategic Objectives:
    1. To develop a service level agreement with Lawley Developers, which is considered good practice for “large scale development with residents” from start on site, to handover of sites, which enable stewardship to take early control of matters which are important to residents
    2. Clarify accountabilities of Homes England and Developers during the development and retained responsibilities for Lawley, including how residents and stewardship services can influence this, through meaningful engagement
    3. To develop ideas for a living map of stewardship
    4. To increase transparency on all communications and management of resident expectations

    Group 3 Community Development and Involvement - Strategic Objectives
    1. To shape the current and develop the future community involvement offer for residents of Lawley Village
    2. To define the “Heart of Lawley” offer through local amenities, businesses and public spaces, which meets the aspirations of Lawley residents
    3. To consider options for short, mid and long-term governance structures and alternative democratic processes for local influence, dedicated staffing and local control of resources

    If you would like to participate, please email me on chair@lvca.co.uk
    Jim Weir

Jim Weir

Jim Weir
Staff member
Admin
Oct 1, 2017
97
17
8
3 Church Croft, Lawley Village
#1
The LVCA has been in discussions with BVT regarding the future shape of the Stewardship scheme. We are aware of the high levels of discontent amongst some residents with the scheme and that some would like to see the scheme scrapped. Realistically, we don't think there is a legal route to achieve this. However, we have a meeting, with an Independent Facilitator on the 20th October to discuss the future shape of the scheme. We would like to gauge the sentiments of the residents about the possible options. The option we think are viable are:

1. Residents form a Community Interest Company (CIC) and take over direct ownership and management of the shared land (including courtyards) and income. The Community Interest Company would have a board elected by residents and appoint a village manager and staff to run the scheme.

2. Residents form a Community Interest Company and take over direct ownership and management of the shared land and income, as in Option 1, but sub-contract operational management to a Stewardship provider, which could be BVT or another management company.

3. Agree a new structure, with a new LVCA Management board to manage the scheme. BVT would own the land and assets of the community and deliver services, managed by residents.

4. Keep scheme operating as it is but improve working relationships and improve engagement with residents through the Lawley Village Management Committee and relationships with the BVT board.

5. Keep everything as it is now, happy with the status quo

Please scroll to the bottom of this thread to cast your vote.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

paulrv

New Member
Oct 14, 2018
1
0
1
#2
Please make sure that whatever happens the whole of Lawley benefits, rather than just a couple of areas near the white church. Lawley is a big place now and growing rapidly, we all pay the same in fees but only certain areas seem to get the rewards.
 

Jim Weir

Jim Weir
Staff member
Admin
Oct 1, 2017
97
17
8
3 Church Croft, Lawley Village
#3
Please make sure that whatever happens the whole of Lawley benefits, rather than just a couple of areas near the white church. Lawley is a big place now and growing rapidly, we all pay the same in fees but only certain areas seem to get the rewards.
I think one of the important aspects of this is to get whole community involvement, so that we can make sure that the whole estate is included.
 
Oct 3, 2017
10
1
3
#4
Please make sure that whatever happens the whole of Lawley benefits, rather than just a couple of areas near the white church. Lawley is a big place now and growing rapidly, we all pay the same in fees but only certain areas seem to get the rewards.
I live on woodland view, near the white church. If you think we get more benefits than anywhere else in Lawley you are wrong. We get nothing from bvt, just as everyone else in Lawley seems to get.
 
Oct 3, 2017
10
1
3
#5
Whatever is chosen all I would like is that we actually see something for the money we pay rather than just get the stock answer of "we haven't adopted that are yet, we can't/won't do anything"

I am just bemused as to what we are paying for when they haven't adopted most of Lawley yet. They are quick to send out ridiculous letters for minor breaches yet when you ask them to do something about a problem they reel out the stock excuse for not doing it.

If they haven't adopted the areas surely they have no jurisdiction over them to send out letters threatening people of they put a satellite dish up or leave a bin out.
 
Oct 10, 2017
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0
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#6
This would be a better option as i am not sure that we should be getting into realms of employer which will include pension contributions and everything else that goes with being an employer.
 

greenman

New Member
Oct 16, 2018
1
2
3
#7
I just think it will be a massive commitment to run the whole maintenance and upkeep independently (option 1). It will need voluntary or paid staff. It will involve the purchase of equipment/transport, along with maintenance/consumables etc. It will involve company law , accounts to be kept, and filed. I am trying to put a realistic view on some of the things that will be involved, should option one become reality.
Nothing would please me greater that kicking BVT off the development, but we need to be realistic with what we actually propose. A protest vote is fine, but we need to have credible alternatives that can be implemented smoothly, for the benefit of all residents.
I would like to see a way forward that first gives the residents more say in the running of the present scheme, and with a view to sharing equally the management responsibility. I would also expect BVT to listen and act in accordance with residents wishes.
 

Jim Weir

Jim Weir
Staff member
Admin
Oct 1, 2017
97
17
8
3 Church Croft, Lawley Village
#9
Is just paying our council tax, the same as everyone else in the country, and not have any management scheme an option?
That would be a popular choice I think, but we can't realistically think of way it would happen. TWC would have to agree to take on the common areas with no funds to maintain them, Homes England would have to agree and they are the ones who insist all new developments have this scheme, and all residents have signed an agreement to do it. We did initially think of having that as a choice, but after discussion decided that asking people to vote for something we thought would be impossible to achieve was pointless.
 
Oct 3, 2017
10
1
3
#10
That would be a popular choice I think, but we can't realistically think of way it would happen. TWC would have to agree to take on the common areas with no funds to maintain them, Homes England would have to agree and they are the ones who insist all new developments have this scheme, and all residents have signed an agreement to do it. We did initially think of having that as a choice, but after discussion decided that asking people to vote for something we thought would be impossible to achieve was pointless.
Fair enough comment. My only question is why won't twc have the funds? We all pay council tax, that should fund it.

I don't actually mind the scheme I just want to see something for the money we pay. where we are we only have 2 very small areas of communal land. Which bvt refuse to attend to as they haven't adopted it yet. I'm not sure why we should have to pay or abide by any of their rules if they haven't adopted it. If it's a good enough excuse for them then it should be for us too.

They can't have it both ways. (well they shouldn't but it seems they can)
 

Which Stewardship Management option do you think is preferable?

  • 1. CIC Directly run and operate services

    Votes: 45 40.9%
  • 2. CIC Directly own services but sub-contract operational management

    Votes: 22 20.0%
  • 3. LVCA Management board to manage the scheme. BVT own land and deliver service

    Votes: 12 10.9%
  • 4. Keep scheme operating as it is but improve working relationships

    Votes: 30 27.3%
  • 5. Keep everything as it is now, happy with the status quo

    Votes: 1 0.9%

  • Total voters
    110
  • Poll closed .