Thursday, 14 October 2010


Steve Fisher's quest to become a tenant director of New Charter Homes is rapidly degenerating into a ludicrous farce, a kind of Brechtian theatre of the absurd.

In June we reported that Mr. Fisher (53), pictured above, who has lived at his present address for the last 26 years and has been a New Charter tenant for ten years, had been told by New Charter boss John Ardern that his nomination to stand for election as a tenant director would not be accepted because the company considered him too 'adversarial'. To be precise, four years ago, New Charter took civil legal action against Fisher and sought an injunction to compel him to tidy-up his natural wildlife garden. When he successfully fought the action as 'litigant in person' and went to the press complaining of the injustice of his landlord's actions, New Charter became so incensed by the press criticism that they went kicking and screaming to their legal department, who in turn, threatened the local Tameside Advertiser with legal action.

Since his scrape with New Charter in 2006, Fisher, has been effectively placed under a cordon sanitaire by the housing company. In 2007 he was designated by them as a 'prolific complainant' and the following year, he was banned from entering and speaking to New Charter staff apart from reporting repairs. His only contact with the company is now through his go-between John Ardern, who took the original decision not to accept his nomination as a tenant director.

Mr. Fisher is not taking this lying down and yet again, he`s invoked the company's complaints procedure. He is after all a 'prolific complainant' and must live up to his well earned reputation. Last month he was told by Tony Powell, Executive Director of Neigbourhoods that he upheld the original decision which was in the 'best interests of the company'. He also told him: "Your attempts to involve the media and engage other people through the internet against New Charter also have influenced my decision". And he also adds: "The subsequent e-mails sent by yourself to Mr. Ardern ... contained a number of profanities and allegations of impropriety by the company". Referring to other communications he says: "In other e-mails which I have seen you have made a comment about 'Pope Danny McLoughlin' and referred to other tenants (not specified) as 'nodding donkeys'".

In his dealings with New Charter Mr. Fisher has obviously trodden on some big corns. But Steve Fisher unlike many people nowadays, is not a 'Yes Man'. He does not doff his cap even to his landlord. He`s not the kind of person that housing companies like to pack their Boards with. While it might not 'be in the best interests of the company' to accept his nomination, so what! Mr. Fisher's concern is with what is in the 'best interests' of the tenants, not the company. As a New Charter tenant he therefore sought to stand in an election and to be judged by his peers and not by some middle-class over paid lackies of a housing company who have taken exception to his frankness and his use of the internet and the media. There`s obviously no room for democracy within New Charter despite what they say, and this issue looks like it's going all the way to the Housing Ombudsman.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This nodding donkey is more like Zazoom from the Arabian Knights - please do not pull my tail.