Reidvale campaigners call for support as SGM nears

Reidvale campaigners call for support as SGM nears

The campaign group formed to keep Reidvale Housing Association as a community-controlled housing association has hit out at the appointment of new interim directors and called for public support for change ahead of a Special General Meeting (SGM) next week.

Following the vote in January which saw Reidvale members reject a proposed transfer of engagements with Places for People Scotland (PfPS), the Save Reidvale Campaign Group called for an SGM to make changes to Reidvale’s senior management and committee structure.

Earlier this month, Reidvale’s interim director Jill Cronin announced her departure from the organisation for personal reasons.

The campaigner group asked Reidvale to delay appointing a successor until after the SGM and said it is already in discussion with other community-owned housing associations to bring in senior staff to effectively manage Reidvale.

However, the management committee of Reidvale appointed Lynn McCulloch and Paul Rydquist as joint interim directors.

The Save Reidvale Campaign Group was disappointed that its request had been ignored.

A spokesperson for the group told Scottish Housing News: “We believe that, since 2020, Reidvale tenants have paid between £400,000 - £500,000 to outside consultants and interim directors. This latest appointment, immediately before the SGM, shows utter contempt and disrespect for local residents.”

The campaigners said they would like to remove five non-resident members from the management committee, not because they don’t live in Reidvale, but “because they have focused on the transfer to PfPS and ignored the services to the Reidvale community”. It is hoped that five Reidvale residents can then be elected in their place.

The spokesperson added: “In our opinion, non-resident committee members have been part of a systematic campaign to run down Reidvale to make it ripe for takeover. With highly paid consultants, they badly advised other committee members. Why do the same people seem to turn up at housing associations in difficulty? The Scottish Housing Regulator is aware of allegations of bullying and intimidation that forced three Reidvale resident committee members to resign.

“After the SGM, the committee can then co-opt housing professionals of their choice, with the necessary skills and knowledge to provide support the committee needs. Crucially, these professionals passionately believe in community-owned social housing and want to see Reidvale succeed and prosper so they will provide their expertise and experience at no cost to Reidvale.”

In a call for local support, the spokesperson said: “Please come to the SGM to vote in favour of the proposals. If you cannot attend, please sign the Proxy Form to allow someone to attend for you. Please be part of the journey to restore Reidvale to what it once was – one of the most respected housing associations in Glasgow. It will not be easy. But, we will succeed.”

A spokesperson for Reidvale Housing Association said: “The board wishes to extend its gratitude to Jill for her tireless work on behalf of Reidvale’s tenants and to wish her well for the future. It also welcomes the opportunity to work with two such experienced housing specialists as Lynn and Paul.”

They added: “While we reconsider the options for the housing association we continue with an interim director. Two people are sharing the post, each working around 2 days a week.

“Lynn McCulloch is based in the office, supporting the management committee, leading the staff team, ensuring we deliver our best for tenants and residents. She’s the first point of contact.

“Paul Rydquist is leading on continuing our work to meet regulatory, legal and financial requirements, and investment planning.

“The committee, Lynn & Paul look forward to the next stage of listening, reviewing and planning for the future with our tenants and members. We face many challenges but are enthusiastic, and determined to find the best possible outcome for the historic and special community of Reidvale.”

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