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Trophy Winner for Monday 6th August 2012 goes to Sanctuary Housing for presenting one almighty cock-up of the new Service Charge, perhaps, for Timber Close residents, St Austell, Cornwall.

Perhaps, because some unscrupulous organisations are protecting themselves from austerity by creatively passing on less than transparent charges to customers and local authorities.

With regard to the Service Charge for 2012 - 2013, some of the errors made were quite inexcusable given that Sanctuary Housing, one of the largest and richest providers of social housing in the country, had a year to prepare it.

The reader will recall Sanctuary Shaftesbury reviewed the Service Charge following my complaint of June 2012 and subsequently removed Noelle Brelsford, Head of Customer Services (Housing) who introduced it, from taking part in that review. A review which remains ongoing because it involves either (a) rocket science (b) creative accountancy or (c) attempted fraud.

I personally favour (b) or (c) because Janet Swales, Housing Services Manager - West, responsible for un-resolved corrupt practices involving Services and Charges since 2009, has taken charge of the review, and because Richard Keeley, Regional Director of Sanctuary Shaftesbury, responsible for covering up un-resolved corrupt practices involving Services and Charges, is ultimately responsible as Regional Director.

I special mention to Simon Clark, Sanctuary Housing Group Director - Housing & Communities, who line-manages the Sanctuary Shafters team and who has himself been no less corrupt in support of his Exeter team.

According to Janet Swales most recent letter of 27th July 2012, my Service Charge for 2012 - 2013 will be reduced from £4.24 per week to £3.70 per week, a saving of 54p per week, and that a revised summary will follow in due course. A number of errors were identified.

This somewhat misleading, tarnished and cocked-up kind of Trophy therefore goes to the Sanctuary Housing Group, Simon Clark, Noelle Brelsford, Janet Swales and Richard Keeley for their contributions to the company.

Footnote : If you are a Sanctuary Housing tenant I would strongly suggest you check your Service Charge Schedule for 2012 - 2013, as I believe there may have been an attempt to standardize the schedule across the UK which may result in increased charges for you or your local authority for Services you do not normally receive, such as Lifts - Engineering Inspection etc..

Up-date : Noelle Brelsford joined Sanctuary from the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman where she was Director of knowledge and information management, really. Following her appointment Ms Brelsford stated “Working alongside a talented team, I hope that my inclusive leadership style and passion will help make a real difference to how the service is delivered.”, unquote. You certainly made a difference Ms Brelsford.

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