A record 58 delegates from 34 councils attended the Stock
Retaining Authorities Conference held by ARCH, in association with
HouseMark, at the University of Warwick on 3 and 4 December.
A packed programme opened with two insightful perspectives on
the government's new housing agenda from Terrie Alafat, Chief
Executive of the CIH, formerly Director of Housing at the DCLG, and
John Healey MP, Shadow Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning.
Robert Joyce presented findings from new research by the Institute
of Fiscal Studies on the impact of planned changes in social rents
Paul Beardmore, Director of Housing at Manchester, Alan Carter
from Cambridge and Duncan Vessey from South Cambridgeshire
explained how their councils are taking advantage of the
government's devolution deals and reshaping housing services to
make a more effective contribution to growing their local
Nick Walkley, Chief Executive of Haringey, challenged delegates
to face up to the implications of managing councils without
government grant, with the imperative of growing their business
rate base to sustain expenditure. In a memorable analogy, he
claimed the culture shift will be as radical as the leap from
indulgent prog-rock to punk.
The first day of the conference closed with the ARCH AGM and,
after dinner, Brian Reilly from Wandsworth revealed a new talent as
On the second day, Lucie-Marie Hagues told the story of how
Capital One has transformed itself to adapt to a tougher market
since the credit crunch, with interesting lessons for councils
facing an equally tough environment.
Workshops looked at channel shift and innovation, procurement
and the legal issues around using local authority companies to
The Conference ended with an economic outlook from Colin Ellis,
Chief Credit Officer, Moodys, which included the sobering news
that, for Britain, current growth rates may be as good as it
Presentations are available in the member's
area of our website to all ARCH members. We urge all delegates
to complete the feedback forms circulated to them to help us work
with HouseMark to make next year's event even better.