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New chair for ARCH tenants’ group 01/04/2011 Labelled as Tenants

ARCH has announced results of the election for the role of chair of its Tenants' Group for the year ahead.

The Group, which is a network of representatives of people who live in stock retained council housing across England, elected Jennifer Holmes as chair at its Annual General Meeting in London on 21st March. Election for the position of vice-chair, left vacant by Mrs Holmes on her election to Chair, will take place as soon as possible.

Mrs Holmes lives in a council home in West Lancashire and was previously vice-chair of the Tenants' Group. She will now chair the Group, represent tenants on the Executive Board and ensure the views of people who live in council properties are reflected in ARCH policies and activities.

She said: 'I am delighted to have been elected. As tenants' representatives, we want to bring forward views on issues tenants tell us are concerning them at this difficult time. We are proud to live in stock retained homes and will work closely with the ARCH Executive Board to fight for the best deal for people who have chosen their council as their landlord.'

Members of the ARCH executive board thanked outgoing chair, Marlene Price from Wandsworth, for her hard work as resident representative on the Executive Board for the past four years and for setting up the Tenants' Group.

ARCH secretary John Bibby, director of housing and community services at Lincoln City Council, said: 'Marlene Price has done a fantastic job in setting up the Tenants' Group to strengthen the organisation's tenant governance structure. We welcome Jennifer Holmes in her new role as chair and look forward to working with her to take forward the views and priorities of council tenants in what will be an interesting and challenging year for the sector.'

Mrs Holmes has a long history of involvement in tenants' issues. She is treasurer of her local Tenants' and Residents' Association, a member of the Tenants' Scrutiny Panel, and a Member of the West Lancashire Local Strategic Partnership and the Tenants' Panel for the Tenants Services Authority.

The ARCH Tenants' Group AGM was followed by a joint meeting with the Executive Board. This provided an opportunity for tenants' representatives and executive members to share information. Topics covered included; the forthcoming tenants' conference, future organisational plans and possible constitutional amendments.

The Tenants' Group has led the organisation of the forthcoming ARCH Annual Tenants' Conference, which takes place in at Milton Keynes Dons Stadium on 19th May. Group members have invited speakers on subjects including the Localism Bill and reform of housing finance. They will oversee the event and run workshops on the day. The event will include an open forum for tenants to discuss issues of concern.

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