Stock retaining authorities' conference 2012 22/11/2012

HouseMark/ARCH stock retaining authorities chief officers' conference 2012


Paul PriceOn 15 and 16 November 2012, 50 delegates gathered in Warwick for the annual HouseMark/ARCH conference for stock retaining councils' chief officers. Now in its sixth year, the conference attracted a record number of delegates - 50 in total, plus 18 other attendees such as speakers and HouseMark staff.


There was a real buzz about the conference this year, not least because of the high delegate numbers and quality of the programme. The conference covered all hot topics for stock retaining councils: making a success of self-financing, the impact of welfare reform, local authority new build and localism, amongst many others. There was plenty of time for delegates to interact and make their views known and have discussions.



Abi davies

ARCH had its own slot in the programme, during which Paul Price from Tendring did an admirable job of standing in for John Bibby (Lincoln) who had been unable to attend at the last minute. Paul talked about what a year of great change it had been for both the sector and for ARCH, and made particular reference to the recruitment of ARCH's first dedicated staff resource, Matthew Warburton, improved support via CIH and HouseMark, and the enhanced membership services ARCH members can now expect. Two new ARCH members attended (Dacorum  and Kingston upon Thames), taking advantage of the free place for new recruits; 22 councils took up the "buy one, get one free" offer which ARCH had sponsored.


 Brian Reilly

Other speakers of note included Steve Wilcox from The Centre for Housing Policy who talked about the state of the economy and the impact on housing markets, Steve Partridge from CIH who covered self-financing, and Patrick Owen from CLG whose session focused on localism, tenancy strategies and changes to the Ombudsman's role. No less important were the workshops which focused on key interest areas such as asset management, green deal and tenant cashback.





Steve Wilcox 

As usual, the conference dinner was a lively one, and was followed by entertainment from HouseMark's very own punk band, the PIs. Back by popular demand for the third year running, the band covered a number of well-known punk classics such as Anarchy in the UK, I Fought the Law and Teenage Kicks, as well as adding its own unique touches to popular songs from the last 50 years including Elvis' His Latest Flame and Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire. Delegates joined in and the post-gig disco went on till midnight! For those more inclined to a quiet chat away from the music, the comfortable bar area was available.


Tenure reform 

A delegate survey was undertaken to obtain feedback on the whole event. Such comments from delegates were: "best conference yet", "so pleased I came, it's been fantastic", "great event, thanks!" and "an excellent conference of a consistently high standard throughout".


The conference is an excellent example of ARCH and HouseMark working in partnership and delivering great outcomes for the sector. It will be back in November 2013 and all ARCH members will be notified of the dates as soon as they are known. Get it in your diary!


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