Mark met Stephen Howlett, Chief Executive of the Peabody Trust, this morning to raise the concerns of local Peabody residents and learn about Peabody’s plans for its Westminster properties.
Mark and his team discussed individual constituents’ cases with Mr Howlett to ensure swift action was taken on problems that had occurred. Mr Howlett also took time to inform Mark of Peabody’s substantial investment programme. The organisation aims to spend £200 million on its properties by 2010 to bring them up to standard. The Peabody Trust owns some 20 000 residences across the capital and keeping them all in a good state is a mammoth task. It is looking to sell some of its assets in outer London to ensure it can concentrate its resources on central London.
Peabody has now established a Community Safety Team to reduce problems with anti-social behaviour on its estates. Mr Howlett acknowledged that the team is not yet big enough but this is something the Trust intends to work on. Peabody will be developing a new project in Peabody Avenue and is currently investing in the Abbey Orchard Estate.
The Trust’s efforts are concentrated on three big programmes. The Decent Homes programme will help ensure Peabody’s properties meet government internal standards by 2010. The Sound programme started last year and focuses on improving the external structures and the Improve programme, which will start this year, aims to improve external communal areas for Peabody residents.
Mark is confident that communication between his team and Mr Howlett’s office will now improve and Mr Howlett is keen to organise a visit with Mark soon to some of the Peabody properties in Westminster.