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Housing association peace charter talks

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The Local Government Association is negotiating a peace charter with the National Housing Federation (NHF) in a bid to improve poor relationships between the bodies’ sectors.

Among the ideas proposed for the new concordat with the NHF, the umbrella body for registered social landlords, are associations having greater input into shaping local housing policy and joint conferences on improvement and efficiency.

LGA programme director Martin Wheatley and NHF chief executive David Orr are spearheading negotiations, which are in the early stages, and hope to achieve closer working and sharing of best practice between the two sectors.

Mr Wheatley, who also sits on a housing association board, said: "Being frank, the relationship between housing associations and local authorities in some places has not always been an easy one. We want to make the practical relationships on the ground better.

"We are in the drafting phase at the moment, but hopefully will be able to come to an agreement in the coming weeks. The relationship between the LGA and NHF is incidental, this agreement is about relationships on the ground."

Broomleigh Housing Association’s chairman Simon Randall expressed widespread dissatisfaction with local government among many registered social landlords. He said: "Our relationship with Bromley LBC is very poor. It is not the officers, it is the politicians. We have had planning application after planning application turned down."

An NHF spokesman said: "We welcome the talks, but it is too early to talk about the details."

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