House of Bamboo

bamboo lettings 2
It’s made of sticks.
Sticks and bricks,
But you can get your kicks
In the house of bamboo.
If you consider the ‘personalities’ involved and the issues it raises it might strike you as surprising that we’ve only just caught up the curious case of Bamboo Lettings. Furthermore if you ever wanted to know about how things work on Wirral and in the wider world of networking – here it is laid out for you in this deeply worrying story.
We were prompted to pursue this story by a recent correspondent who asked us:
Also can you advise re Magenta Living being a Social non profit org. starting up a subsidiary called Bamboo Lettings which is a joint venture with Torus Group (St Helens – Graham Burgess) which will increase the returns on some formerly social-rented stock by letting them at market rates for a period of five years.
At 31st March 2017, Magenta Living had transferred 5 properties into Bamboo Lettings, with the intention being that a further 95 properties will be transferred into Bamboo by the end of 2017-18. Magenta Annual Report 2016/17
It might be legal but who decides property A is Social – Property B next door is commercial and charges more? 100 now ,how many in future years? Still classed as a Charity? Stinks to high heaven……………..
However it should be noted it was a brave and curious Wirral resident who first raised the issue courtesy of a Freedom of Information request in May 2016 . You might be surprised to know this local housing development wasn’t lauded with a press release featuring fat felines grinning like the proverbial Cheshire cat. Maybe that’s because some deeply troubling questions might have been asked at the time – Bamboo Lettings – FOI request
It was left to Joe Halewood and his excellent welfare rights blog SPeye blog to pick up on the issues with this post in February 2017 where Joe writes :
Bamboo Lettings is owned by Magenta and Torus.  Magenta was the former council housing department of Wirral Borough Council, and Torus is the former council housing departments of Warrington and St Helens.  It has offices in Wirral and even its own Facebook page here and there you can see the strap line Bamboo Lettings is a private lettings company, with properties in Wirral, Warrington and St Helens.  Such contrived and opaque constructs are no longer needed reader!
Then belatedly, but God love him ,  Lib Dem Cllr Stuart Kelly tried to raise the profile of this dodgy development and introduced a Notice of Motion at a Wirral Council meeting in July 2017
LOSS OF SOCIAL HOUSING TO BAMBOO LETTINGS LLP (to be debated)
Proposed by Councillor Stuart Kelly
Seconded by Councillor Chris Carubia
Council notes the establishment of a private lettings company known as Bamboo
Lettings LLP between Magenta Living and a housing organisation called Torus.
Council notes that Magenta are planning to transfer under a lease arrangement up to100 social housing homes to Bamboo Lettings company for them to be let at full market rents.
Council notes that a three bedroom house offered for let by Bamboo in the
Woodchurch area will cost a prospective tenant £137 per week against the social
rent charged by Magenta of circa £97 per week in the same area (and against an
‘affordable’ rent level of £110).
In addition, Council is concerned that Bamboo Lettings also charge private sector
style ‘fees’; an example of these fees for a three bedroom house in the Woodchurch
area is:
 Application fee – £50
 Administration fee – £75
 Guarantor fee – £50
 Check out fee – £60
 Additional deposit for a pet – £100
Council believes that these fees are not linked to the service provided, are
unacceptable and extortionate and requests a justification for this regime.
Council notes the Cabinet Member for Housing has told Magenta that Wirral Council would not want to see larger 4 bedroom accommodation, those for older people and those adapted properties being transferred; and has highlighted to Magenta concerns about a number of disposals occurring in the same popular locations, thus reducing availability of social housing stock.
Council notes that there are currently 9643 people registered on the Choice Based
Lettings System, of which 2348 have a housing priority need.
Council has objections to the use of social housing in this way and requests (through the Council’s Managing Director for Delivery to Magenta Living) that the relationship with Torus/Bamboo be suspended to allow the Council the opportunity to fully investigate the use of social housing stock as de facto private rented houses https://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/documents/s50042720/Council%20NoMs%20-%2010-7-17.pdf8
Cllr Kelly elaborated further on his concerns about this development in this Wirral Globe article  – Councillor slams ‘unacceptable and extortionate transfer of former council houses’
Needless to say nobody took a blind bit of notice of the ‘Notice of Motion’ and that’s not just because Cllr Kelly is a Lib Dem with – let’s face it – no power or influence over Wirral Council whatsoever.
So let’s join the dots and explain why that might be the case and look at the interested parties who do have that kind of power and influence. First of all can we say that any joint venture between Magenta Living and Torus should have been called Red Bull(shit)- geddit?
First of all here’s the Torus Group Board or more accurately the Torus COMMON PURPOSE Board TORUS COMMON PURPOSE BOARD
We first highlighted the connections here : Where Are They Now? Part 4- Emma Degg
Torus 032
Wirral Leaks readers may recall the candy floss- haired one on the left is former Wirral Council CEO Graham Burgess who’s main claim to fame is that he once shared a hole at the ‘The Open’ with former Wirral Council Super Duper Director Kevin Adderley when it was last held in Hoylake. The man on the right is Rob’ Narcissist’ Young – a former Assistant Director of Wirral Council’s Housing Department.
Although surprisingly for such egomaniacs they’re quite shy about their involvement in this money-making racket masquerading as Tory housing policy : Companies House Officers
See how this works yet ? If you don’t , you need to realise that Magenta Living Board includes such Wirral Council  luminaries as Cllr Steve ‘Foulkesy’ Foulkes , Cllr Jeff ‘Kindred’ Green and Cllr Stuart ‘Witless’ Whittingham Magenta Living Board
Which raises the question as to why they were appointed in the first place – could it be they are the last people who’d raise questions in the best interests of those who need social housing?  Ever felt you’ve been bamboozled by bureaucrats?

14 thoughts on “House of Bamboo

  1. G’day Leaky

    Hope your having a great new life.

    Ecca The Blinking CEO will be glad to know I will be back on your site part time next week and full time after 1 March.

    You Permitting?

    I will be abusing and laughing at his in house abusers on a regular basis until he sweeps “Philly “FUCKING” Liars” lies about Big and ISUS from under the magic carpet they have been swept with all the other dross and crud his scum bags at wirral get up to.

    C’mon on Eccles Cake Face time to publicly apologise to us Wirral “Funny” Bizz whistle blowers so we can all retire to a happier place like The Good Lord.

    How much was clawed back by those dudes at Horse Guards Mrs Robinson?

    Ooroo

    James

    Time to be open, honest and transparent

    My luv of you Lordy has grown year on year now going into our seventh XXXXXXXXXXX

    • You deserve far more than apology James your obvious torment comes from a place that every decent person wants , the truth , and hopefully Wirral leaks and the growing co will eventually out those that have deceived the public and importantly all those that knew it was/is happening and helped to cover it up. I could comment on their parents but I assume too much in saying they would be ashamed. So I will assume your parenting if I may and bet I get it bang on , your kids could never be ashamed of you and really that has to be the only tick you need !

  2. Valentine BOOMERANG rhyme…

    ‘We have given them almost six years to own up and say it was all wrong, they’ve lied, cheated, hidden stuff, obfuscated and told bare faced lies.’

    (The Aussie, on the Wirral Biz/Council scandal.)

  3. What is happening with public transferred assets to a “charitable” not for profit organisation “MAGENTA” who now propose gifting them to ex CEO Graham Burgess for his company can charge Rackman rents and pocket up to 40% higher rents with no questions asked. Surely the simple answer would be if “Magenta” could remain as the landlords instead of gifting council assets to Burgess & Co. What are our witless councillors doing condoning this action. I have read the Tory white paper on affordable rents but this Labour skulduggery beggars belief. I also note that various councillors are also officers of Magenta so how could they have sanctioned these proposals????.

  4. Kickback CIty.
    Under the table considerations, measured in hard currency…?
    Allegedly, or maybe not. Maybe it’s the standard behaviour expected between friends and former compatriots regardless of their publicly-stated allegiances. A kind of de rigueur “get in there and fill your boots while the opportunities present themselves” and before any loopholes are closed off by officious meddlers and busybodies.

  5. Pingback: Bamboo- zled – The Future of Social Housing? | Wirralleaks

  6. You’re not the only ones asking these types of questions, and failing to get any answers… this, from a facebook post dated Nov 3rd 2017…

    “Wednesday night, after years of asking the question, I finally got one of our councillors to admit that Magenta Living, formally Wirral Partnership homes, is NOT, after all, an “arms length company” managing Wirral Borough Council’s housing stock on their behalf… but is ACTUALLY a private company (and also a Registered Charity, for tax purposes) to which Wirral Borough Council HANDED OVER… FOR NOTHING… their entire housing stock.

    This giveaway took place back in 2005. At the time, it was supposedly on the basis of a vote of the tenants, with the promise that WPH would invest £168 million over 7 years, on bringing the 13,100 properties up to “decent living standards”. Now, that works out about £12,800 per property.

    I’m a Magenta tenant. There’s no way on Earth that Magenta has spent that amount of money on this property. Magenta are, to this day, insisting that some of the work they promised to do, and have yet to start, was only “planned upgrades” that their representatives now “can’t remember promising”.

    We had a “new” kitchen… with half the storage space of the old one on the basis that the house was under-occupied, an extractor fan that was fitted in the wrong wall and had to be moved, a fluorescent tube light (when two were SUPPOSED to be installed) that had to be re-oriented when it was pointed out that their skimping would result in nothing but shadow, a gouge left in one of the unit doors, damage to our cooker, and kick-boards not fitted to the units that I had to install myself. At no point did we “sign off” on the work, such as it was, before the contractors moved on to their next job. When the mixer-block tap unit developed a leaky washer three years later, it turned out that the thing had been so badly installed that the thing was “threaded” leaving a leaky connection that, when I tried replacing the washer, was so badly corroded I had to throw it out altogether and replace the taps out of my own pocket.

    We had a new bathroom suite… since replaced entirely. A lavatory pedestal with a closed cistern that has had to be re-mounted because it was so poorly installed in the first place that it was only being held up by the plumbing!

    A uPVC back door that was held in place by plastic caulking instead of being secured to the doorway frame in the brickwork. Every time you closed it, the plastic unit would flex, destroying the plaster inside the frame. Often, in hot weather, you had to fight to get the damn thing locked properly.

    A uPVC Front door that, during installation, the contractor decided to chisel out the BT phone line leaving us with the prospect of having to pay BT for a full re-installation if we want to switch to them in the future.

    We were promised, because I made a point to mention it at the time, that we’d also get a front gate and fence… boundary fencing being the landlords obligation under our tenancy agreement. 12 Years later, the latest excuse for this still not being provided is “If we do yours, we’ll have to do the whole street… all six Magenta properties of our one-sided cul-de-sac.

    The one thing Magenta did right, was install two mains-wired smoke alarms, one upstairs one downstairs. I suspect this was only because there’s a statutory obligation for it to be regularly checked by someone independent. Of course, I had to pull the carpets back up again after this was installed, to clean up the cable off-cuts the contractors had simply left on the floor and pulled the carpets back over. Yes, they literally swept it under the rugs.

    Now, we were told back in 2004, by Cllr. George Davies, that the reason for all this was that he, personally, couldn’t continue to run the Council’s housing stock at a deficit. Last year, Magenta ran an “operating surplus”… in other words, ran at a profit… of £14.4 million, and their own projections for this year, according to their accounts lodged at Companies House, is a profit of £18.4 million. At a time when Wirral Borough Council is so strapped for cash under the Westminster Tories obsession for Austerity Cuts that central government will completely withdraw any central funding for local authorities by 2020, how come Magenta gets to profit at OUR expense?”

  7. Pingback: Wirral Leaks Election Section 2018 – 4 weeks to go | Wirralleaks

  8. Transferring housing stock when people have waited years for a hime is unbelievable as is building estates of new houses in anywhere but st helens, i mean we only pay for it…
    Umm Helena (because they are the miserable Helena Housing to me) we agreed that you could become a charitable trust so, according to you, you could fix the houses properly. What you did was patch them up with mdf , changed your name six times joined another company all to obscureyour true purpose and give you free reign to do as you llease with our rent. Millions a week.
    Almost a billion pounds off houses for free.
    Then you tell us your paying a japanese scientist to devise an algorithm to assess the happiness of your tenants in relation to what you spend! All gleaned from a specific two years when presumably you got a few thousand less complaints, Well i can tell you the answer without you paying a scientist: the answer is your tenants will always be unhappy because they despise you they despise your luxury office buildings that you lavished upon yourselves they hate t hgat you spend tbeir rent payments as if its money you earned and werent simply given and they hate that every penny you make is gleaned from the lie that you would help us when you just helped yourself.
    I suppose it helps having the director on the oversight commitee. H o w convenient, he can watch himself.
    Wirral be warned these helena people are insanely self deluded. I genuinely hope they suffer for it i loathe them and their greedy inane ideas.

  9. Pingback: The Twelve Days of Christmas : Day Five -More for Torus , Less for All of Us | Wirralleaks

Leave a Reply to Alison Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s