Customers meet with Housing and Planning Minister

by The Gateshead Housing Company & filed under Get involved, News.

Two tenant Board members, Robert Buckley and Elizabeth Bird, recently travelled to York to meet with Alok Sharma MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning.

Also attending were two of our leaseholders (Neil Atkinson and Margaret Small, members of the Leasehold Service Improvement Group), and Andy Mason from our HomeRepairs team.

The event was one of a series organised by the Northern Housing Consortium. It aimed to enable the minister to speak directly with social tenants, to hear their views and build a picture of their common concerns.

Margaret Small said: “Alok Sharma was very good. He made a point of talking and listening to us all.”

Mr Sharma wrote to all the attendees after the event to thank them, and to summarise the main issues discussed on the day:

  • The need to address the negative perceptions of being a social housing tenant
  • Isolation and fragmentation of communities, and the impact of that
  • The need for better communication channels between tenant and landlord
  • The need for greater support, transparency, and accountability
  • The need to build more social housing and affordable housing.

The findings from all the sessions held across the UK are being put into a report which will inform the national approach to housing.

There’s still time for you to put your views to Mr Sharma – do so online at by 31 January 2018.

Want to get involved in improving our services?

Contact our Customer Involvement Team on 0191 433 5357, text ‘INVOLVE’ to 0778 620 8277 or email

Photo: Neil Atkinson and Margaret Small with Alok Sharma