Thamesmead Homeowners’ Association demonstrate outside Gallions Housing Assocation offices in Sidcup
PUBLISHED: 11:37 17 December 2013 | UPDATED: 16:17 17 December 2013
A group of Thamesmead homeowners held a protest on the doorstep of the housing association whose charges they are contesting last week.
Around 25 protestors from Thamesmead Homeowners’ Association (THA) travelled to Gallions Housing Association’s offices in Maidstone Road, Sidcup, to demand answers over estate charges.
The costs relate to maintaining roads, estate lighting, lakes, canals, green spaces and parks in areas, which do not fall under the remit of the local authority.
Freehold residents are frustrated at “not being charged correctly” by Gallions who own much of Thamesmead housing stock.
Carol Hardiman, 63, of Poplar Place, is on the THA committee, and attended the protest, said: “We did not have as big a turn out as we wanted but we will keep protesting until we get what we want to achieve.
“The thing is Gallions expect us to pay but they have not answered the questions we have put to them. All they have done is paid lip service.
“Even though they are still aware of not charging us correctly they are still doing it.”
A Gallions spokesperson said they were “acutely aware” that homeowners were dissatisfied, but did say “the way in which the estate charges are calculated is complex”.
The spokesperson added: “We are aware of residents’ concerns, but their obligation to pay the estate charges has been established by the courts.
“We are continuously looking to reduce charges where possible through efficiencies, ensure that bills are accurate and easy to understand, and to make sure that residents are happy with the quality of services we provide.
“We have attended several meetings with the homeowners group; answering questions and listening to their concerns and we welcome continued engagement to resolve these issues.”
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