So which were your highlights at Thursday’s annual conference? Of course it’ll depend on which workshops you attended, but what a great choice and which to attend?
These were my personal highlights and ‘awards’.
Funny moments award – Always goes to Nick P-G. Especially his ‘crowd-funding’ moments for David Gibbens’ leaving present IN FRONT OF David himself – hilarious! And his surreal introduction to Brighid Carey from Action on Empty Homes, you couldn’t make it up.
Memorable Professional presentation award – Very positive introduction to the Property Guardian Providers Association (PGPA) by Simon and Graham, great to finally have a body regulating standards for the property guardian industry.
Great partnership approach award - Action on Empty Homes (AOEH). So great to hear both Brighid Carey and Will McMahon from Action on Empty Homes talking so positively and passionately about their approach. It was so refreshing to hear Will ask us empty home practitioners what we thought AOEH and government could do to help bring more empty homes back into use. Much better to have ‘joined –up’ thinking between the two main empty homes organisations to achieve a common goal.
Professional AND entertaining presentation award - three winners -
David Galvin from Blackpool Housing company – what an enthusiastic and experienced professional with bags of experience. Particularly loved the photos in David’s powerpoint. He’s doing some amazing work to gradually improve Blackpool’s housing stock.
Fiona Anthony from nplaw – Especially using Pip the floppy bunny to demonstrate GDPR – who knew it could be so very interesting. We were so wrong to think this would be a dry session, because it certainly wasn’t and could easily have lasted longer judging by all the questions during her presentation.
Francis Burton’s Building an Empty Property Service – should really have been sub-titled ‘everything you ever needed to know about becoming a successful empty homes officer’.
An excellent presentation, I don’t think he left anything out, plus fab powerpoint photos to demonstrate his points (reminded me a bit of Dave Stott’s Rasputin photo he used to include in his enforcement presentations).
And the media award goes to Tony Mousdale from Liverpool, who gave a very good account of the £1 homes scheme which was covered by a Channel 4 series. It seems like every programme editor has a ‘story’ they want to tell and will stretch things to fit the story, as Tony found out. I felt that he came over as a really experienced and fair person who did his best at all times.
And finally to a couple of the award-winners on the day – Extra well-done to Sue Li for her two awards. And Lorna Frost deservedly won hers for managing to keep bouncing back despite so many problems with an extremely challenging owner, and winning out in the end. The other winners were also worthy of their awards.
So I think I can safely say that David Gibbens’ last conference which he arranged was so successful that he can go out on a ‘high’.
And I really enjoyed catching up with my long-time colleagues, now friends, and meeting some new ones too.
P.S. Thanks again to Will from Action on Empty Homes for joining me in blogging on the EHN. Anyone else fancy a go, just write down your thoughts, it only takes a minute – Frances Schieber??
Best wishes from the Lakes,
Lynne Leach, Empty Homes Officer, South Lakeland District Council