The Brockley PFI Leaseholders Association meets every third Wednesday of the month, at 7.30pm at the Broca cafe, Coulgate Street.
The group exists to secure a fair deal for the 600 private leaseholders affected by Lewisham Council's 20 year deal with Regenter to maintain their properties. The NAO recently criticised Lewisham Council for allowing the cost of this contract to spiral out of control, from £45m to £115m.
We spoke with Patrick McGinley (in May) who represents the group, to understand the group's main issues.
He explained that the group believes that the work they are being forced to pay for is overpriced, with up to 26% of the cost of the work taken up by professional fees and a further 10% of the cost accounted for by management fees. They can't see any evidence that costs have benefited from economies of scale and there is no hourly rate provided in their quotes (when they've asked for one, they've been told it's commercially sensitive information).
The group also claims that much of the work is of an unsatisfactory standard, the result of a contract which punishes Regenter for failing to meet deadlines but which provides no quality control - a recipe for rushed work.
When leaseholders are informed of the cost of the work required for their property, which can be up to £10,000, they are only given one month to find the money. Back in March, the Council responded to the recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee, agreeing to look at ways to introduce more flexible payment options.
Above all, the group is frustrated that they haven't enjoyed a more constructive relationship with the Council, which they feel has divested itself of any responsibility towards them.
The group invites anyone who's been affected by these issues to attend one of the meeting and join them.