We are the Independent Resident's Forum for the Croydon Drive outsourced council estate in Newton Heath, Manchester. M40.

Tenants wondering where the forum is can find that by clicking here and you can read Avro Hollows' TMO propaganda for a laugh here. If you'd prefer to hear it from the Residents then please do read on.

On our estate, we apparently have 312 flats (although one is a lift office and another doesn't exist for some reason). Anyway, what we do have are glorious flats (most with out of date dilapidated kitchens (where did the sink go Dianne?) and bathrooms with no showers into 2020).

This situation is slowly changing with Jackson & Jackson having been contracted to replace kitchens and bathrooms, after a couple of month's break due to the Corona Virus, they are now back on site.

Our Position on the Corona Virus (Covid-19/SARS CoV-2) Pandemic and Johnson's Government's Lockdown..

The Corona Virus, also known as Covid-19 and SARS CoV-2, is a nasty and extremely dangerous virus that you will no doubt be aware is taking lives all over the world. Some young and middle aged people are passing away when they are otherwise very healthy, in addition to the vulnerable and the elderly.

At CDIRF (Croydon Drive Independent Residents' Forum), as always, we act impartially for residents. During the Corona Virus Pandemic, we are also publishing important information from Avro Hollows' TMO. They continue not to have authorisation to access our forums as agreed by a previous CDIRF Member's vote.

We fully agree with the NHS' advice about avoiding catching the Corona Virus and also the advice provided by the NHS about what to do if you do catch it and how to keep your friends, family and fellow residents safe. You can read that by clicking here (opens a new window).

We actively stand against the Coronavirus Act 2020 for the reasons detailed by Big Brother Watch. We stand in solidarity with them. We condemn Boris Johnson and the mainstream media (including the BBC and Sky News) in the strongest terms for their appalling handling of the Corona Virus Pandemic that led to the actual need for the nation to enter lock-down, in turn triggering grocery (and other essentials) shortages for our residents and many vulnerable people across the nation and in their entire lack of coverage of the legislation that has been snuck through the back door.

We also find the correspondence, delivered by Avro Hollows' TMO on 1 April 2020, to be concerning in their then disclosed reporting of Residents, perceived to be breaking the Coronavirus Act 2020 legislation, to the Police.

We politely remind Avro Hollows' TMO that it is counter-productive to threaten many of our Residents who have been treated incredibly unfairly by Greater Manchester Police (or otherwise do not have a great relationship with them) at the same time as trying to hold out an olive branch to Residents and it cannot be said that the majority of Residents would be in favour of this.

There is no legal duty to report people and Avro Hollows' TMO took photos of many Croydon Drive Residents as a condition of granting them a tenancy to begin with where many would have otherwise been homeless and the tone is more likely to result in Residents ignoring the NHS Advice that it is essential to follow, not because Avro Hollows' TMO, Greater Manchester Police or anyone else said so (they are mere servants of the people, nothing more), but because Boris Johnson's government has proven itself entirely incompetent such that the lock down and the (anti)social distancing measures we all now experience became necessary to save lives.

As Croydon Drive Residents, we pay for Avro Hollows' TMO, Commsec Security, Manchester City Council and Northwards' Housing to act in Residents' interests. It would be much more beneficial for them to take a tone of servitude and not authoritarianism and to arrange professional cleaning of a tower blocks, seven days a week.

We received an increase in contact from Residents as the result of not receiving the letter well and we did not like it either. We were not consulted on the content or authoritarian tone of the letter, that is more likely to result in challenge, although CDIRF did not expect to be because we are independent.

CDIRF also stood firmly against the announcements on the first day of the lock-down by Commsec Security where residents were shamed over the Orwellian Tannoy. On a positive note, Avro Hollows' TMO's Estate Manager has developed her own much more positive style of supporting tenants and we question how much of that letter was actually written by her and how much was written by Avro Hollows' TMO board.

Corona Virus Support from CDIRF..

Croydon Drive Independent Residents' Forum have been working hard to bring Residents the latest information on the Corona Virus. We have pressured Manchester City Council to ensure that you can get access to supplies if you have no-one else to help you, we have also been in touch with food banks, the Citizens' Advice Bureau, Switch2 Energy and Morgan Sindall and we are impartially assisting Avro Hollows' TMO with publishing clearly marked information that they hope to communicate, on our website (such as the provision of antibacterial hand gel bottles and emergency food boxes being available in their office).

CDIRF was the first to send out a comprehensive letter to all of our Croydon Drive residents making clear that, regardless of whether you are eligible or ineligible for forum membership, that we are offering emotional and practical support by telephone and Email and, where necessary, with collecting food and medications for those that can't get to the shops.

Our Member's forum continues to operate as normal and we have transferred our forum and website to a new hosting provider to ensure faster speeds and so that they do not get slowed down, no matter how many people are visiting the website or how many CDIRF members are visiting the forum. The usual rules around eligibility/ineligibility continue to apply. Our telephone line is open for extended hours including when other organisations are closed. We also have a call back facility available and calls back can be to landlines or mobile phones. We are also, as always, contactable online.

We have also developed a Corona Virus Microsite where you can read more about the Corona Virus and the support that we offer. We have extended Email and telephone emotional and practical support and we have launched the Emergency Community Shopping Scheme for all residents, regardless of their affiliation to Avro Hollows' TMO, Northwards' Housing or Manchester City Council. They cannot join our forum or our telephone conferencing however, as usual. Any other Resident can contact us to join or to have their forum password reset by completing our contact form or by telephoning us.

Corona Virus Support from Avro Hollows' TMO and Manchester City Council..

Avro Hollows' TMO tell us that there are some food boxes downstairs in the office for those Croydon Drive Residents who are struggling. Residents are asked to please telephone or Email the Avro Hollows' TMO office instead of visiting, regardless of whether you have symptoms. Avro Hollows' TMO's Estate Manager has helpfully sourced and ensured the installation of hand gel in all tower block reception areas. Avro Hollows' TMO ask people not to refill these and they should never be removed.

The Avro Hollows' TMO Estate Office continues to have staff within it to answer telephone calls and Emails. The Estate Manager has said that she will try to take as many calls as possible from Croydon Drive Residents who are struggling emotionally. These are positive steps.

We do however desperately need competent (and COSHH) trained Cleaners that are trained to select, procure and use appropriate chemicals to kill the Corona Virus whilst cleaning our tower block communal areas and fob points across the Croydon Drive Estate, thoroughly, seven days a week. Cleaning has now increased, since we published this article but it is unclear how well the tower blocks and fob points are being cleaned. Let us know please by getting in touch.

Manchester City Council have launched a Freephone telephone number (free to call from mobile phones too) and a new section of their website for Manchester Residents who are struggling financially and/or practically, whether directly or indirectly due to the Corona Virus. Manchester City Council can help with the delivery of food and medication, combating loneliness and fuel top-ups. The website currently suggests, as of 3 April 2020, that this support is only available to Manchester Residents aged 70 or over but CDIRF have confirmed that this is not true.

CDIRF have confirmed that the full service is being offered to any Manchester Resident who considers themselves to be vulnerable, regardless of whether the NHS have sent them a letter and regardless of how old or young they are. You can click here to visit the Manchester City Council Corona Virus website section or you can telephone 0800 234 6123.

Corona Virus Support from Morgan Sindall and Switch 2 Energy..

Any Croydon Drive Resident with an old (G4) pay as you go meter who is struggling to obtain credit, either through a lack of funds or through not being able to leave your home, can call Switch 2 who will send out an Engineer - even if you are self-isolating as a result of having the Corona Virus symptoms. They just ask you to let them know if you have the symptoms at the time that you telephone.

Any Croydon Drive Resident who has a newer smart meter has a number of options to top up, if you have the funds, there is an Apple Store/Google Play Store App for Switch 2 Energy and you can top up over the telephone. If you are struggling financially as the result of the Corona Virus, you should still get in touch with Switch 2. If they can't help, contact Manchester City Council.

We will set up a contact form so that you (or a friend/family member) can request a telephone call back from Switch 2 if are low on credit. Switch 2's website is available by clicking here or you can call them on 0333 321 2010.

Further Information..

The estate comprises of four tower blocks and two rows of houses split into two flats (there are no cows but most of these flats do smell of cheese due to the damp in them). Some of the flats across the estate contain 1 and, shockingly, 2 and 3 bedrooms.

Avro Hollows' Tenant Management Organisation purport to manage the estate on behalf of Manchester City Council, in association with Northwards housing (Northwards' Housing will, however, deny all knowledge of this). The estate is most definitely not run for the benefit of the local community with some residents describing the estate as an "open prison".

To find out more...please read our article "more about the estate" below.

Who We Are..

This website and its online community was set up by a resident on the Croydon Drive Estate who may or may not be closely related to C.G.B. Spender (the truth is not out there). It is entirely free to use and to become a member and it always will be. Personally identifiable information is not collected or stored protecting the anonymity of members. We only publish the tower block of the residents (so the person writing will be 1/72 or 71 people - dependent on the specific tower block).

It is not a breach of a resident's tenancy agreement to join Croydon Drive Independent Residents' Forum. The right to set up tenant groups is in fact specifically protected within resident's tenancy agreements.

The starting point for the forum was to create an online presence. The forum itself has the ability for members to send private messages (not read by the forum admin) and Members are encouraged to use their common sense in remaining anonymous and protecting themselves online. There is a reporting feature above all posts should anybody be concerned about the content - particularly where it is discriminatory or hateful - humour is of course allowed within reason.

Members are encouraged to have their say and provide feedback on the existing forum sections (including the popular "The Vent" and various general interests categories) and to request new ones. This also extends now to website content. We strongly urge residents to register using the unique registration code letters, most recently posted through doors in August 2019 by one of our kind elves.

The Croydon Drive Independent Residents' Forum is, unfortunately, not open to Contractors, Employees or Volunteers (including members) of Avro Hollows' Tenant Management Organisation, Northwards' Housing or Manchester City Council to protect the integrity of the forum and the anonymity of members and access is not permitted from locations run by them to protect the security of login details.

To ensure that our security policies are upheld vigorously for the benefit of members, we regularly lookup IP addresses that are logged when members log in. Our independence policy was ratified by members in 2018.

The Croydon Drive Independent Residents' Forum is set up by residents to further the interests of residents. It's that simple. A large part of that is to take the current management (Avro Hollows' TMO) to task where they fail residents through causing as much embarrassment as possible.

If any residents struggle to register (you need to sign up using the register option), please do use the contact form link above (or the contact link on the forum itself).

If you are a resident who has not yet registered - what are you waiting for? A very warm welcome awaits!

About Our Estate..

The estate has security gates at every entrance where many tenants cannot get in and out of all of the gates without pressing the buzzer (although thieves can) and it has so many cameras that it puts Big Brother to shame. All tenants have their mugshots taken to aid with tracking them from the moment they leave their flat until they leave the estate (perhaps further?) and there is a 24 hour live feed available to lucky viewers on Channel Commsec.

Cameras are monitored by Commsec Security (when it suits them - incidents that tenants report are rarely ever captured) who, until at least very recently, controlled the access controls in Greater Manchester Police buildings - what do you know! Until recently, it was commonplace for gate intercom calls to go unanswered (including in 2020 to 7 fire engines attending a small kitchen fire in Lancaster Court), particularly in the winter, leaving tenants to get soaked. Commsec Security are, however, excellent at bellowing over the multiple speaker tannoy system from their offices about 1.5 miles away and regularly using foul language at the weekend when the Estate Manager isn't working..

There are entrance intercoms on each tower block. On two of them, tenants do not ever get to speak to their visitors as the dial pad has been removed and replaced with a camera, and, on the other two, Commsec Security like to randomly divert intercom calls to them when they get bored. On all four tower blocks, Commsec Security like to have a conversation with your guests instead, particularly when your food (and takeaway driver) is getting cold.

Avro Hollows' TMO work very closely with Greater Manchester Police (when it suits them) and other "agencies" to reduce any incidents that they conveniently describe (or refuse to describe) as anti social behavior and they rarely take care of more vulnerable tenants where they prefer to send threatening letters, by hand, to the wrong address whilst somehow travelling up tower blocks, hand delivering the letters (whilst still not realising).

The MGMT..

We have a highly unmotivated team running the estate, including the TMO Board, the Estate Manager and "office team" (1 person), four Caretakers ("Welcome to the Tesco Mobile Voicemail Service.") and a Gardener that likes to mow the lawns across the grounds with a garden lawn mower rather than a small vehicle so it's noisier for longer. It is fair to say that the grounds do look pretty nice - of course it's very important to hide the state of the flats and particularly the Shackleton Court tower block where some tenants don't even have proper locks on their front doors - padlocks replace them.

The Board..

The TMO board are extremely selective about who they invite to their meetings (you'd have more chance of being invited to bank with Coutts) and the majority of tenants do not get a look in or a say on anything at TMO board meetings where they are no longer announced for fear of tenants protesting.

Avro Hollows' TMO are certainly not there to make the experience of living on the Croydon Drive estate a "really happy one" unless you are one of a select few on the board with access to around £90k at present and around £250k a year grant funding (from Northwards).

Welcome to the Croydon Drive Independent Residents' Forum where we do things differently and respect each other.