Our Special General Meeting of our members was held on Thursday 17th December by Zoom. There was one item on the agenda, the adoption of our new Rules. The new Rules remove the parent, Oak Tree H.A. and bring the Rules in line with the recently published SFHA Model Rules. The Rules were formally adopted at the meeting.
Work now continues in earnest to do the background work which will allow Cloch to officially separate from Oak Tree H.A. including finalising the Service Level Agreement for our shared services of IT and Finance and to register the new Rules with the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). In light of the work still to be completed, Cloch now have an official date for the separation of 1st April 2021.
We would like to thank both Boards of Cloch and Oak Tree for their hardwork and commitment to doing the best possible for both housing associations and their tenants. In this difficult year, we have managed to consult with tenants and hold a ballot and SGM, so, we would like to thank our tenants for participating and showing their support for the work of Cloch. Also, thank TIS for supporting our tenants this year.
The Ballot Result is in
95.5% of those that voted, said "Yes"!
Thank you to all tenants who took part in the vote and who have helped propel Cloch in to an independent future in 2021.
The next stage is we present a new set of Rules to our membership at a Special General Meeting. The Rules set out how Cloch governs itself. The new Rules will remove the parent, Oak Tree and bring in a new era for Cloch as a stand alone social housing organisation in Inverclyde.
Paul McVey, Director of Cloch said, “I am aware that this is a relatively unique situation where 2 RSLs disengage from a Constitutional Partnership, but this is a positive step for both Cloch, Oak Tree and the wider housing sector. Our partnership was borne out of crisis in 2012 and through the years both RSLs operated independently with different strategies and cultures. A robust Options Appraisal with both governing bodies explored a range of opportunities and possibilities, including a Transfer of Engagements, however the preferred option supported by both Boards, was to separate whilst continuing to share services where practical and appropriate. Our shared service arrangements have worked really well in recent years, and we see no reason that this cannot continue for many years to come. I would like to thank Oak Tree Housing Association for allowing Cloch to flourish over the years when faced with potential merger. Our future is a result of Oak Tree stepping in and providing security at a time when it was needed, and then stepping back out when the time is right. This has allowed the assets of Cloch and its communities to remain with Cloch and its communities.”
Brian Corrigan, Chair of Cloch said, “The Board and staff of both housing associations have worked hard to allow Cloch to grow, modernise and progress since we linked together in 2012. This separation proposal is the next step in allowing Cloch to continue to offer great services to their tenants in Inverclyde. I am pleased that despite lockdown we were able to demonstrate high engagement with our tenants and support for the separation option.”
Sharon Tritschler, Chair of Oak Tree said, “The separation of Oak Tree and Cloch will mean that both organisations can focus on being the best they can be for their own tenants and customers. The Oak Tree Board and staff team wish Cloch continuing success, as a local community based independent Housing Association.”
Looking for independent advice on the Separation?
Cloch have brought in TIS (Tenant Information Service) to support and advise tenants and to make sure their views are heard and influence any decisions being made. Tenants can phone their free phone number: 0800 488 0982.
We have been phoning tenants to find out their views and we have held two tenant meetings via Zoom to gather extra information.
Still don't know much about this?
Watch the presentation from the Zoom meetings held in July 2020.
Frequently Asked Question
In 2012, Cloch needed support in a number of areas and Oak Tree HA came forward providing stability and financial assistance. Although Oak Tree has been the parent company with Cloch being a subsidiary, Cloch continued to operate as a separate organisation. This relationship with Oak Tree allows “step in rights” for the parent should problems arise, and also that they are involved in future business planning.
Oak Tree and Cloch have been discussing this over the last year or so and carried out an exercise known as an “Options Appraisal” which involved considering all possible alternatives and futures for both Associations. The preference from both Boards is to pursue separation.
This will allow each organisation to focus on their own activities and businesses and make sure that both can invest and focus solely on their own areas and communities.
Before a separation can happen, Cloch tenants will be asked to vote on the separation in a Ballot. The Ballot will take place in Autumn 2020. If the vote is in favour of Cloch separating, final approval will be needed from our Members at a Special General Meeting. This is likely to take place in December 2020.
The actual cost of the separation will be under £20,000, mainly for the cost of the ballot process and other publication material. The only anticipated ongoing costs are in the region of £5,000 per annum, but through making other savings and efficiencies as a result of being an independent organisation, it is expected that the process will not result in additional expense.
Yes it is. There have been other separations but none between two local Housing Associations. The existing relationship is not really a common one and most of the Housing Associations in the country are independent.
No jobs will be lost and no jobs will be created because of the separation.
No. Both Associations have learned a lot working together and will continue to work together in things like community projects and the ICHR etc. We have also been sharing services - Finance and IT - since the beginning of the partnership. These shared services have brought many benefits particularly around Value for Money and efficiencies. Both associations have agreed to continue these shared services for the foreseeable future.