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Head Of Leaseholders Services Disagree with the FOI

Head Of Leaseholders Services Disagree with the FOI The Freedom of Information department told us that 4 boroughs have signed the contract with Zurich Municipal but Mr Mike Edmund, Head Of Leaseholders Services said 7 boroughs joined together in order to save money! Originally published here.

Ms Sylvie H., Business Support Officer, for the Freedom of information department, stated that ONLY 4 councils have renewed the contract and that they have received ONLY 1 complaint.

However, Mr Mike Edmunds., Head of Leaseholders Services sent us the following information stating 7 boroughs and a few complaints.

Please pay attention to the bold statements.

“Your concerns over the insurance contract renewal have been passed on to me by Cllr Fulbrook. I’m sorry you have had problems getting your repairs carried out and are unhappy with the service provided by Zurich.

Camden is in a 5 year contract with Zurich and the first year completed on 31.03.14. In order to get value for money the authority has tendered this contract and we have joined up with 7 other London Boroughs. Large portfolio insurance contracts are not generally renewed at the end of the year. We are also required to carry out a consultation process if we change supplier, which can take up to 3 months and is subject to certain tendering rules which are laid down by European union directives.

What this means is that we cannot change your individual insurance as our policy covers all properties and you benefit from a lower premium. Clearly if there was continued poor performance from Zurich we would consider changing to another insurer but at present we have had very few complaints. I appreciate that you have not had a good experience with Zurich’s contractors. Camden’s insurance team are investigating the issues related to your complaints and will be writing directly to you. I will be monitoring the level of complaints and we will keep the position under review.


Mike Edmunds
Head of Leaseholders Services”

The above answer also raises the following questions:

1) How did Camden achieved a better deal now that there are less boroughs on the contract? Does this mean that less boroughs (i.e.4) get a better deal than 7 boroughs?

2) Mr Edmunds also mentioned that there were a few complaints regarding the insurance but the FOI said ONE.

Can he provide more information about those complaints and let us know who is wrong: him or the FOI?

3) How much did Camden paid when there were 7 members and how did it paid now with only 3 other members?


London Borough of Camden
Housing and Adult Social Care
London Borough of Camden
Bidborough House
38-50 Bidborough Street
London WC1H9DB

Tel: 02079744444

Date: 23rd May 2014

Your Ref:
Enquiries to: Mary McGowan

Dear Resident,

Re Your complaint regarding Mr Mike Edmunds

I am sorry for the delay in replying to your complaint and am writing to give my decision on the complaint you have made about Mike Edmunds.

You have stated in your complaint that you believe Mike Edmunds has deceived you by stating that "we have joined up with 7 other London Boroughs"

I have investigated this and can assure you that Mike Edmunds did not deliberately seek to deceive you. As has been explained in the letter you received from Susan Lovegrove, the Council's Insurance Manager on 17th April 2013, it was an error and Mike was given inaccurate information. I am clear following my investigation that Mike Edmunds did not in any way seek to deceive you on this matter.

Susan did apologise for this error in her letter and I too am sorry if this caused you any inconvenience. She outlines also in the letter what did actually happen in relation to the boroughs participating in the tender process so I do not intend to go into any further detail relating to this issue.

You have asked for an explanation, a written apology and compensation. My decision is that Mike Edmunds did not seek to deceive you, Susan Lovegrove has explained that an error occurred in the information and has given a detailed explanation of the issues you raised relating to the Zurich contract. I do not believe that there are grounds for awarding any compensation in this case but do reiterate my apologies for any confusion this error might have caused.

If you are dissatisfied with my decision you can appeal to the Chief Executive. The Chief Executive's Central Complaints Unit will investigate your complaint; they are independent of the service you are complaining about. They will send you a report of the investigation within 25 working days.

For this appeal you should contact:

Central Complaints Unit,
3-5 Cressy Road,
London NW3 2ND

Phone: 020 7974 5644
Textphone: 020 7974 6866
e-mail: complaints®

Yours sincerely

Mary McGowan
Acting Assistant Director (Housing Management)

The original Letter can be found here: RESPONSE


On 10 June 2014 at 15:12 "Chambers, Trevor" wrote:

Dear Resident,

Thank you for your e-mail. I have now spoken to Mary Mcgowan.

She confirms that your complaint was upheld as it is clear that you were given incorrect and conflicting information. However, this was done inadvertently and was not deliberate and she does not feel that it is appropriate to award compensation.

The mistake that was made was one of human error and it is not always possible or necessary in such circumstances to introduce new rules and regulations. The two parties who provided conflicting information to you are aware of the mistake that was made and Mary tells me that she is not proposing to take any further action.

I hope that this answers your queries

Yours Sincerely

Trevor Chambers
Housing Complaints Officer

Telephone: 020 7974 1972