Rolling News

Juniper News May 2010.
Six months after the decision, the membership has still not been notified of the secret, unadvertised, uncontested appointment of Sharon Costelloe as manager. 

The football cage continues to fulfill its predictions. The noise made by the structure is a genuine nuisance, and the level of support promised by management has not materialised.
So the cage is regularly closed. Ball games are therefore happening on the grass near flats, with predictable skirmishes and even reports of racist abuse and other unpleasantness.
Meanwhile, the other segregated areas are as unused as if they too were locked. The infants play machines are untouched, and the geriatric ornamental traffic island hasn't seen anyone seated around it in over a year.
The entire design strategy of dividing the age-groups so that they hardly have to interact is in tatters. predictably enough.

So where is it?
After a typically pathetic announcement months ago, and a plea for people to provide pictures, the promised juniper house website is still unsee by human eye.
JuniMan has clearly never heard of Google Sites, which makes websites child's play. But
come to think of it, what does management know about child-play? It's choices for the garden seem more appropriate for zoo-animals than children.

Juniper News. March 2010.

Juniper 'management' (i.e. two people) have successfully destroyed the Garden Sub-Committee by refusing it access to storage and tools and by pre-empting its decisions. The chair of the group has resigned from management altogether after many years service. All the other sub-groups agreed with LBS have met the same fate.
At the same time, Sharon Costelloe, once the chair, is now the worker, but the co-op membership still has not been officially informed of this fact, No interviews have been held for the post, and Ms Costelloe has no obvious or formal qualifications for it.

This state of affairs is typical of the shoddy way in which Juniper has been run for several years, and has understandably generated record levels of apathy and divisiveness, not to mention costing the borough a great deal of money, and bringing the whole ideal of co-operative housing into disrepute.



After only a couple of years, the new doors chosen by management and the worker have begun to fail all over the block. The rumour is that we are no longer covered by any guarantee, which will presumably mean more expense. Congratulations again to the part-time, untrained amateurs of Juniper management on a brilliantly implemented choice. And not forgetting all the help from those wonderful professionals at Southwark council, without whom none of this, or the rotting front fences, would be possible.


Here we go back into the dark ages of rumour and speculation. There have been no minutes distributed for months.


It is gratifying to see that management have reversed their attitude. After all, it was not a question of choice. Minutes and meetings notices are compulsory obligations, not optional extras.


£5000 is to be awarded to Juniper for a Play Hut of some description. This comes after years of pressure from kids for some form of 'tree house' or den which they can make their own.
This summer, different designs were created by Juniper kids, and presented to management, only to be dismissed out of hand.
But given its' record of botched projects so far, hopes are not high that the current fractured Juniper management structure won't make another fine mess of spending this new money.
So to help management understand what is needed, JuniperHouse Info presents its preferred design, already approved by a small section of residents.


July 1st 2008


 Juniper members leaving the block by the southern staircase on June 24th were surprised to discover that they were invited to a general meeting that same night. The shabby sheet of A4 stuffed in the side of the display case was the first they'd heard of it. In fact, it was the first they'd heard of any Juniper business since before the last general meeting, for which no members known to this site have received minutes. This is probably unprecedented in the history of Juniper  House.

 All general meetings have to have at least a week's notice, for obvious reasons. Members have to have time to consider any items on the agenda, and to submit any proposals of their own. With such peremptory warning, any determined cabal can completely manipulate any organisation.
This current code of secrecy is obviously a breach of democratic principles which renders the co-op unconstitutional and which means any decisions taken at this so-called meeting are null and void.

 Who is running this place?



If you want to know what is being done to Juniper, there is now no way of finding out. From now on, Juniper Management are not producing or distributing minutes of meetings. At least, none have yet been seen of the last General  Meeting, or any of the management meetings since. This is entirely unconstitutional, but not unusual.

At the last general meeting, according to members present, 'Carl' stated that the surface of the new playcage was to be of reconstituted trainers. This therefore implies that it will be safe for children to fall onto. Naturally, this was not true, and the children now clambering 10 foot to the top of the goal/basketball structure can be sure that when they do fall, they will seriously hurt themselves. Perhaps Juniper carries public lliability insurance now, or perhaps it doesn't. If it does, it will have moved on since the decision to destroy the old play pyramid, which it was almost impossible to fall any distance from, and which was sited on grass. The excuse for its destruction was that the co-op could not be responsible for any injuries caused. In ten years, nobody was injured on this popular piece of equipment..The injuries likely when falling over ten feet on to hard tarmac can only be guessed at. 

April 2008 



While tens of thousands of pounds are being wasted on a grossly over-specified playspace made necessary by the vandalism of management itself, and a gullible media are conned into selling and easy regeneration story to their readers and listeners, Juniper residents repairs are being neglected.

 In more than one flat, essential emergency repairs are sliding into their second month due to the incompetence and apathy of management, and the residents driven to distraction in the resulting dirt and chaos and damp.

Management are far too busy planning the huge backslapping exercise which will mark the official opening of the child cage. It's what they are best at. Be sure to be there to tell the assembled media what you think. 

Flat one, where nobody lives, is being painstakingly refurbished for second time in six years in order to host the forthcoming festivities, so residents and media should be made very comfortable. Unlike the poor residents still living amid the plaster dust, damp and dirt of kitchens left unusable by the incompetence of management.

 The timescales for repairs are clearly published in your tenancy agreements. They are your rights. Make the co-op stick to them - especially when you are the victims of leaks from the flats of committee members, who seem to think they are above the rules, and can do their own repairs to their own standards and timescales - as seems to be the case with the leaseholders of flat 19.



The miserably designed, hastily approved, incredibly ugly,  off-the-shelf front gates have failed again, as widely predicted. They presumably been repaired (again) at Juniper's expense - though we may never be told. The new and improved exit system, decided upon by our current worker, not management, is able to be opened from the inside at the push of a button. So our security gates are not exactly, well, secure. Those choosing to use this new access feature can drive their wrecks in, or drive your car out. 

 Ultimately, the blame doesn't lie so much with the design of the poor old gates, or their inferior quality (see above) or even with the hapless supplier in his shiny suit, but with the lack of thought and debate which went into their choice. The reason for that is simple. One committee meeting a month is not time enough to make informed decisions, especially in specialised areas.
This is yet another example of the failure of the top-down approach to tenant management, and a clear case for the return to a group system in which issues could be discussed in depth by knowledgeable, interested residents who would then report their conclusions back to the co-op.
The current system discourages involvement and therefore results in one or two people with no qualifications or relevant experience making key decisions with no consultation or debate. A complete lack of accountability which is not democratic and not sustainable.



Since the time of the total ban on smoking at work was introduced, 'Manager' Rosie Lewis has found herself unable to continue in her post. She is now in dispute with the co-op. Management are not sharing the details.

Since this might result in a large payment, it seems reasonable that Juniper Members should be kept informed of the details. But the current managent regime do not believe in sharing much information. If they did, they would be writing this website, not me.


 Issue 1.

The Minutes of the February management meeting asked for feedback and ideas about the future, and assessments of the recent works undertaken by management.

Many residents would like to know how much the garden project cost in full, and how much Juniper House TMC ended up paying.

We would also like to know whether the ugly,  unreliable gates are being repaired at the expense of the contractor, or again whether Juniper's budget is bearing the burden.

But the greatest concern is for the gradual erosion of the community since the misguided destruction of the Juniper Square, and all the activities it made possible.

This website is the source of non-management opinion on Juniper affairs. It is open to all submissions, and the messageboards are availabe for all to use.

Why this site has not been set up by management is a mystery. But on its various pages it will attempt to provide some of the suggestions asked for by management, and a permanent forum for discussion of juniper issues. 

It can naturally be also used to share information on work, welfare, or benefit matters, and is a point of  call for local councillors to take note of.

See pages titled

Garden Review
Communities Need A Centre
The Organisation, and 
The Future

 feel free to email any comments to

or post them on the messageboard