One of Nottingham’s most famous sons, writer, poet, film and TV producer Henry Normal, is in the city to help celebrate 100 years of council housing this week.
Nottingham City Homes marked the centenary at its Annual General Meeting yesterday (12 September) where Henry and other speakers entertained guests in attendance.
Henry was born in St Ann’s in 1956, then moved to a council house in Bilborough when he was seven. He grew up on the estates of Bilborough and Top Valley, and at the event he talked about how they shaped him both personally and professionally. He is now a partner in TV production company Baby Cow Productions along with Steve Coogan, and has created some of Britain’s best TV comedy including Gavin and Stacey, Red Dwarf and Alan Partridge.
Speaking at the event, Henry said: “I’m honoured to have been asked to speak at the AGM for Nottingham City Homes. Nottingham City Council provided a sturdy roof over my head and my family’s heads for many years. It’s a lovely opportunity for me to say thank you.”
Also speaking at the event was Aileen Evans, incoming President of the Chartered Institute of Housing. Aileen’s career in housing began in 1979 with Nottingham City Council as a Neighbourhood Services Manager in Bulwell.
Nick Murphy, Chief Executive at Nottingham City Homes, said: “Over the last 100 years there have been thousands of people who have played some part in Nottingham’s council house history – we want to honour and celebrate them this year as part of the centenary celebrations. For some, council housing provided the only opportunity of a decent, affordable home over the years.
“Looking back over the last year we have had some great achievements, from building new homes for local people, to opening our first extra care facility at Winwood Court. We opened our beautiful Victoria Centre roof garden and we’ve been installing sprinklers in our tower blocks.
“But this year more than ever we need more council homes, there is a national housing crisis and we have over 7,000 people on our waiting lists for homes. The Government needs to work with the council to support us in building even more affordable homes for Nottingham people.”
Cllr Linda Woodings, Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Heritage at Nottingham City Council said, “Nottingham’s council housing story and the communities which have been created as part of that journey are as important now as they were a hundred years ago.
“I’m really proud that, as part of Nottingham’s 100 year celebrations, we’re able to hear the personal stories behind Nottingham’s council housing journey, how it helped to shape the lives of those living here, and how we continue to strive to build quality housing for those who need homes the most.”