April 22, 2024

After the furore at Mere Court, another Peverel site rebels in Knutsford

At Ash Court, Knutsford, residents are dismayed that a well-liked house manager has quit ... while Peverel is jumpy about a right-to-manage uprising

At Ash Court, Knutsford, residents are dismayed that a well-liked house manager has quit … while Peverel is jumpy about a right-to-manage uprising

Acrimonious exchanges between Peverel management and a house manager of 10-years standing have caused a second retirement leasehold site in Knutsford to erupt in rebellion.

Marge Ashley, 67, originally from South Africa, handed in her notice two days ago at Ash Court.

Her departure has caused widespread dismay among residents. The case comes within days of Peverel deciding to sell off the house manager’s flat at Mere Court if the residents vote to end the in-house manager service. It is far from certain that Peverel actually owns the property.

The company says it will make a £10,000 contribution to the contingency fund, and the case has raised concerns with both local MP George Osborne and Sir Peter Bottomley, who are demanding explanations.

It is not known what ambitions, if any, Peverel has for the in-house manager’s flat at Ash Court, shortly to be vacated by Marge Ashley.

“It is absolutely disgraceful how they have treated her,” says Ann Cowburn, 75. “She has put a lot of her life into this place and always put the interests of the elderly residents first.”

Mrs Cowburn, who has lived on site for three months, concedes that Miss Ashley is a strong personality. It is also admitted that some residents would be less sad to see her go than others.

“I saw how she was treated when we had a meeting with the area and regional manager here recently, and it was not acceptable. I am very sorry that she has resigned, because that means her enemies have won.”

The meeting at Ash Court was prompted by a circular to residents from a managing agent offering to take the block right to manage and to dispense with Peverel.

Peverel executives are keen to thwart the move, but the departure of a well-liked house manager is not going to help.

In a deeply ironical twist, one of the main supporters of taking the site away from Peverel’s management is a resident who is also a shareholder in private equity group Electra – one of the new owners of Peverel along with Chamonix.

“Fortunately, Electra has investments in many other enterprises than Peverel,” s/he said.


  1. Michael Epstein says

    Of course with the exception of those directly involved no outsider can ever know the exact circumstances that led to Marge Ashley deciding to leave the employ of Peverel.
    Doubtless there are may dedicated members of staff, who must wonder daily, what the next scandal to hit their company will be. Even off duty, if they mention they work for Peverel someone will say “Is that the lot that was in the newspaper?”
    If it is indeed the case that to raise cash Peverel need to sell House Manager’s flats (whether they own them is open to question) they can only sell them without a live in house manager.
    If i were such a person i would be very worried. Loyalty and dedication will count for nothing if it gets in the way of Peverel getting their hands on a few bob.

  2. Michael Epstein says

    Further to my last comment, and with genuine sympathy for those that work for Peverel as house Managers and have done a good job in demanding circumstances i may have part of a solution to the problem of retaining your job and home.
    I have to say that if it is the genuine will of residents, managing agents and freeholders that they have no further wish for a live in house manager, i don’t think there is a lot that can be done.
    That said, if pressure or inducements are being offered to residents to agree to letting go of the live in house manager, in order that the managing agent can realise the asset value of the flat, something can be done, but it needs to be done quickly.
    Encourage the development to undertake a Right To Manage. If this is successful, under TUPE, your employment legally transfers to the new RTM company.
    Of course, that will not prevent any decision the new RTM company may make about continuing with a live in house manager, but that decision will be made without any pressure or inducement to assist a sale of the property.
    Therefore if residents want you, they will keep you, as simple as that. At least it means you don’t lose your job and home to make Peverel some money.

  3. A Reviewer says


    they have been doing this for years

    when they had a “lawyer” [law society did not know him only “of” him] on board called rdf bagley fsa scot

    fsa = fellow society of antiquities of scotland which you [used to ?] get if you subscibe £20 per year to the museums of scotland.

    [EDIT …]

  4. anonymous says

    Why do people delete comments on here. So much for being able to be anonymous, What a useless site and totally one-sided. Viva Peverel

    • Is that all you have to contribute Anonymous?……. Bravo….. what a waste of your time…

      If it is so one sided then have your say if you dare!!

  5. Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation says

    Your comment was deleted because you made allegations about Marge Ashley which are more suited to an employment tribunal.

    This site is not here to air personal disputes of this sort.

  6. Michael Epstein says

    To me, i see a difference in posting the name of a director of Peverel than an employee, who must have the same right of defence as any other employee and indeed the same right as you would have.
    I speak as someone who has always given my name. You on the other hand (even if what you say is true) remain anonymous. That has to be unfair. You should note that even i have been edited. That is a decision that at times i have disagreed with but must be the decision of the editor, who is responsible for the site.
    You are of course entitled to believe this site is totally useless. That said, residents who have had millions of pounds refunded to them might disagree with that opinion.

    • Trevor Bradley says

      Have to support ME 100% on this one. I am totally happy to give my name, and any other details if required. I am happy to stand up to anyone with the true facts. Come on out of the cupboard “Anonymouse”