A TROUBLED Thamesmead housing association has joined forces with a larger housing group.

Gallions has become part of the Peabody Group which now owns and manages 27,000 homes across London.

The Thamesmead-based association has a new five-strong board to replace the one which stepped down in December.

The move came because Gallions had been reprimanded in a report by the Homes and Communities Agency over a "lack of transparency" in awarding outgoing chief executive Tony Cotter a £397,000 payoff.

The same October report also ruled Gallions had breached gas safety regulations putting tenants at risk.

A group of Thamesmead residents has been in dispute with the association over estate and maintenance charges they say are too high.

New Gallions chairman David Avery said: "This is a new start for Gallions.

"There is no doubt this has been a challenging time for the organisation.

"The immediate focus of the new board will be to look at all of the issues facing homeowners and tenants and to ensure that residents are happy with the quality of services we provide."

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