Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Liberty Living bosses intervened in departure of halls boss

Former Liberty Quays manager Stephanie Triggs left after a series of failings at the student halls, it has emerged today.
In an exclusive story for the Medwire, a source at the university confirmed that management from Liberty Living, which owns the University of Kent halls in Gillingham, “could not risk” having Ms Triggs as a manager during the Welcome Weekend.
As new students settle in to the halls this week, we revealed last week that Liberty Quays was without a manager following Ms Triggs’ departure from site after just six months in the position, the second manager to leave in just a year.
The source confirmed that management had been to see Ms Triggs just weeks before the start of term, after a series of failings and mistakes made by the former manager.
“They couldn’t risk having her as a manager during welcome weekend,” the source, who does not wish to be named, confirmed.
The source went on to confirm that Ms Triggs had sent emails to various Liberty Living representatives, staff and even students, asking for advice and help.
This comes after a campaign by over 150 disgruntled students, parents and members of the public criticised the halls, complaining about the checking-out procedure, steep fines and rude, unfriendly staff.
The source said: “She used to ask people what to do in silly situations.”
“They needed a manager who could make decisions on their own”, the source added. “Not someone who kept hassling other people for help.”
“Liberty Living have officially said it was a joint decision she left,” the source said.
In exclusive emails obtained by the Medwire, Ms Triggs had asked one student to provide an appraisal for the company as a gesture of goodwill.
In an email sent to student trustee Maya Esslemont, who had previously launched a successful petition against Liberty Quays following bogus fines sent to students regarding fire extinguishers, Ms Triggs asked Maya to give her “an honest appraisal of the general check out experience at Liberty.”
Ms Triggs went on to reveal that the appraisal was needed after several students and parents had complained about the service provided by Liberty Quays.
“We have had a few unpleasant accusations”, Ms Triggs said in the email.
“I really would like to see if you have a perspective that would help me put things into context”, she added.
Commenting on the request, Maya said: “I couldn’t help but wonder if my involvement in the last Liberty Quays controversy crossed her mind when my heavily stained room was given the seal of approval.”
“Even if my intentions weren’t cynical, I could never support a company that continually rips off students, through high rent and scams in equal measure”, she added.
Liberty Living were unavailable for comment. Written by Kieran Watkins for the Medwire

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