A site for residents of Prince's Ward, SE11, in the London Borough of Lambeth. Check for updates from your Labour Action Team's campaigning, local information, and meetings.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Mark takes fight for lower rents to Westminster

Lambeth Council was forced to put up rents this year because of an appalling catalogue of Lib Dem incompetence dating from their time in office from 2002 to 2006 that left the council with too little money to pay for the housing service.
When the Lib Dems were voted out of office in May 2006, they left:
-Housing overspend of £8m
-Zero financial reserves
-£3m missing in the biggest housing fraud in British local government history
-£11m Government subsidy for de-pooling rents and charges unclaimed
-A contract for temporary accommodation that caused a £12m overspend because the housing had to be paid for even after the number of homeless people was reduced by half.
The total Lib Dem financial black hole adds up to £34m.

Even though Labour cut the costs of managing council homes by one third and got them down to the London average, council rents still had to go up to pay off the difference.

Now the Lib Dems have called a special vote at the town hall next week, claiming that the rent rise is "still not enough". Labour will not be supporting this Lib Dem attempt to force through an even higher rent rise.
Instead, Labour councillors and Mark Harrison, Labour's candidate in the Princes Ward by-election, are calling on the Government to step in with some of the cash the Lib Dems failed to claim.

Mark Harrison said: "This year's rent rise was forced on the council by the Lib Dem legacy of fraud and failure, and now they've called a special vote to put rents up even higher. I'm backing calls for the Government to step in and help the council out instead. Why should tenants be left to pay more rent just because Lib Dem incompetence created a £34m black hole in the finances?"

Together with Kate Hoey MP, Mark has already met with Housing Minister Margaret Beckett to argue that Lambeth tenants should have this year’s rent rise reduced.

To read Kate's speech in the House of Commons on Lambeth's rents please click here .

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Promoted by David Amos and Joanne Simpson of Prince's Branch Labour Party (Vauxhall Constituency and Lambeth Borough) all at 264A Rosendale Road, SE24 9DL