I thought you might be interested in a grossly unfair situation that my
borough council in Surrey is faced with due to the policies of this morally
bankrupt government. Waverley Borough Council is in South West Surrey and is one
of the most affluent boroughs in the UK. However, it also has pockets of
deprivation and the council owns and manages some 5,000 council dwellings
throughout the borough.
Under an iniquitous system devised by this Labour government, nearly half
of Waverley’s rental income from its council housing stock is taken by the
government every year, presumably for redistribution elsewhere in the country
(Labour marginals perhaps?). This will amount to £10.8 million in 2008/9, which
is £2,000 per home or £40 per tenant per week. As a result of this, there is
absolutely no chance that our housing stock will be able to meet the
government’s own Decent Homes Standard, which in effect means that this Labour
government is imposing a grossly unfair tax on the most vulnerable and needy in
The council has already had to cut housing maintenance in the coming
budget, and the Housing Revenue Account has now run out of reserves. Ian
Wright, the Parliamentary under Secretary in the Department of Communities and
Local Government, has acknowledged by letter that he has become increasingly
aware that the system is unpopular and widely perceived as unfair. But all he
promises is a review, with no terms of reference and no timetable. He has
refused to meet with the Leader and Chief Executive of the council. The irony of
this situation is that if these council houses were to be transferred to a
housing trust under LSVT, the government would not take a single penny. Our
tenants have twice voted to remain with the council, and by deciding to remain
with the council this Labour government is penalising them to the tune of more
than £10m a year.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
More Money to Our Friends in the North?
I thought I'd share this email with you, from someone in local government in the Surrey Borough of Waverley...