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Decent Homes – Labour running from their failure 1 December 2009

Posted by Philip Peake in Housing.
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I wrote about the Decent Homes scheme a couple of months ago when talking about the stock transfer the council are planning for the Sydenham Hill estate. Other tenants are going to be stuck with Lewisham Council and the company the council owns, Lewisham Homes.

The problem for those tenants is – like all other council tenants – the Labour Mayor of Lewisham promised in 2006 their homes would reach ‘Decent Homes standard’ by 2010. But to do that, Lewisham Homes has to be inspected by the Audit Commission and reach a two-star rating. Only then would the Government give Lewisham the money to pay to improve peoples’ houses.

Unfortunately the Government have got sick of waiting for the Mayor of Lewisham and his company to sort themselves out and earlier last year announced they were going to spend the money on something else.

Liberal Democrat councillors think this is a really important problem which affects many peoples’ quality of life, so we put down a motion to Full Council so your representatives could discuss it properly. Labour, being scared of a debate, treated the whole thing as a joke, and played procedural games. One Labour councillor even went so far as to list the platforms at London Bridge station (“Platform 1, Platform 2, Platform 3…” etc) to deliberately waste time. They did this in two separate council meetings.

In 2006, people across Lewisham elected enough Lib Dem councillors that we have enough to call an emergency meeting of the Council. So that’s what we’ve done. The meeting will be on 16th December and will be open to the public. If you’re concerned about the state of council housing in the borough, do come along so the administration and officers can see that people ARE concerned. After all, since the Labour Mayor promised tenants that their houses would get better by 2010, the number failing the ‘Decent Homes standard’ has actually RISEN until now 7 out of 10 homes are officially not-decent.

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