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Being Labour, Cotterill on the Council

Tory housing disaster: arrogance and incompetence

11.15.10 | Comment?

Here’s Labour’s statement on The Audit Commission’s zero-rating of the Council housing service…….

 

West Lancashire Labour Group has reacted to the Audit Commission’s zero-rating of the council’s housing services.

Cllr Bob Pendleton, Shadow Portfolio Holder for Housing Services, said:

“This is a terrible report, and a final indictment of the Conservative administration’s  arrogant ineptitude.

The report will make painful reading not just for tenants on the receiving end of such a poor service, but also for the loyal, hard-working and skilled staff who work in the housing service.  They are capable of offering a very high quality service, as the Audit Commission report makes clear, but they are simply not being given a chance by the Tories.”

Cllr Paul Cotterill, leader of the Labour group also commented:

“The Tories are burying their heads in the sand with their ridiculously defensive reaction to this report.  They are simply repeating the mistakes of last year, when they refused to take seriously an earlier ‘organisational assessment’ which was highly critical of the housing service.   Our statement said at the time (December 2009):

“[T]he biggest council failings identified by the Audit Commission come in its housing service.  The catalogue of failings in the Housing Department include a failing repairs and maintenance service; delays in safety checks on gas appliances; long waits for tenants on the phone; delays for families in temporary accommodation; delays in letting homes; increasing rent arrears.  Finally, the council has simply failed in its duties to provide anywhere near enough affordable housing for the people of West Lancashire.

The assessment demonstrates the administration has failed to properly fund housing services, and that tenants are not receiving the services to which they are entitled.””

Cllr Pendleton continued:

“It is difficult to avoid the impression, now held by some tenants in West Lancashire, that the Tory administration has been deliberately running down the service through continued under-investment and poor political direction.  It tried to shirk its responsibilities on 2005 by selling of housing, leading to significant rent hikes.

The tenants’ refusal to go along with this plan has rankled with them ever since, and running down the service has been a back door route to another sell-off attempt. 

This option is now off the agenda, and the real way forward for tenants is the return of a Labour administration which is actually interested in and committed to housing.  The Tories have shown that they are neither interested nor competent.”

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