Conservative Group Leader, Cllr. Geoffrey Theobald, is seeking changes to the make-up of a Trust that was established to manage Council-owned homes in Stanmer Village.
The move follows allegations by residents in a deputation to last week’s Full Council meeting that the Brighton & Hove Estates Conservation Trust is not properly fulfilling its duties in its lease agreement to keep the properties in good repair. Tenants also claim that they are being threatened with eviction for questioning proposed rent hikes of up to 20%.
In addition, the Trust’s latest annual report states that “the financial position continues to be difficult owing to past bad debts.”
Cllr. Theobald is proposing that the Conservative Group Environment Spokesman, Tony Janio, becomes one of the two Council-nominated representatives on the Trust Board, in place of either Labour Councillor Gill Mitchell or Green Councillor Pete West.
Cllr. Theobald said: “We are very concerned at what appears to be going on in Stanmer Village. Clearly these allegations need to be investigated properly but in my experience there is generally no smoke without fire and something must be going badly wrong between the Trust and its tenants for them to raise their concerns at a public Council meeting. In these circumstances, we feel that it would be beneficial for the Board of Trustees to have some new blood and I think Cllr. Janio, who is passionate about conservation and has an excellent grasp of financial matters, is just the man for the job.”