At a meeting of The Audit & Standards Committee in City Chambers, on Tuesday March 27th, Conservative Councillors Nick Lewry, and Andrew Wealls – together with Committee Chairman Cllr Joe Miller – achieved a significant win for every council tenant in our City.
Were Tenants Charged Incorrectly?
In September of last year the Housing Service at Brighton & Hove City Council was tasked to review and resolve (in conjunction with the contractor) discrepancies between work carried out and the charges applied for electrical work under the Partnering Agreement between the Council and Mears Ltd, (now Mears Group Plc).
The Council and Mears entered into a long term partnership agreement in 2010
for the provision of a full range of property maintenance services, and other
associated works, primarily but not exclusively for those properties held within the
Council’s Housing Revenue Account. The review undertaken relates solely to domestic
rewire activities, undertaken as part of the planned maintenance programme set
out in that Contract.
Conservatives Demand Robust & Fair Defense of Our City’s Tenants
Unhappy with Members being asked to simply note the report, Conservative Councillors amended the recommendations. The Conservative’s amendment ensures action will be taken where the council is being wrongly billed. The Conservative Group in Brighton and Hove believe the chaotic Labour Administration must be held to account, for not properly ensuring that city funds are spent correctly.
Speaking after the meeting, Committee Chair Cllr Joe Miller said “This amendment protects city funds through ensuring the council will challenge our contractors extremely robustly where we believe we have a claim against them. It ensures that, where justified, this council will challenge inaccurate or inappropriate charges: and defend strongly any counterclaim should one materialise. This is a great result for our city’s tenants by protecting their hard paid rents, and I’m delighted at what we’ve achieved tonight.”
The Conservative Amendment In Full
“That the Audit & Standards Committee support officers in robustly pursuing Brighton & Hove City Council claims in relation to all nine categories where the legal position justifies it whilst robustly and fairly defending the city’s tenants should Mears make a counterclaim” The original agenda item can be viewed here.