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Labour Increases Rent For All Council Tenants


Conservatives Listened to Tenants

When in administration the Conservatives listened to tenants when setting up the new housing maintenance contract. Experts, Officers, and tenants have all agreed that the Conservatives struck the very best deal that met the needs of the city 10 years ago. Sadly, what happened when a Green, followed by a Labour administration came in to power was a complete betrayal of tenants’ wishes.

Contract Not Managed Properly

A series of failures by those Administrations, as the client of the contract, was not managed properly. The common excuse used is that it was a ‘light touch contract’. This is a lie. A light touch contract has minimal oversight, and that was never the agreement. The Conservative Group have a letter from a senior lawyer, and BHCC Officer, saying that it was down to bad management by the Labour, and previously Green Administrations.

80% Satisfaction with Current Model

So, as we arrive at contract renewal once more, The Conservative Group are listening to tenants and putting their best interests at the forefront of our arguments. Reports show that over 80% of tenants are satisfied with the current service provision model; with the exception of current CallCenter arrangements which many would like to see in-house.

Conservatives Support In-house Call Centre

The Conservative group will be supporting tenant wishes for an in-house customer callcentre and quality assurance service. The council needs to get the basics right going forward to ensure any new contract is managed properly.

Forced to Support Momentum

I do understand the problems Labour councillors face; they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Local elections are in May next year and with the GMB funding their election campaign, coupled with deselection or forced resignation unless they follow their Momentum masters – they are forced to vote according to Momentum’s hard-left policies.

Fake News

I expect that once again, as has been the case over every local election since the contract has been let, tenants will be told that Mary Mears owns the company! Cllr Mears does not own the company and she is in no way associated with it. Nearly 8 years on from the signing of the contract Labour are still playing politics and spreading fake news.

Cllr Mary Mears
Cllr Mary Mears – Conservative Spokesperson for Housing

Cllr Mary Mears, the Conservative Group Spokesperson on Housing said “I don’t support the figures for setup costs given in the report. I believe it will be nearer 5 million, possibly in excess of that. All figures are only estimates.”

“The social value aspect of bringing services in-house has been glibly used with little definition or explanation. I know through the asset management panel that some councillors are very keen for members to attend a seminar on this; perhaps that will enable members to add substance to the weak and vague arguments that are currently being used to play politics. I believe members only have to look at small businesses across the city to understand the true meaning of social value.

“These local businesses train their staff to a high standard, alongside providing high-quality apprenticeships. I know many small businesses in the city also work in the community, adding their expertise to community projects, and supporting the council in delivering many of these. All in-house contracts are governed by a procurement framework, many small businesses will not fit the criteria, so the potential for loss of businesses, jobs, and apprenticeships in our city is high.

Labour Give Council Tenants A Bad Deal

“The proposed management and administration structure, with a new Assistant Director, will bring the number of management staff to 44. The estimated annual management salary cost has now been revised to reflect this new Assistant Director post at £102,000 which brings the total estimated management costs to £1.5 million; this is to manage just 58 staff! Is this really value for money for the council tenants of our great city?”

By rejecting the sensible, cost-effective, and sustainable conservative group amendments the members in Chambers, on 26 September, have voted for rent increases which council tenants are now forced to pay. Conservatives believe it is totally unacceptable that Labour’s blind pursuit of a failed political ideology, has resulted in tenants across the city paying more for the roof above their heads.

The conservative group amendment, in addition to avoiding council tenants paying more for their rent, would have resulted in more homes being built across the city; meaning Conservatives could reverse Labour’s shamefully low housebuilding record.

The conservative group amendment also accommodated the perfectly reasonable request of tenants to have their say on what and where the Estates Development Budget is spent.