“The council, along with other local authorities who have housing stock, has a 30-year business plan to ensure that it is able to maintain its properties.
According to the authority’s calculations, the one per cent rent cut could mean East Devon’s ring-fenced Housing Revenue Account would reduce by £77.2 million over the next three decades. The council said this loss of income makes the business plan unviable.
The proposal has also been described as “particularly unwelcome” because the Government required East Devon District Council to take on £84.5 million of debt in 2012 in return for freedoms and flexibilities to run its council housing free from government interference.
The debt was based on the Government’s assessment of income and expenditure over 30 years, and three years into that arrangement, the government has been accused of proposing to “move the goalposts”.
Councillor Elson is urging the Government to reconsider the policy. She said: “This is very short sighted and this policy has tough consequences on us as a council and on tenants too. We need to secure a more effective balance between the needs of present and future tenants in the long term”
But, of course, it won’t stop them spending £8m plus on a new HQ – just cut down the amount of social housing they will finance.
And how interesting they had a 30 year maintenance plan for their housing stock, but not for their HQ!
Someone has also added a trenchant comment:
More blackmail from the Council. Their response to anything is “if you don’t do what we say, we’ll throw our toys out of the pram” but I notice they’re still spending £££s on moving offices, and more £££s on the seafront scheme which no one wants. Priorities! They’re always blackmailing the residents about something, anytime they have to toe the line. they threaten to make someone suffer for it.