The Government requires the Council to prove that it is running a housing service that is, at least, satisfactory before allowing it to invest such large amounts of public money. The Gazette is reporting that the Audit Commission has graded H&F Council’s housing management as “poor” with “uncertain prospects for improvement”. I understand that H&F Council is contesting this judgement and for the sake of the thousands of local people that would be affected by this, I hope they are successful.
Housing management has been cloaked in secrecy since the Conservatives took office two years ago with the scale of their failure only now becoming clear. H&F Council’s housing service was viewed as one of the best in the UK only a few years back. It passed the last two Audit Commission inspections under the last Labour Administration - which had secured the multi-million Decent Homes investment programme in 2004.
Cllr. Lisa Nandy, Labour’s Shadow Lead on Housing and Regeneration, has confirmed that the Opposition will do everything it can to help the appeal. She commented “Some of our residents are now facing a situation where they are stuck in appalling housing conditions, while their neighbours enjoy a decent standard of living. The Opposition will commit our assistance to the Tory Council to help them to appeal their "poor" rating, and win back the money Labour secured to give people decent homes. We urge them to put party politics aside and accept our offer of help, which is based on years of running a well rated housing service”.