Friday, October 14, 2005

Leaseholders: when will the Council give a damn?

Islington North Chairman Chris Skidmore attended a meeting of the Islington Leaseholder's Forum on October 12th at the Town Hall. One hundred leaseholders faced with crippling repair bills from Homes for Islington turned up to hear what the Liberal democrat council had to say for themselves. Instead they were faced with rows of empty chairs. In response, Chris had the following letter published in the Islington Tribune:

Dear Sir,

I would like to voice my amazement at the recent repair bills sent to leaseholders by HfI. At a meeting of Islington Leasholder’s Forum, I was shocked to see the nature of these charges. At Crouch Hall Court, leaseholders are being forced to shell out nearly £15,000 each, with one elderly lady being charged £6,500 for painting her walls! Another man faced a bill of nearly £40,000. These people will simply not be able to pay. Many are on income support or are pensioners. They are now paying for the council’s neglect of these buildings- thirty years of Labour and Liberal neglect. They do not deserve this treatment. After all, before they purchased their properties, these people paid rent and service charges to the council- why wasn’t this spent on the repairs when they were needed, rather than let these buildings fall into such a state of disgusting repair?
There is something seriously wrong with a Liberal council that expects the vulnerable- the people they should be helping- to bear the brunt of their mistakes. While Steve Hitchins awards himself a pay-rise to £60,000 and his executive £42,000, his residents are finding it hard to even live. But do they care? All 48 councillors were invited to the ILF meeting. But only Dave Barnes, Derek Sawyer and myself (un-elected) turned up to listen to these leaseholders’ concerns. The harsh fact of the matter is that the Liberals do not care about anything- except the cash in the back of their pockets.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Skidmore
Chairman, Islington North Conservatives

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