Jan 23rd 2017, 09:18
Blog 23rd January 2017
Last week I presented an in-house training session on right to buy, capital receipts and 1-4-1 replacement of sold homes at a local authority in Eastern England. The session was well received. Delegates said that the information provided was very relevant, the quality of the presentation was excellent and the training met their needs fully. They described the session as: practical, thorough, useful and valuable. Specific comments that were made included:
In common with most local authorities, Cumbria County Council is experiencing significant budget pressures caused by reductions in government funding, restrictions on the Council’s ability to raise Council Tax and increasing need especially for Adult Social Care services. I therefore wrote in support of the Council’s proposal to raise Council Tax by the maximum increase allowed of 1.99% plus 2% to fund the additional costs of adult social care. However, I also commented on other options for Council Tax, Adult Social Care, Children’s Services, the Efficiency Strategy, the Reserves, the Capital Programme, Asset Management and inflation.
A copy of my response to the consultation by Cumbria County Council can be downloaded from HERE
Eden District Council’s budgets have been protected from the most severe reductions in local government funding ever since 2010 but in my view, they are not making best use of the resources available to them. In my response to their budget consultation I suggest that the Council consider:
A copy of my response to the consultation by Eden District Council can be downloaded from HERE
Following the government’s announcement that the Starter Homes scheme will go ahead, I had some correspondence with my Member of Parliament, Rory Stewart, that I included in my blog last week (see below). In this correspondence, Rory Stewart questioned the conclusions of research by Shelter that I had quoted.
Sara Mahmoud, an Economic Analyst at Shelter, has since responded by explaining their research and its conclusions as follows:
“The reference for how these figures are calculated can be found in this report: (click HERE for a copy)
“Housing minister Gavin Barwell has indicated that the definition of Starter Homes may be broadened to include ‘affordable rent’ homes. Shelter would welcome this change and would urge the government to make sure that rents are genuinely affordable for normal local household incomes.”
This supports my contention that a person on an average income in Cumbria would not be able to afford a Starter Home but is still expected to pay tax to fund subsidies for more prosperous people who can! I expect that a similar calculation in other parts of England would produce the same conclusion.
Our next seminar is on ‘All You Want to Know about Service Charges in Social Housing’ and will be held in London in 15th February. For more information or to make a booking please click HERE