Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Council tenants fuming at Labour's "cleaning tax" on poor

I'm pleased to say my campaign for a fair deal for Council tenants in Reading is really gaining momentum. You may recall as part of my campaign I have been calling for better value cleaning services for RBC. tenants on estates in Reading.

The Labour politicians that run the Council in Reading are planning to start charging tenants for cleaning services later this year (due to the black hole in the Council's housing budget - courtesy of the Labour government's failed housing finance policies), and despite the fact that a recent survey carried out by the Council found that thousands of tenants are dissatisfied by the cleaning services they receive from RBC.

The scrutiny review I led towards the end of last year found that there was much room for improvement in this Council service area with cleaning in many areas patchy at best. Labour were forced to delay the implementation of charging for cleaning services after the poor feedback from tenants.

It is disappointing that so many tenants are clearly not getting value for money services from their Council. Anyway, this evening I received a letter from a resident who lives in West Reading supporting my campaign and deeply dissatisfied with Labour:

"I wish to say I was very pleased to see in the local paper that someone is standing up for Council tenants against these charges. My son who has earning difficulties...and his wife who has a part-time job...really can't afford extra with the rent going up as well...to around £80 per week that they are expected to pay - and as there are only 2 other flats who pay full rent (no subsidy) - they are the only ones affected - it's certainly not fair on them."

My correspondent goes on to say that cleaning on the estate where her daughter lives receives very little thorough cleaning: 'only a sweep through every fortnight and no reports on items that need mending/repairing'.

I like getting feedback from local people as it helps me keep in touch with what they think as opposed to what Labour politicians think local people are thinking...

The letter finishes: "Thinking of you and hoping you will get help from other councillors."

I received an email along a similar vein last night:

"I would like to thank you again for all your sterling efforts...I know you will do your best to press the issue. I believe that a lot more Labour councillors will lose their seats in the May election, which can only help!

My campaign for fair deal for Reading's Council tenants continues.

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