Lynne Featherstone

MP for Hornsey and Wood Green

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£5m raid for troubled Haringey ‘Decent Homes’ project

Money set aside to repair local residents’ homes was raided by Haringey Council’s Labour Cabinet last week, after it was  forced to pump yet more taxpayers’ money into the troubled ‘Decent Homes’ programme. Over £5 million was diverted from Haringey Council’s Major Repairs Fund to plug a gap in the Decent Homes budget, due to a Labour overspend on digital aerials and pitched roofs.

Only last month it was revealed that the Decent Homes project was £26 million in the red. The Homes for Haringey Gateway Report showed that the project overspent on items that were not shown in the original budget. This threatens work to homes still to be improved by the four year Decent Homes programme.

Local Liberal Democrats, concerned at the continual problems with the Decent Homes programme, have questioned Labour’s ability to control such large financial projects.

Cllr Matt Davies, Liberal Democrat Housing Spokesperson, comments:

“This project is rapidly descending into a financial farce. Sadly, once again, it is the Haringey taxpayer and council leaseholders who will have to pick up the tab for Labour’s financial incompetence.

“The Council’s own report shows that the Decent Homes project is over-budget, thanks to the massive overspend on digital aerials and pitched roofs.

“It may be desirable to have these, but you do not spend money that you do not have and which was never in the original budget.

“Now, Labour have had to dip into the Major Repairs Fund, which was already allocated for urgent repairs, to bail out the Decent Homes Project. It clearly demonstrates yet another Labour financial project that is out of control.”

Lynne Featherstone MP adds:

“This is more evidence of a council in crisis. Council leaseholders are being used as a cash cow, to hide Labour’s financial incompetence in the Decent Homes programme. They have had to fork out over £1000 each, to fund Labour’s reckless spending.”

Mon 14 September 2009
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