Dr B.S.Potter letter to Islington Tribune and Guardian on reducing the cost to the borough of the unnecessary / unwanted components related to the Decent Homes Program! 1.8.10

It defeats belief that Islington councils only answer to the massive cut of seven million pounds recently imposed by the government due to the down turn in the economy, consists in the main to cuts related to tenants finances and services.

Surely by now even LBI/HFI must be aware that the best way to save council finances is simple—reduce the cost to the borough of the unnecessary / unwanted components related to the Decent Homes Program!

As the chairman of the Federation of Islington Tenants Associations I have recently explain to many tenants their position in relation to the implementation of the Decent Homes Program. Notably, issues such as their right to refuse the installation of both kitchens and bathrooms are constantly being ignored by contractors, and not being prominently highlighted by either LBI or HFI!

Furthermore, with regard to electrical rewiring, it is not being explained to many tenants, in plain English, that they can refuse certain aspects of this procedure, whereby, rather then submit to a completely disruptive rewire of their homes, they simply have to insist on having the existing installation checked to ascertain its condition, and if it passes without serious problems, it will often be unnecessary to continue further.

Predictably, many tenants would rather retain their existing facilities, since they consider them far superior to those on offer by the councils Decent Homes Program. Therefore, would it not be a better policy on the part of the council to insist that all contractors / subcontractors are required to initially identify tenant’s preferences before insisting on supplying unwanted equipment and services, which are paid for out of the public purse. This would at a stroke, identified the percentage of refusals by which the contracts could legally be reduced, thereby saving the borough a fortune in public expenditure, rather then contributing to the wealth of over paid contractors.

Dr B.S.Potter

Chairman FITA / ILA

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