‘We got it wrong on fees for estate work,’ says council leader Watts

‘We got it wrong on fees for estate work,’ says council leader Watts

Published: 14 February, 2014    by PETER GRUNER

TOWN Hall leader Councillor Richard Watts offered an olive branch to angry leaseholders at a packed public meeting on Wednesday night.

Cllr Watts admitted that the council may have got it wrong on many occasions on the way it charged leaseholders for work that often was of poor quality. He called for an end to the conflict.

Leaseholders, who occupy former council properties, have won several court battles in recent years against the council when they appeal against huge fees for work on estates that is often regarded as unnecessary.

And for the first time Cllr Watts paid tribute to the man who has fought for leaseholders so “tenaciously” over the years – chairman of the Islington association Dr Brian Potter.

Cllr Watts said he wanted to know how the council could help reduce leaseholders’ costs.

He added: “We will be looking at whether or not work is strictly necessary and trying to find ways of easing payments for leaseholders.”

Dr Potter said he was glad that there appeared to be a new attitude from the council.

He said: “Leaseholders simply want the same as any homeowner. If work needs to be done, fine, but let’s seek the cheapest quote rather than sign it over to some large contractor who just keeps upping the bill for the leaseholder.

“And if the work doesn’t need to be done, don’t do it.”


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