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We oppose arms length' housing on costs and lack of democracy

PUBLISHED: 19:18 20 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:33 05 October 2010

From Cllr Tim Archer (Con): Dr BOB Potter quite rightly raised the issue in last week's Advertiser of the bogus survey that was conducted by the Labour-run Tower Hamlets Council to support the setting-up of Tower Hamlets Homes, the arms length' housing management organisation. The Conservatives on Tower Hamlets Council have consistently opposed the setting-up of the arms length' organisation, not just the huge costs, but because of the lack of democracy involved in its creation

From Cllr Tim Archer (Con):

Dr BOB Potter quite rightly raised the issue in last week's East London Advertiser of the bogus survey that was conducted by the Labour-run Tower Hamlets Council to support the setting-up of Tower Hamlets Homes, the 'arms length' housing management organisation (Advertiser Letters, August 14).

He did this on the back of my highlighting the £320,000 of our money that has been spent setting up Tower Hamlets Homes.

The Conservatives on Tower Hamlets Council have consistently opposed the setting-up of the 'arms length' organisation, not just because of the huge costs, but mainly because of the lack of democracy involved in its creation.

We have argued from Day 1 that all tenants and leaseholders on council estates should have been given a vote on whether to transfer or not. As a result, we Conservatives have refused to take up any positions on the board of Tower Hamlets Homes.

I have argued in the council chamber and in overview and scrutiny committees that all residents should be allowed to vote on the future of council estates rather than a mere survey of a small number.

I argued in a recent article I wrote for the Tower Hamlets Leaseholders Newsletter how unfair the survey conducted was for leaseholders in particular.

Leaseholders make up around 45 per cent of the stock of Tower Hamlets Homes. But of those surveyed, only 25 per cent were leaseholders. That's far from representative!

Dr Potter is right to highlight the questionable nature of the survey that was conducted by the council, but wrong to claim Conservatives have only opposed 'arms length' management on grounds of cost. We opposed it on the basis of principle, democracy and costs!

Cllr Tim Archer (Con)

Blackwall & Cubitt Town

Tower Hamlets Council

Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Poplar & Limehouse

Plymouth Wharf, Isle of Dogs

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