Tower Hamlets councillors at loggerheads over Decent Homes scheme
PUBLISHED: 17:21 09 October 2012
The quality of work carried out under Tower Hamlets council's Decent Homes scheme has plummeted following slashes to average spends, Labour has claimed.
The council has been accused of sacrificing quality in order to allow a greater number of households to benefit from the scheme, with £3,500 less being spent on each renovation than when the programme started in 2009.
During the 2009-10 pilot scheme an average of £13,300 was being spent on each home.
Labour’s housing spokesman Cllr Sirajul Islam said: “Cutting back on spending just to increase numbers is shamefully political and will leave residents with lower quality work which will not stand the test of time.
“We will not stand by and let the Mayor dismantle the progress we made by scrimping on costs and leaving residents with substandard work.”
Tower Hamlets council puts the reduction in spending down to a focus on internal improvements, which are cheaper than external works, and claims the average spend will increase to £15,000 per property next year.
Cabinet member for housing Cllr Rabina Khan said: “The only place there have been cuts is by the coalition to the grant we receive for Decent Homes work, but this Mayor has pledged to invest a further £39.4 million. This is well above the amount that other boroughs have contributed to their Decent Homes programmes.”