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Tower Hamlets leaseholders protest over a rise in service charges

PUBLISHED: 16:00 07 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:00 05 October 2010

By Else Kvist THE Town Hall has been accused of going back on its promise to cut service charges after the organisation managing its council estates has doubled residents bills. Residents say a £50 re

By Else Kvist

THE Town Hall has been accused of going back on its promise to cut service charges after the organisation managing its council estates has doubled residents' bills.

Residents say a £50 rebate promised to council leaseholders by Labour's housing chief Mark Frances two years ago has been "wiped out" after Tower Hamlets Homes doubled its administration fee, part of the service charges.

Residents from Hewison Street in Bow say the administration fee was reduced from £150 to £100 following the rebate, but this year the charge has gone up to £200.

Former councillor Ray Gigson, a leaseholder of Hewison Street, said: "My annual service charge is now nearly £900 and we don't get services worth that much and it can't cost that much to administer the block."

Cllr Francis said: "The estimate of £107 for 2009/10 closely reflects my view of a justifiable admin charge. I was surprised to note the actual increased admin charge for 2008/09 and have asked Tower Hamlets Homes for urgent clarification of how this figure has been calculated.

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