Liberal Democrats are calling for an extra £500,000 to be spent improving the condition of housing estates in York.
Restoring pride in Council estate environment
The extra funding will be focused on tidying-up communal areas, repairs, improvements to car parking facilities, and a re-launched programme to replace draughty windows.
The move follows concerns from council tenants, falling satisfaction levels with many estate services, and missed performance targets by Labour run City of York Council.
The proposals are part of the Liberal Democrat budget amendment, which will be debated at today’s full Council meeting.
The Lib Dems are calling for an extra £3 million to be put into frontline services such as road repairs, community centres and green bin collections.
The Lib Dem housing move is funded from the council’s Housing Revenue Account (HRA) – a ring-fenced housing account which currently has a surplus of £15 million and is split from the main council budget. Rents are being increased by 2% from April.
Cllr Ann Reid, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Housing, commented:
Dealing with parking issues
“Residents have contacted us concerned about issues such as overgrown weeds, damaged fencing, broken streetlights, littering and dog fouling. Basic services have suffered since 2011 and show Labour’s continued neglect and under-investment in the city’s estates.
“We want to put an extra £500,000 in from the Housing Revenue Account to tackle these issues. This budget is raised from council rent and charges and is there to be used for tenants. There is a substantial surplus and instead of storing money away in reserves the council should be spending more on estate improvements.”
The Lib Dems would spend £250,000 ‘capital’ from the HRA on improvements to:
a) draughty windows and
b) improved car parking facilities (dropped kerbs/verge crossovers/matrix verge protection outside tenants homes and better car parking facilities in communal areas) and the resurfacing of some car parks.
plus £250,000 ‘revenue’ from the HRA on council house and estate regeneration including the following schemes:
- removal of weeds,
- cutting back overgrown trees and hedges,
- repairs to communal areas and signs (e.g. dog fouling, no ball games),
- audit and repair of fencing.
The full Lib Dem amendment will be tabled and debated at Thursday’s Budget Council.
Last July, it was revealed that tenants were less satisfied with where they live and the estate services they receive from the council while key performance targets were missed: www.yorklibdems.org.uk/en/article/2014/0879798/york-tenants-less-satisfied-with-where-they-live-says-new-report