Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Tuesday, 12 April 2011
The Housing Trust, with over 250 properties in Hulme, outlined the main concerns of its residents.
Hulme Green Party candidate, Ruth Bergan said "Birley fields is an important green space for local residents. The scale of building proposed will take all this away, residents will see traffic increase on roads that can already be difficult to cross, and they will have reduced sunlight coming into their homes. The Green Party thinks it's healthy to have a diverse community and students have a place in that, but the scale of this development is not justified. We need to preserve our green spaces for both the environmental and the health benefits they bring".
Saturday, 2 April 2011
Stunned tenants fear extra charges
Along with a letter telling of rent increases, tenants of City South Manchester Housing Trust (CSMHT) were shocked to also get letters on their "Rights and Obligations" under Service Charges.
CSMHT promised NOT to introduce services charges for the work it’s doing now, in its offer document when it took over council property. That was only 4 years ago. The document, called ‘Your Future, Your Choice’ says (on page 28):
“The rent after transfer would pay for the full range of services you now get from the City Council – managing the estates, repairing your home and maintaining the landscape.
“There would be no services charges for any of the planned improvement works described in this booklet. In the future, if you want City South Manchester to provide extra services, these would be paid for by a new service charge, but this would not happen without a full consultation with all tenants affected by the change.
“So, there would only be a new service charge for a new service, not an improved service.”
What is written in this offer document is LEGALLY BINDING as it is part of a contract between CSMHT and Manchester City Council. Page 18 of the document says,
“City South Manchester would be independent from the City Council. However, Manchester City Council would have a legally binding contract with City South Manchester, through which the City Council would make sure that the promises made in this booklet are kept.”
This means the promise not to impose this proposed service charge is legally binding.
Residents are angry that this is even being considered, despite promises made, and massively disappointed that 2 labour councillors, including Hulme’s Mary Murphy, the Vice-Chair, are on the board that have agreed it.
Leaked papers from the Trust show costs will vary between £10 and over £1000 per year, with the higher charges being aimed at tower block tenants.
Residents have called upon the Housing Trust and Councillor Mary Murphy to confirm or deny that
- A service charge for new tenants was introduced on April 1st
- service charges for existing tenants in flats and multis will follow at a later date
- the offer document promised no services charges for current services
- the offer document is a legally binding document that was guaranteed by Manchester City Council.
Because depending on the answers given, there are implications for the Trust, the City Council and the Councillors involved.