£6m mea­sures to plug hous­ing gap

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page -

A £6M pack­age of mea­sures has been agreed by West Lan­cashire to ad­dress a bud­get gap in its hous­ing busi­ness plan.

The coun­cil was fac­ing a re­duc­tion in rev­enue from what it pre­vi­ously ex­pected as a change in Gov­ern­ment pol­icy means rents are being re­duced by 1% ev­ery year un­til 2020.

Pre­vi­ously the gov­ern­ment’s frame­work for­mula stated that rents would in­crease by in­fla­tion plus 1% per year.

To be­gin the process of tack­ling the prob­lem the coun­cil took steps in­clud­ing mak­ing sav­ings in its hous­ing re­fur­bish­ment plans and man­ag­ing staff lev­els.

The au­thor­ity was al­lowed to raise the rents in shel­tered hous­ing by 0.9 per cent, but it still faced a to­tal bud­get short­fall of £7.95m in its an­nual hous­ing bud­gets over the next three years up to 2019/2020.

Over sum­mer 2016, the coun­cil con­sulted ten­ants on a se­ries of mea­sures to bridge the gap. Th­ese were:

Re­moval of mains wa­ter re­place­ment pro­gramme

Re­moval of the spe­cific pro­gramme to re­place fenc­ing and pav­ing and re­plac­ing it with cycli­cal re­pairs

In­tro­duce a charge for the gar­den­ing ser­vice of £5 per week for 26 weeks per year

Re­sults of the con­sul­ta­tion were brought to the coun­cil meet­ing last Wed­nes­day and the mea­sures were ap­proved by coun­cil­lors.

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