2 STAR BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL !!
Justice Not Crisis would like to Congratulate Birmingham City Council’s Housing department (Officers and Staff) on achieving a 2 star rating in the recent Audit Commission Inspection.
We would also like to state that it is great news for the tenants of Birmingham City Council that the repairs service is at last starting to improve.
The housing department has had a rocky road over the last 20 years and tenants of the City have had an appalling repairs service under the previous Labour administration and not much better under the current Conservative led Coalition.
We would sincerely like to congratulate Cllr John Lines for his excellent leadership of the Housing department… Unfortunately we are unable to do so (Sorry John) as we believe the current improvements in the Housing Department are not as a result of the skillful leadership of John Lines.
The current improvements are down to the excellent work of the Housing Scrutiny Committee, under the Leadership of Cllr Emily Cox (Liberal Democrat) and her team. This Committee has continually held John Lines to account and set standards that have achieved this improvement. The Housing Scrutiny Committee have also requested an investigation into the current situation of lack of socially rented homes in the City and requested that the 35% levels of affordable homes built under sec 106 agreements be maintained or improved.
It’s not all good news though – At the last housing Scrutiny Committee on 16 December 2008 it was reported that disrepair litigation cases were down saving the Council money.Then it became apparent that John Lines’s department now has dedicated teams of Solicitors working closely with the repairs contractors to challenge any tenant who takes the Council to Court over repairs. Cllr Mike Leddy (Labour) stated to the Council Officer from the City Solicitors department “It would be cheaper to just do the repairs” and the reply from the officer ???? ” Yes actually it would” Amazing !! the officer then went on to blame the Solicitors who cold call tenants looking for outstanding repairs for the problem THERE WOULDN’T BE A PROBLEM IF YOU DID THE REPAIRS JOHN!!
Finally some facts for John Lines’s Housing Department – There ARE still 30,000 people on waiting lists in this City, there ARE homeless people living on the streets of this City, there ARE thousands of people living in overcrowded accommodation desperate for a property of their own, there ARE people living in Hostels and Bed and Breakfast accommodation in this City and finally there ARE people in this City living in horrendously poor damp cold City Council accommodation. Start to sort that out John and you will deserve 200 stars and will get our congratulations.
We would also like to thank the City Council for the recent closure of the Edgbaston neighbourhood office, Tylney Close, in this current credit crunch residents now have to spend £3.30 on bus fares to travel to the Bartley Green neighbourhood office!!
We live in hope!