Waltham Forest Council leader vows to clampdown on 'shady' landlords with licensing scheme

Council Leader Chris Robbins was quizzed on a series of local issues

Council Leader Chris Robbins was quizzed on a series of local issues

First published in News
Last updated
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The leader of Waltham Forest Council has vowed to tackle the problem of "shady characters" operating as landlords in Waltham Forest.

Cllr Chris Robbins will be officially re-elected by his Labour colleagues this week to serve until 2018 after his party increased its majority hold on power at the local election. 

He has vowed to push ahead with a compulsory landlord licensing scheme aimed at protecting tenants' rights and improving living conditions for many people in the borough.

Cllr Robbins said: "There are a number of really good first-class excellent landlords but we also have a number of shady characters that treat people badly and stuff people in where they can.

"They are the type of people that throw out mattresses and leave them there, not the individual tenants."

Cllr Robbins is confident the compulsory licensing scheme will be in force by the end of next year, describing it as vital to protect residents.

The scheme, already in Newham and currently being implemented in Enfield, will offer landlords a reduction in the license fee of 50 per cent if they sign up early.

But non-registration will result in prosecution, Cllr Robbins said.

The council leader sees the scheme as a wider attempt by his party to support those who he believes have been left struggling due to the coalition government's programme of austerity.

And he says welfare reform, and changes to housing benefit in particular, are being keenly felt.

He said: "A lot of my residents have been affected and why wouldn't they be?

"The benefit cap is unrealistic and I don't think anybody knows what a reasonable cap should be.

"They have not taken into account we are one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in.

"The cost for people to survive in London is astonishing and there has to be some kind of support system to help get out of that poverty trap.

"The Conservatives don't care what happens at the bottom of the pile - to them anybody who is on benefits whatever their circumstance is automatically labelled a 'waster' and that is not the case.

"Some people are being forced to move because they have one extra room. It is unreasonable and now we have to ask people to pay council tax for the first time in their lives because we can't subsidise it. It is outrageous."

However, Cllr Robbins defended the council's attempt to evict a charity soup kitchen from MIssion Grove in Walthamstow, which has led to accusations of ignoring the needs of the disadvantaged.

The High Court recently ruled that the council had acted unlawfully in trying to evict the Christian Kitchen afer 25 years, by not taking the impact on service users into account.

"We were between a rock and a hard place and there were some very difficult anti-social behaviour problems around there," Cllr Robbins said.

"They have to understand and recognise people were frightened to leave their homes and rather than go out on a march, they ring me up and tell me.

"We are very supportive of any organisation that tackles food poverty and I stress there needs to be a more open dialogue.

The Labour leader said he considers the alternative location offered near the Crooked Billet roundabout to be a safe location.

Cllr Robbins said the council will also press ahead with the regeneration of the borough's shopping areas and continue to tackle fly-tipping.

Comments (24)

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9:22am Sat 7 Jun 14

Villagecranberry says...

I borrowed a friends van to take two mattresses to the tip but it was like the Spanish Inquisition trying to get through the gates and I was turned away. I eventually put them on a skip that my neighbour kindly offered to me.

No wonder unscrupulous people just dump them in the street with all the hassle od disposing of them legally.
I borrowed a friends van to take two mattresses to the tip but it was like the Spanish Inquisition trying to get through the gates and I was turned away. I eventually put them on a skip that my neighbour kindly offered to me. No wonder unscrupulous people just dump them in the street with all the hassle od disposing of them legally. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 11

10:13am Sat 7 Jun 14

Ollie J says...

A real hard-hitting interview there which really held Chris Robbins to account.
A real hard-hitting interview there which really held Chris Robbins to account. Ollie J
  • Score: 13

10:21am Sat 7 Jun 14

NorthcoterE17 says...

About WFN: "This is a free speech issue":
The North Korean leadership would be impressed with your definition of free speech. Out of nearly 300 Councils, only 5, including LBWF continue to publish more than quarterly. How come 295 Local Authorities manage just fine publishing their statutory notices online & with local newspaper advertising?

About cuts and job losses in the Town Hall:
How's life these days after making 700 staff redundant then awarding yourself and Deputy Leader Clyde Loakes an inflation-busting pay rise?

About rogue landlords:
A High Street ward Senior Labour politician in your ranks who is known to have accumulated vast wealth through being a 'slumlord' property landlord within and beyond his ward... No? Cllr Liaquat Ali remains not on the voluntary list of WF Landlord Accreditation Scheme

On building schools:
The time to build them is now because the deadline for local authorities being able to build schools will expire now the law is changing. 2016 will be too late as this will no longer be in the hands of Councils. Or is Robbins planning on ignoring central government law again?

On making £45m savings:
Remind us again how much the legal fees for challenging the Soup Kitchen's eviction was? Remind us how much LBWF paid to sue Gods Own Junkyard over recycling a cardboard box which the judge labelled a colossal waste of time and money? How much money was vanished through the E11Bid?

That none of the above has ever been printed in the Waltham Forest News demonstrates that the council 'news' paper isn't about free speech at all.
About WFN: "This is a free speech issue": The North Korean leadership would be impressed with your definition of free speech. Out of nearly 300 Councils, only 5, including LBWF continue to publish more than quarterly. How come 295 Local Authorities manage just fine publishing their statutory notices online & with local newspaper advertising? About cuts and job losses in the Town Hall: How's life these days after making 700 staff redundant then awarding yourself and Deputy Leader Clyde Loakes an inflation-busting pay rise? About rogue landlords: A High Street ward Senior Labour politician in your ranks who is known to have accumulated vast wealth through being a 'slumlord' property landlord within and beyond his ward... No? Cllr Liaquat Ali remains not on the voluntary list of WF Landlord Accreditation Scheme On building schools: The time to build them is now because the deadline for local authorities being able to build schools will expire now the law is changing. 2016 will be too late as this will no longer be in the hands of Councils. Or is Robbins planning on ignoring central government law again? On making £45m savings: Remind us again how much the legal fees for challenging the Soup Kitchen's eviction was? Remind us how much LBWF paid to sue Gods Own Junkyard over recycling a cardboard box which the judge labelled a colossal waste of time and money? How much money was vanished through the E11Bid? That none of the above has ever been printed in the Waltham Forest News demonstrates that the council 'news' paper isn't about free speech at all. NorthcoterE17
  • Score: 30

10:22am Sat 7 Jun 14

Howard Wolowitz says...

Hypocritical delusionist.

As WF becomes affluent with property reaching non sustainable levels the poor, Labour voter, moves away because they cannot afford to live in the borough.

It happened under Blair only he was importing Labour voters.

I believe from what I have read that the WF News and other local papers in other boroughs are deemed illegal if distributed more than 4 times a year.

Why then has he written to Pickles querying the law, is it not clear or is he operating in his own fiefdom where he thinks he can make up his own rules. As for:- "Waltham Forest News is a publication to residents about what's going on in terms of services. It is well-received and well-supported."
"There are no lies in there. It is not a paper of opinions and residents love it."
Does he not listen to people's views on this rag and take their concerns on board, of course not.


Just goes to show that with 700 jobs gone they are managing, question is why the waste in the first place?
Hypocritical delusionist. As WF becomes affluent with property reaching non sustainable levels the poor, Labour voter, moves away because they cannot afford to live in the borough. It happened under Blair only he was importing Labour voters. I believe from what I have read that the WF News and other local papers in other boroughs are deemed illegal if distributed more than 4 times a year. Why then has he written to Pickles querying the law, is it not clear or is he operating in his own fiefdom where he thinks he can make up his own rules. As for:- "Waltham Forest News is a publication to residents about what's going on in terms of services. It is well-received and well-supported." "There are no lies in there. It is not a paper of opinions and residents love it." Does he not listen to people's views on this rag and take their concerns on board, of course not. Just goes to show that with 700 jobs gone they are managing, question is why the waste in the first place? Howard Wolowitz
  • Score: 14

10:36am Sat 7 Jun 14

John J C Moss says...

As at November,, just 178 of the 702 Council tenants affected by a reduction in their Housing Benefit consequent on their under-occupation, have requested help to move to a smaller property.
As at November,, just 178 of the 702 Council tenants affected by a reduction in their Housing Benefit consequent on their under-occupation, have requested help to move to a smaller property. John J C Moss
  • Score: 0

3:27pm Sat 7 Jun 14

tillytrotter says...

Start with EASTBANK disgusting rogues that take your money when you move out and when you move in. Then they clear flat ready for next tenant and fly tip I know this because when I moved out of a flat I saw the suite I left behind dumped in Leucha Road I did report to council but nothing was done.
EASTBANK ARE LOW LIVES THAT INTIMIDATE PEOPLE THAT RENT THEIR PROPERTIES. 1st hand knowledge so if LBWF want to check books and regulations and fair lettings start with this so called business. They are ROGUES to a first degree !!
Start with EASTBANK disgusting rogues that take your money when you move out and when you move in. Then they clear flat ready for next tenant and fly tip I know this because when I moved out of a flat I saw the suite I left behind dumped in Leucha Road I did report to council but nothing was done. EASTBANK ARE LOW LIVES THAT INTIMIDATE PEOPLE THAT RENT THEIR PROPERTIES. 1st hand knowledge so if LBWF want to check books and regulations and fair lettings start with this so called business. They are ROGUES to a first degree !! tillytrotter
  • Score: 14

9:19am Mon 9 Jun 14

driftingcowboy says...

Let us be clear on a few things here. The dumped mattress situation hasn't arisen since the new government came into power - its been going on for years. The fly-tipping in the borough has been going on for years as well and even before the Coalition, this council was unable to tackle the blight of fly-tipping in the borough. The enforcement team is understaffed and under-resourced and has always been so apart from a brief period in the run up to the Olympics. The chewing gum problem on the pavements continues unabated. Even the brand new regenerated footpaths along Hoe St are already looking scummy from chewing gum. The Keep Britain Tidy anti-Chewing Gum Campaign takes off in September and LBWF hasn't signed up to it which is shameful. Instead, it prefers to spend money it claims not to have on its own separate campaign. Make what you will of that thinking!
Let us be clear on a few things here. The dumped mattress situation hasn't arisen since the new government came into power - its been going on for years. The fly-tipping in the borough has been going on for years as well and even before the Coalition, this council was unable to tackle the blight of fly-tipping in the borough. The enforcement team is understaffed and under-resourced and has always been so apart from a brief period in the run up to the Olympics. The chewing gum problem on the pavements continues unabated. Even the brand new regenerated footpaths along Hoe St are already looking scummy from chewing gum. The Keep Britain Tidy anti-Chewing Gum Campaign takes off in September and LBWF hasn't signed up to it which is shameful. Instead, it prefers to spend money it claims not to have on its own separate campaign. Make what you will of that thinking! driftingcowboy
  • Score: 19

9:55am Mon 9 Jun 14

RichieA70 says...

Howard Wolowitz wrote:
Hypocritical delusionist.

As WF becomes affluent with property reaching non sustainable levels the poor, Labour voter, moves away because they cannot afford to live in the borough.

It happened under Blair only he was importing Labour voters.

I believe from what I have read that the WF News and other local papers in other boroughs are deemed illegal if distributed more than 4 times a year.

Why then has he written to Pickles querying the law, is it not clear or is he operating in his own fiefdom where he thinks he can make up his own rules. As for:- "Waltham Forest News is a publication to residents about what's going on in terms of services. It is well-received and well-supported."
"There are no lies in there. It is not a paper of opinions and residents love it."
Does he not listen to people's views on this rag and take their concerns on board, of course not.


Just goes to show that with 700 jobs gone they are managing, question is why the waste in the first place?
"As WF becomes affluent with property reaching non sustainable levels the poor, Labour voter, moves away because they cannot afford to live in the borough".

To be replaced by rich Labour voters presumably, if the latest council election results are anything to go by?
[quote][p][bold]Howard Wolowitz[/bold] wrote: Hypocritical delusionist. As WF becomes affluent with property reaching non sustainable levels the poor, Labour voter, moves away because they cannot afford to live in the borough. It happened under Blair only he was importing Labour voters. I believe from what I have read that the WF News and other local papers in other boroughs are deemed illegal if distributed more than 4 times a year. Why then has he written to Pickles querying the law, is it not clear or is he operating in his own fiefdom where he thinks he can make up his own rules. As for:- "Waltham Forest News is a publication to residents about what's going on in terms of services. It is well-received and well-supported." "There are no lies in there. It is not a paper of opinions and residents love it." Does he not listen to people's views on this rag and take their concerns on board, of course not. Just goes to show that with 700 jobs gone they are managing, question is why the waste in the first place?[/p][/quote]"As WF becomes affluent with property reaching non sustainable levels the poor, Labour voter, moves away because they cannot afford to live in the borough". To be replaced by rich Labour voters presumably, if the latest council election results are anything to go by? RichieA70
  • Score: 10

10:31am Mon 9 Jun 14

Alan_1976 says...

John J C Moss wrote:
As at November,, just 178 of the 702 Council tenants affected by a reduction in their Housing Benefit consequent on their under-occupation, have requested help to move to a smaller property.
You keep writing this John and then you keep failing to answer the question of how many smaller properties are available for these people to move to....
[quote][p][bold]John J C Moss[/bold] wrote: As at November,, just 178 of the 702 Council tenants affected by a reduction in their Housing Benefit consequent on their under-occupation, have requested help to move to a smaller property.[/p][/quote]You keep writing this John and then you keep failing to answer the question of how many smaller properties are available for these people to move to.... Alan_1976
  • Score: 10

11:59am Mon 9 Jun 14

mdj says...

'you keep failing to answer the question of how many smaller properties are available for these people to move to....'

He hasn't expressed an opinion on this; it is worth observing that so few have asked for whatever might be available, whatever your take on this issue.

I'm sure it's causing real hardship in some cases, and in others people are keeping quiet to avoid calling attention to some irregularity in their tenure.
Does anyone know how often, or how efficiently, the Council checks that its properties are actually occupied by the official tenant, or that those tenants do not own property elsewhere that would disqualify them from public housing?

If Mr Robbins is going to crack down on shady landlords won't this cause ructions within his own party? Can we expect any such crackdown to be genuine and impartial?
'you keep failing to answer the question of how many smaller properties are available for these people to move to....' He hasn't expressed an opinion on this; it is worth observing that so few have asked for whatever might be available, whatever your take on this issue. I'm sure it's causing real hardship in some cases, and in others people are keeping quiet to avoid calling attention to some irregularity in their tenure. Does anyone know how often, or how efficiently, the Council checks that its properties are actually occupied by the official tenant, or that those tenants do not own property elsewhere that would disqualify them from public housing? If Mr Robbins is going to crack down on shady landlords won't this cause ructions within his own party? Can we expect any such crackdown to be genuine and impartial? mdj
  • Score: 8

12:04pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Alan_1976 says...

mdj wrote:
'you keep failing to answer the question of how many smaller properties are available for these people to move to....'

He hasn't expressed an opinion on this; it is worth observing that so few have asked for whatever might be available, whatever your take on this issue.

I'm sure it's causing real hardship in some cases, and in others people are keeping quiet to avoid calling attention to some irregularity in their tenure.
Does anyone know how often, or how efficiently, the Council checks that its properties are actually occupied by the official tenant, or that those tenants do not own property elsewhere that would disqualify them from public housing?

If Mr Robbins is going to crack down on shady landlords won't this cause ructions within his own party? Can we expect any such crackdown to be genuine and impartial?
Mdj,

If you find out from your neighbour that there are no smaller properties available why would you then ask to be moved to one of the smaller properties that you know are not available?

"in others people are keeping quiet to avoid calling attention to some irregularity in their tenure".

Why go with the simple explanation when you can claim that it's all down to corrupt individuals.
[quote][p][bold]mdj[/bold] wrote: 'you keep failing to answer the question of how many smaller properties are available for these people to move to....' He hasn't expressed an opinion on this; it is worth observing that so few have asked for whatever might be available, whatever your take on this issue. I'm sure it's causing real hardship in some cases, and in others people are keeping quiet to avoid calling attention to some irregularity in their tenure. Does anyone know how often, or how efficiently, the Council checks that its properties are actually occupied by the official tenant, or that those tenants do not own property elsewhere that would disqualify them from public housing? If Mr Robbins is going to crack down on shady landlords won't this cause ructions within his own party? Can we expect any such crackdown to be genuine and impartial?[/p][/quote]Mdj, If you find out from your neighbour that there are no smaller properties available why would you then ask to be moved to one of the smaller properties that you know are not available? "in others people are keeping quiet to avoid calling attention to some irregularity in their tenure". Why go with the simple explanation when you can claim that it's all down to corrupt individuals. Alan_1976
  • Score: 4

12:25pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Villagecranberry says...

Hope he treats his own commercial property department and the likes of Asham Homes with the same enthusiasm that he does private Landlords after some of the scandalous ways they treat their tenants.
Hope he treats his own commercial property department and the likes of Asham Homes with the same enthusiasm that he does private Landlords after some of the scandalous ways they treat their tenants. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 2

12:44pm Mon 9 Jun 14

mdj says...

'If you find out from your neighbour that there are no smaller properties available ...'
Why would my neighbour know more about the situation than anyone else? People go on to housing lists knowing there are thousands ahead of them, sadly.

I'm not defending this policy at all: it smacks of empty gesturism that is causing genuine distress, and will not save money.
However, on the other point, you yourself must be aware of examples of public housing tenancies that at best no longer match the criteria by which they were awarded in the first place.
'If you find out from your neighbour that there are no smaller properties available ...' Why would my neighbour know more about the situation than anyone else? People go on to housing lists knowing there are thousands ahead of them, sadly. I'm not defending this policy at all: it smacks of empty gesturism that is causing genuine distress, and will not save money. However, on the other point, you yourself must be aware of examples of public housing tenancies that at best no longer match the criteria by which they were awarded in the first place. mdj
  • Score: 8

1:14pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Alan_1976 says...

mdj wrote:
'If you find out from your neighbour that there are no smaller properties available ...'
Why would my neighbour know more about the situation than anyone else? People go on to housing lists knowing there are thousands ahead of them, sadly.

I'm not defending this policy at all: it smacks of empty gesturism that is causing genuine distress, and will not save money.
However, on the other point, you yourself must be aware of examples of public housing tenancies that at best no longer match the criteria by which they were awarded in the first place.
" just 178 of the 702 Council tenants affected by a reduction in their Housing Benefit consequent on their under-occupation"

So the sample being discussed is the 702 council tenants deemed to have been affected by their "under-occupation". So John's sample does not contain anything other than those already deemed to no longer match the criteria. It's common knowledge as to the shortage in social sector of one and two bedroom flats.

John also fails to the disproportionate number of those affected who are registered disabled.

http://www.theguardi
an.com/society/2014/
feb/12/bedroom-tax-h
ouseholds-eviction-r
ent-arrears

Perhaps he might like to furnish us with those figures next time he trots out the same meaningless stat
[quote][p][bold]mdj[/bold] wrote: 'If you find out from your neighbour that there are no smaller properties available ...' Why would my neighbour know more about the situation than anyone else? People go on to housing lists knowing there are thousands ahead of them, sadly. I'm not defending this policy at all: it smacks of empty gesturism that is causing genuine distress, and will not save money. However, on the other point, you yourself must be aware of examples of public housing tenancies that at best no longer match the criteria by which they were awarded in the first place.[/p][/quote]" just 178 of the 702 Council tenants affected by a reduction in their Housing Benefit consequent on their under-occupation" So the sample being discussed is the 702 council tenants deemed to have been affected by their "under-occupation". So John's sample does not contain anything other than those already deemed to no longer match the criteria. It's common knowledge as to the shortage in social sector of one and two bedroom flats. John also fails to the disproportionate number of those affected who are registered disabled. http://www.theguardi an.com/society/2014/ feb/12/bedroom-tax-h ouseholds-eviction-r ent-arrears Perhaps he might like to furnish us with those figures next time he trots out the same meaningless stat Alan_1976
  • Score: 3

1:32pm Mon 9 Jun 14

mdj says...

Thanks for that: it's a rare treat to get a response with some substantive information.

I would be interested to get a reply to my questions, though. Somebody here must have an idea.
Thanks for that: it's a rare treat to get a response with some substantive information. I would be interested to get a reply to my questions, though. Somebody here must have an idea. mdj
  • Score: 3

2:05pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Alan_1976 says...

mdj wrote:
Thanks for that: it's a rare treat to get a response with some substantive information.

I would be interested to get a reply to my questions, though. Somebody here must have an idea.
"If Mr Robbins is going to crack down on shady landlords won't this cause ructions within his own party? Can we expect any such crackdown to be genuine and impartial?"

I'd assumed that these questions were rhetorical! I'd go with "Yes. No"!
[quote][p][bold]mdj[/bold] wrote: Thanks for that: it's a rare treat to get a response with some substantive information. I would be interested to get a reply to my questions, though. Somebody here must have an idea.[/p][/quote]"If Mr Robbins is going to crack down on shady landlords won't this cause ructions within his own party? Can we expect any such crackdown to be genuine and impartial?" I'd assumed that these questions were rhetorical! I'd go with "Yes. No"! Alan_1976
  • Score: 4

2:15pm Mon 9 Jun 14

mdj says...

My more genuine question was: how often, and how effectively, does the Council or its agencies check whether the person in the rent book is the person in residence?
My more genuine question was: how often, and how effectively, does the Council or its agencies check whether the person in the rent book is the person in residence? mdj
  • Score: 12

5:04pm Mon 9 Jun 14

myopinioncounts says...

Villagecranberry wrote:
I borrowed a friends van to take two mattresses to the tip but it was like the Spanish Inquisition trying to get through the gates and I was turned away. I eventually put them on a skip that my neighbour kindly offered to me.

No wonder unscrupulous people just dump them in the street with all the hassle od disposing of them legally.
I agree with the comment about the council tip. While the Council has always been quick in responding to reports that I have made about fly tipping, trips to the tip in Low Hall Lane are like the Spanish Inquisition. Some staff there are willing to help but climbing the staircases to lift heavy items over the sides of the containers is not easy for the elderly or less able.
[quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: I borrowed a friends van to take two mattresses to the tip but it was like the Spanish Inquisition trying to get through the gates and I was turned away. I eventually put them on a skip that my neighbour kindly offered to me. No wonder unscrupulous people just dump them in the street with all the hassle od disposing of them legally.[/p][/quote]I agree with the comment about the council tip. While the Council has always been quick in responding to reports that I have made about fly tipping, trips to the tip in Low Hall Lane are like the Spanish Inquisition. Some staff there are willing to help but climbing the staircases to lift heavy items over the sides of the containers is not easy for the elderly or less able. myopinioncounts
  • Score: 14

1:36pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Garrow says...

If you visit the Council website and click onto the Council calendar you will see that this Thursday is the Council AGM. A click on that item brings up the agenda, then you will see what Councillor Robbins and his gang are really up to. All the scrutiny committees are reduced to just 5 members, so how much scrutiny is really going to take place? The Conservatives represent one 3rd of this Borough and yet they only have a 20% representation on those committees. I know the Tories don't seem like a great opposition all the time, but I have seen them on the planning committee and they do put up logical and reasoned arguments. Unfortunately Labour have the numbers.

It seems to me that Robbins, Loakes and Co. intend to steamroller every decision they make and ram it down our throats.

Landlord licensing is pointless as anything other than a money making scheme, I do not understand how granting a licence stops you being a bad landlord any more than granting a driving licence stops someone being a dangerous driver. And on the subject of smaller homes, Alan 1976 asked the question about who is going to build one and two-bedroom flats for the social sector? Not this Labour Council for sure, have a look at the agenda for the planning committee on 3 June, that can also be found on the Council Calendar. At that meeting they rammed through planning permission for 84, 1 and 2 bedroom flats, how many of those went to be council rented properties? None! Still, it's not my fault, I didn't vote for them.
If you visit the Council website and click onto the Council calendar you will see that this Thursday is the Council AGM. A click on that item brings up the agenda, then you will see what Councillor Robbins and his gang are really up to. All the scrutiny committees are reduced to just 5 members, so how much scrutiny is really going to take place? The Conservatives represent one 3rd of this Borough and yet they only have a 20% representation on those committees. I know the Tories don't seem like a great opposition all the time, but I have seen them on the planning committee and they do put up logical and reasoned arguments. Unfortunately Labour have the numbers. It seems to me that Robbins, Loakes and Co. intend to steamroller every decision they make and ram it down our throats. Landlord licensing is pointless as anything other than a money making scheme, I do not understand how granting a licence stops you being a bad landlord any more than granting a driving licence stops someone being a dangerous driver. And on the subject of smaller homes, Alan 1976 asked the question about who is going to build one and two-bedroom flats for the social sector? Not this Labour Council for sure, have a look at the agenda for the planning committee on 3 June, that can also be found on the Council Calendar. At that meeting they rammed through planning permission for 84, 1 and 2 bedroom flats, how many of those went to be council rented properties? None! Still, it's not my fault, I didn't vote for them. Garrow
  • Score: 3

8:53pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Villagecranberry says...

Garrow wrote:
If you visit the Council website and click onto the Council calendar you will see that this Thursday is the Council AGM. A click on that item brings up the agenda, then you will see what Councillor Robbins and his gang are really up to. All the scrutiny committees are reduced to just 5 members, so how much scrutiny is really going to take place? The Conservatives represent one 3rd of this Borough and yet they only have a 20% representation on those committees. I know the Tories don't seem like a great opposition all the time, but I have seen them on the planning committee and they do put up logical and reasoned arguments. Unfortunately Labour have the numbers.

It seems to me that Robbins, Loakes and Co. intend to steamroller every decision they make and ram it down our throats.

Landlord licensing is pointless as anything other than a money making scheme, I do not understand how granting a licence stops you being a bad landlord any more than granting a driving licence stops someone being a dangerous driver. And on the subject of smaller homes, Alan 1976 asked the question about who is going to build one and two-bedroom flats for the social sector? Not this Labour Council for sure, have a look at the agenda for the planning committee on 3 June, that can also be found on the Council Calendar. At that meeting they rammed through planning permission for 84, 1 and 2 bedroom flats, how many of those went to be council rented properties? None! Still, it's not my fault, I didn't vote for them.
Any licensing fee will be added onto the rents of the poor tenants for sure.
[quote][p][bold]Garrow[/bold] wrote: If you visit the Council website and click onto the Council calendar you will see that this Thursday is the Council AGM. A click on that item brings up the agenda, then you will see what Councillor Robbins and his gang are really up to. All the scrutiny committees are reduced to just 5 members, so how much scrutiny is really going to take place? The Conservatives represent one 3rd of this Borough and yet they only have a 20% representation on those committees. I know the Tories don't seem like a great opposition all the time, but I have seen them on the planning committee and they do put up logical and reasoned arguments. Unfortunately Labour have the numbers. It seems to me that Robbins, Loakes and Co. intend to steamroller every decision they make and ram it down our throats. Landlord licensing is pointless as anything other than a money making scheme, I do not understand how granting a licence stops you being a bad landlord any more than granting a driving licence stops someone being a dangerous driver. And on the subject of smaller homes, Alan 1976 asked the question about who is going to build one and two-bedroom flats for the social sector? Not this Labour Council for sure, have a look at the agenda for the planning committee on 3 June, that can also be found on the Council Calendar. At that meeting they rammed through planning permission for 84, 1 and 2 bedroom flats, how many of those went to be council rented properties? None! Still, it's not my fault, I didn't vote for them.[/p][/quote]Any licensing fee will be added onto the rents of the poor tenants for sure. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 1

11:05am Wed 11 Jun 14

Garrow says...

You are absolutely right Villagecranberry, there is no way that landlords will bear any extra financial cost. So who doesn't care about the bottom of the pile now councillor Robbins?

"It is unreasonable and now we have to ask people to pay council tax for the first time in their lives because we can't subsidise it. It is outrageous."

Is this guy for real? I forgot to pay my council tax in May, just for May and we got summonsed yesterday. Can somebody please explain I have the full weight of the law brought to bear on me because I forgot to pay a bill and yet apparently it's outrageous that somebody be asked to pay it for the first time in their lives? If someone cannot work because of infirmity or disability then of course the state should help them, but last year we spent £159Bn on benefits, 47% of that went on pensions which means over half when on things like housing benefit, disability benefits, jobseekers allowance etc and then there will be extra cost on this, we're spending money we don't have which means there is interest to pay. The cost of pensions can only increase, where is the money to come from to pay for all this?
You are absolutely right Villagecranberry, there is no way that landlords will bear any extra financial cost. So who doesn't care about the bottom of the pile now councillor Robbins? "It is unreasonable and now we have to ask people to pay council tax for the first time in their lives because we can't subsidise it. It is outrageous." Is this guy for real? I forgot to pay my council tax in May, just for May and we got summonsed yesterday. Can somebody please explain I have the full weight of the law brought to bear on me because I forgot to pay a bill and yet apparently it's outrageous that somebody be asked to pay it for the first time in their lives? If someone cannot work because of infirmity or disability then of course the state should help them, but last year we spent £159Bn on benefits, 47% of that went on pensions which means over half when on things like housing benefit, disability benefits, jobseekers allowance etc and then there will be extra cost on this, we're spending money we don't have which means there is interest to pay. The cost of pensions can only increase, where is the money to come from to pay for all this? Garrow
  • Score: 0

11:26am Wed 11 Jun 14

mdj says...

' I forgot to pay my council tax in May, just for May and we got summonsed yesterday.'

No doubt with a £120 'fee' attached. Ignore, it when you pay. It's interesting to see that the Court's actual part of that onerous admin charge is only a fiver! Implying that the court is 23 times more efficient in its procedures than the Council.

I always pay the full sum in cash at the last moment ( I got a summons too, which crossed in the post) , to get the thing out of my hair.
It always amazes me that they don't offer a small discount for paying in full up front: it seems so obvious.
' I forgot to pay my council tax in May, just for May and we got summonsed yesterday.' No doubt with a £120 'fee' attached. Ignore, it when you pay. It's interesting to see that the Court's actual part of that onerous admin charge is only a fiver! Implying that the court is 23 times more efficient in its procedures than the Council. I always pay the full sum in cash at the last moment ( I got a summons too, which crossed in the post) , to get the thing out of my hair. It always amazes me that they don't offer a small discount for paying in full up front: it seems so obvious. mdj
  • Score: -2

7:12pm Thu 12 Jun 14

villager1 says...

The cost of the licensing will be passed on to the tenant with no discernible impact on property conditions. This is a tick box exercise where landlords certify their property is fit for purpose without any inspection - the council pockets the money, the tenant's rent is increased and the council can pat themselves on the back pretending they have done something for the private rented sector. We have had over 70 years of Public Health legislation pertaining to housing conditions with many years until the recession of large well staffed environmental health departments - this did absolutely nothing for private sector housing standards - do they think that a paper exercise is now going to change anything? only the market will do that unfortunately by gentrification of those properties.
The sad fact is that if they were to be effective in getting landlords to upgrade their properties then there would be wholesale ethnic cleansing of low income and benefit tenants with increased rents. That has been seen in lots of other London boroughs. But maybe that is what the council want - watch out however a different class of residents may no longer vote Labour.
The cost of the licensing will be passed on to the tenant with no discernible impact on property conditions. This is a tick box exercise where landlords certify their property is fit for purpose without any inspection - the council pockets the money, the tenant's rent is increased and the council can pat themselves on the back pretending they have done something for the private rented sector. We have had over 70 years of Public Health legislation pertaining to housing conditions with many years until the recession of large well staffed environmental health departments - this did absolutely nothing for private sector housing standards - do they think that a paper exercise is now going to change anything? only the market will do that unfortunately by gentrification of those properties. The sad fact is that if they were to be effective in getting landlords to upgrade their properties then there would be wholesale ethnic cleansing of low income and benefit tenants with increased rents. That has been seen in lots of other London boroughs. But maybe that is what the council want - watch out however a different class of residents may no longer vote Labour. villager1
  • Score: 2

9:31am Fri 13 Jun 14

fabster says...

Well said villager1
Well said villager1 fabster
  • Score: 2

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