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Ealing and Northfield

Bell on rents

When council tenants get their rent bills in April and see that their rents have gone up by five percent Cllr Bell’s spin won’t sweeten the pill overmuch.

RPI in November was 4.7% so the council is using that as a hook to hang its rent rise on. CPI, which includes rents by the way, was only 3.3%. As it happens the council only needed to raise rents by 3% to meet its commitments. The extra 2% is a sandbag that tenants will have to pay unnecessarily.

2 replies on “Bell on rents”

As I said earlier, stop trying to pretend you’ve got socialist credentials. A true Conservative would be proudly contending that council rents should have been raised much further and should reflect 80% market rent. You are taking a line you have no political mandate to take and Conservative voters will think you’re ‘woolly’ and ‘wet’. Do what you were elected to do. Go out and proclaim that social rents are history just as the Conservative Party is doing nationally about secure tenancies. Remember that the people who vote for you have to afford mortgages, school fees, petrol etc… They are unsympathetic to this rubbish about keeping council rents absurdly low.

Zeb,

Thank you for your trenchant comments.

As a rule I like commenters to identify themselves properly. You know who I am. In future you will need to use your full name or I will delete your comments.

You make a good point about rents. On the whole I agree that convergence with market rates, as promoted by the previous Labour government incidentally, is a good thing. What I am complaining about largely is Labour’s disingenuous language. A “real terms freeze” is just doublespeak. If Bell tried to do that with council tax he would be lynched. The council only needed 3% and CPI, which includes rents, was only 3%. That would have been fair in the circumstances.

As a Tory I believe in efficient government. Ramping up rents when times are hard just to cover your rear, which is what the council are doing, is wrong. By all means go for convergence but not when we are all feeling the pinch – which is why the Tories froze rents last year.

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