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Council home repairs across Haringey delayed by legal error

by Haringey Lib Dems on 24 May, 2013

local Lib Dem councillor Rachel Allison outside Alexander House one of the block of flats affected by delayed repair work on the Hillcrest Estate in Highgate

Work to improve council homes across the borough may be seriously delayed due to legal errors at Haringey Council, which means the entire process of selecting a contractor for the work must start all over again. Over a thousand households living in council properties in Haringey were due to have their homes fixed this year and could see the repair delayed as a result of the legal error.

The legal mistake has forced the council and Homes for Haringey to repeat the lengthy procurement process for the repairs. Opposition councillors believe this will inevitable cause delays to some if not all of the upgrade works due to happen to council homes this year. The error has already delayed the work that was due to done on the Hillcrest Estate in Highgate.

Opposition councillors are calling for a full explanation and apology for the many local residents who were promised that their homes would be brought up to a decent standard this year.  Lib Dems on the council’s Scrutiny Committee are also demanding a full investigation into the cause of the legal error.

Homes for Haringey confessed there had been a problem with the procurement of the contract for the decent home work across the borough. This means at least some if not all of the repair work will not happen until the 2014/15 financial year instead of this year.

The list of homes due to be repaired includes council properties in:

  • Stroud Green
  • Crouch End
  • Highgate
  • Bounds Green
  • Wood Green
  • Tottenham

The delays could affect nearly 700 tenants and over 300 leaseholders in Haringey.

Home for Haringey’s admission follows on from an issue recently highlighted by the Lib Dems. The council had been due to spend millions on capital projects including on works to homes, much of this money had not been spent this year as planned. This has led to fierce criticism from the opposition who have slammed the Labour council and Homes for Haringey for their poor performance.

The last council home constructed in Haringey was in 1989, nearly 25 years ago. A Lib Dem amendment to the council budget to build 100 council homes in the next year was voted down by the Labour councillors at the budget meeting.

 Cllr Richard Wilson Lib Dem Housing spokesperson adds:

“This error, which follows hard on the heels of the problems with the accounts and the mistakes at the council mortuary, calls into question the council’s ability to get even basic processes right.

“It is shocking that the Labour council can’t manage to procure a contract in time to do works to council homes that have been scheduled for a long time. Hundreds of residents have been let down and are owed a full explanation and apology by the council.

“The Labour council’s incompetence is appalling. It’s bad enough that the council has let its homes fall into such a state of disrepair that they need such extensive remedial work, but to promise improvements and then not deliver is unforgivable.”

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