On the 13th January there was a full City Council meeting where Sue Pearson, your local Common Councillor, proposed a motion that the repairs programme for all the City Estates be accelerated by using some of the City’s financial reserves.
The repairs programme is moving incredibly slowly even by the City’s standards with the last 5 year plan being inadequately funded while the Estates decay and tenants live in unacceptable conditions.
The City has a fund called City Cash which has reserves of £2.6 billion. They have dedicated £50 million of this money to support small business during the pandemic but nothing to support residents. £37 million of this money has not been spent and Sue suggested that, as a start, it might be a good idea to redirect this to Estate repairs.
At the Council meeting discussion of the motion was cut short by a point of order and the the motion to speed up repair of your Estates was lost by 75 votes to 19. A supportive councillor, Graeme Harrower, has written a report of the meeting at the link below:
He has also, usefully, made a record of which way councillors voted and perhaps electors would like to think about this when casting their votes in the elections in March. 80% of councillors are elected by businesses and 20% by residents. This split is reflected in the vote.
Are repairs currently stalled due to legal action to determine if leaseholders or the Corporation must pay for repairs? Was that going to the Supreme Court?
The issue of who pays for the Great Arthur House recladding and windows may potentially go to the Supreme Court and the result of this may impact on the rest of the window programme however in general most repair costs are apportioned on the basis of the flat size and are paid by either the City for tenants or Leaseholders.
I understand that there may be an issue with the amount of money that the City has for its capital programme and that is delaying things. This doesn't say much for the City's rôle as a custodian of listed buildings and the fact that the decent homes programme is still not finished 12? years after it should have been complete.
The City always appears to be able to find money for vanity projects like the Music Centre on the Museum of London site where 6.8 million was wasted but not for residents of fulfilling its responsibility to provide decent housing.