Friday, 19 March 2010

A letter to residents in Edrich House

March 2010

Dear neighbour,

We know that in these difficult economic times, it can be tough balancing the household bills.

As your local Labour action team, we were extremely angry to learn that your landlord, Hyde Southbank Homes plans to increase the service charges for tower blocks like Edrich House by over 40% for local residents. The average service charge on Lambeth Living properties is about half that in Hyde properties.

This would mean that the average bill for a 2 bedroom flat service charge would increase from £37.70 per week to £53.64.

This was the decision that the new Liberal Democrat Chair of Hyde Southbank Housing took at her first meeting of the board of the organisation. The news comes as a severe blow for tenants. Lib Dems are used to 40% hikes of course – that’s the amount they racked up your council tax bills when they were last in power, costing the average household an extra £1,000.

We are extremely concerned about this increase, and Labour councillors have expressed their anger about it:

· We met with residents from the Hyde tower blocks, who passed a motion of no-confidence in Hyde
· We have asked the Chief Executive of Hyde to meet with residents in the next few weeks
· We have asked that Hyde look at ways of making cost savings in the long term so that such high increases are not necessary in the future;
· We are looking for creative ideas to spend some money in the short term – to reduce electricity and heating bills to bring down service charges for tenants in the long term.

As Labour councillors, we recently voted through a freeze on your council tax bills in order to help hard-working people who may be struggling in the recession. This means your council tax will be frozen for two years – that’s compared to the Lib Dems who increased it by 40% when they were in power.

In addition, if you are struggling with money or paying bills, feel free to get in touch with us or you might want to contact the Lambeth Savings and Credit Union who can offer free advice on 020 3256 0000.

Yours faithfully,

Alex Bigham                                Cllr  Imogen Walker                 Cllr  Peter Bowyer