Liberal Democrat councillors have condemned financial mismanagement which has left £10million of Housing Revenue Account money intended for improving council housing unspent, whilst 1 in 9 of the Council’s properties fall short of decent homes standards. (Pictured: Liberal Democrat Councillor and council house tenant Jennifer Page-Croft, with a friend and fellow tenant to the left).
Cllr Anthony Martinelli, Lib Dem Housing Spokesperson, commented “It is extremely worrying to see that the Council has failed to spend funds intended for improving council homes. This is a huge and growing problem, with £6million underspent last year and millions more this year - this is revenue that should be invested in the city’s housing rather than left idle.
“This year the Cambridge News reported that one in nine council homes are failing to meet minimum standards for safety and comfort - it is clear that there is enough money to fix this, but it does not seem to be a priority for the Council.
"I worry that whilst Council workers are doing their best, there are simply not enough of them to deliver the volume of work needed to bring things back up to scratch.
“Whilst many council tenants struggle to get basic work done at their properties, nearly £300,000 of money meant to be spent on repairs alone has been left forgotten.
“It is particularly concerning that around £700,000 of fire safety works were not delivered as planned - we’ve seen recently with the fire at Kingsway flats in Arbury that this is a really serious issue which needs urgent action."
Liberal Democrat councillors are due to raise this concerning underspend at the full council meeting taking place from 16:15 on 16th July.