THE LEADER of Thurrock Council has responded to threats by both opposition parties to trigger a vote of no confidence in him over a controversial service charge.
Cllr Rob Gledhill said: “I am surprised that the UKIP Leader has called for this without even contacting me to discuss this issue at all. When I inherited the housing service there were plenty of issues that had been hidden by ‘wonderful headlines’ that themselves weren’t all as good as they seemed. We had a house building programme producing homes that cost more to build than buying new properties in the same area, 20% of resident dissatisfied with repair works, no idea of the true state of the housing stock and a Transforming Homes programme that was overspending year on year and had to be re-scheduled over a longer period to protect budgets.
This year, Thurrock Conservatives were the only party who agreed to £7.5 million of improvements over five years to boilers, improved insulation and urgent repairs to the exterior of our non-traditional properties across the borough. With nearly 900 housing properties still with single glazing, whole estates in need of exterior improvements and over 30,000 repairs carried out for our 10,000 properties per year there are difficult decisions to be made.
We now have resident satisfaction with repairs at 95%, a stock condition survey nearly complete, complaints down by 30%, projects in progress to improve sheltered housing and communal areas, reduced expenditure month on month on responsive repairs and 90% satisfaction with the Transforming Homes programme.
“We must also remember that had the rent increases proposed by Labour been enacted, tenants would have been paying an average £8.36 more in rent per week. This would have been used to continue the terrible spending plans they had in place that put vanity projects ahead of realistic, affordable home delivery and continued to fail to supply all of our tenants safe, warm, well maintained homes- failures that frankly no one should ignore or have supported.