Search

Islington town hall slammed for £6,000 away day jolly

12:56 13 September 2012

Islington Council is spending £6,000 on the

Islington Council is spending £6,000 on the 'away weekend'

Archant

The town hall has been criticised for plans to spend £6,000 of taxpayers cash sending the new residents champion and housing executive on a countryside “jolly”.

Elections for the seven controversial new roles are set to end next week and the successful candidates, along with some councillors will spend an “away weekend” at Trafford Hall conference and training venue in Cheshire.

The Grade II Georgian listed building is set in 14 acres and features an organically managed garden.

In total, the elections for the residents champions and housing executive will cost almost £40,000.

Cllr Terry Stacy, Islington Lib Dem housing spokesman, said: “How can the Labour executive member justify spending up to £6,000 on a jolly in a hotel in the north west of England in the current financial climate?

He added: “The council’s new housing executive members do not need to travel all the way to Chester to discuss the borough’s housing service issues. It is not as if we are short of venues here in Islington.

“It is hardly the best start for the council’s directly-managed housing service if this is their first decision.”

The council have written to more the 30,000 tenants and leaseholders with voting papers for the roles which are designed to act as a middleman between residents and the council, following the disbanding of arms-length organisation Homes for Islington in April.

But concerns have been raised about the candidates being hand-picked by the council, so the electorate haven’t had an open choice.

Critics also argue the new organisation will just deflect accountability away from the town hall.

Vicki Leonard, a director of the Islington Leaseholders association, said: “The candidates have been vetted – why curtail the choices people make?

“There are already existing groups like the ILA and many tenants and residents associations. Why disregard this whole band of grass roots groups?

“No one will go to these forums – they are one structure too many.”

Cllr Barbara Sidnell, Islington Council’s executive member for communities, defended the Cheshire training session.

She said: “Trafford Hall came highly recommended by residents and housing activists and is a leading housing training venue recognised for its expertise in tenant engagement and social housing issues.

“It also provides an opportunity to meet tenants from elsewhere.”

A drop-in session to meet the candidates is on Wednesday at St Luke’s Community Centre, Central Street, Finsbury from 5.30pm.

n The closing date for votes to be cast is September 21 at 5pm. Visit www.islington.gov.uk/housingelections

0 comments

Latest News Stories

56 minutes ago
Police want to talk to this man regarding the spate of armed robberies

Gun toting thief is believed to have taken £10,000 from 13 London shops in three month spree

Yesterday, 16:30
Two new train strikes are planned for June 4 and June 9  (Photo by Cate Gillon/Getty Images)

Network Rail workers are to stage two strikes next month after a new pay offer was rejected.

Yesterday, 15:51
Alan Cartwright was knifed to death in February

18-year-old set for court appearance today following Alan’s brutal stabbing in February

Yesterday, 09:03
Councillor Paul Convery said the young offenders service and probation must improve

Most crimes committed by “small group of persistent offenders”

Most read news

Competitions

The sell out 2014 event 32 Londoners, returns to the Coca-Cola London Eye!

The Coca-Cola London Eye is proud to announce that 32 Londoners will be returning this June, following last year’s sell out event. The event will feature 32 talks, in each of the London Eye’s 32 capsules on 32 extraordinary Londoners.

You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder