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 Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 11:52
A file image of police. Scotland Yard are investigating a £20,000 theft from an elderly pair in Crouch End (Picture: PA)

Two burglars posed as gas board workers to steal £20,000 in cash from an elderly brother and sister in Crouch End.

Yesterday, 11:15
Police want to speak to this man about the meat throwing (Picture: Scotland Yard)

A bag of meat was hurled into the grounds of the Finsbury Park Mosque in the early hours of Thursday morning in a suspected hate crime.

Sunday, May 29, 2016
Chris Taylor (back row right) and clients from the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants set off for the sponsored run

A crack team from the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants took on a sponsored run to raise much-needed cash for the centre this week.

Sunday, May 29, 2016
An image from Keith Collman's Caledonian Road gallery (Picture: Keith Collman/keithcollman.com)

You can take the man out of the Cally...

Saturday, May 28, 2016
Local historian and walking guide Rob Smith on the former site of the New River reservoir

When, first thing in the morning, you stumble blurry-eyed to the kitchen to fill up the kettle, how much thought do you give to where the water’s coming from? Very little, probably, and why would you? It’s there. It’s wet. It does what it’s supposed to do.

Friday, May 27, 2016
Who doesn't love bunnies?  (Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

The pop-up bunny cafe that stoked the fury of animal rights campaigners this week has been cancelled after controversy and alleged threats.

Friday, May 27, 2016
The Bloodhound, which will attempt to break the land speed record next year

A unique vehicle powered by a combination of rocket fuel and jet engines was among the highlights of this year’s Clerkenwell design week at City University.

Friday, May 27, 2016
Henry Hicks died following a police chase in Islington (Picture: Arnaud Stephenson)

The family of Henry Hicks last night demanded answers from Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe after it emerged during a heated public meeting that the officers involved in his death will not face charges.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe