Search

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

12:56 13 September 2012

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

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

08:42
Dame founders Celia Pool and Alec Mills.

Every week, we take to the streets to find a start-up business right here in Islington. This week, we spotted Dame, a company with a no-nonsense approach to periods.

Yesterday, 17:41
Campaigners are calling for a community-led redevelopment of the Holloway Prison site. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA

A leading campaigner for the “community” development of Holloway Prison has called on the government to commit to affordable housing on the site – after a new report made no mention of it.

Yesterday, 12:54
Arsenal and Sutton community teams met at Gander Green Lane ahead of tonight's FA Cup game. Picture: Stuart MacFarlane

It’s the archetypal FA Cup tie. Non-league Sutton United, with its 5,000 capacity ground, tonight host the world famous millionaires of Arsenal. But the clubs have actually been part of an unlikely union for the past couple of years.

Yesterday, 11:58
Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn (inset) has objected to the development and basement excavation of a derelict garage in Japan Crescent, Crouch Hill - but council officers want to defy him. Picture: Google Street View/PA

Islington Council officers have asked a town hall planning committee to defy its own leader – as well as Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn.

Yesterday, 10:34
Queues could often be seen coming out of the door of Dotori. (Picture: Google Maps).

Foodies rejoice! Much-loved Finsbury Park restaurant Dotori will reopen next week after a six-month closure.

Yesterday, 09:57
Islington Gazette: February 20, 1987

A Pentonville Prison officer feared the Caledonian Road jail was “on the brink”.

Sunday, February 19, 2017
Acoustic Sunday is run by a group of volunteers looking to get into the media industry. Picture: SoundAdviceUK

An acoustic jam session that helps youngsters get their media training is returning for a new run.

Saturday, February 18, 2017
The team outside the new Air Ambulance store in Junction Road.

The Gazette hunts high and low each week to bring you news of the most interesting and unusual new businesses in Hackney/Islington. This week, we found out Archway has a new boutique.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now