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Call to axe company running council homes

PUBLISHED: 13:48 29 September 2010 | UPDATED: 11:13 14 October 2010

THE leader of the Islington Council's opposition has called for the management of the borough's council homes to be brought back in house – claiming it would save the council £1million a year.

THE leader of the Islington Council's opposition has called for the management of the borough's council homes to be brought back in house - claiming it would save the council £1million a year.

Since 2004, council homes have been managed by the arms-length management organisation Homes for Islington (HFI). But now Councillor Terry Stacy, leader of the council's opposition Liberal Democrats, who were in power when HFI was created, says it is time for the organisation to be axed.

Councillor Stacy, who wants residents to be balloted on the future of HFI, said: "Officers say the council's housing revenue account could save £1million a year if HFI were abolished.

"We set up HFI in 2004 to access the hundreds of millions of Government funding that would only arrive if we set up an arms-length management organisation or transferred our stock. That reason no longer exists."

Dr Brian Potter, chairman of the Federation of Islington Tenants' Associations and of the Islington Leaseholders' Association, said: "The council should return housing management to where it rightfully belongs - under the direct control of councillors, thereby disposing of the wasteful services of its extremely expensive arms-length company, Homes for Islington."

But Councillor James Murray, the ruling Labour group's executive member for housing, believes the council should wait until the New Year before balloting residents on the future of HFI.

He said: "The Government is reviewing the housing revenue account. Once they do that, we can work out the financial implications of bringing it back in house.


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