Islington’s housing chief and leader quizzed on private valuation letters

Cllr Richard Watts. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Cllr Richard Watts. Picture: Polly Hancock. - Credit: Archant

A row broke out at a “leader’s question time” event when an annoyed council tenant brandished a letter requesting a private valuation of her home.

Islington chief Cllr Richard Watts was at the Half Moon Crescent Community Centre in Wynford Road on Monday night to field questions from the public. But during a discussion on housing the leader and housing boss Cllr Diarmaid Ward got a tongue lashing.

Cllr Ward said the scrapping of the pay to stay proposals had been a major victory, but one woman questioned why she had been sent a letter, on council letterhead, about a private valuation of her home when the authority had been campaigning to keep lifetime tenancies, which Whitehall wants to scrap as part of the housing bill.

“Why are you asking us to let people come into our houses and value our homes?” she said.

Cllr Ward said he hadn’t seen the letter in question, which didn’t help matters. But he did then reiterate the council’s stance about lifetime tenancies.

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