Deputy Leader of the Council (Finance and Resources): Councillor Imogen Walker
Strategic Director for Neighbourhoods and Growth: Sue Foster
Contact: Andrew Ramsden, Assistant Director of Finance – Neighbourhoods & Growth, Corporate Resources, 020 7926 9946, email@example.com
The Cabinet Member for Housing and Environment, Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite, introduced the report and noted the proposed HRA budget, rents, service charges and other charges to tenants in 2018/19. There had been no increase in service charges and overall there would be a small decrease in common service charges. In acknowledgement of increases last year, charges for garages, parking and sheds would be frozen. Leasehold charges would now be set in line with current expenditure.
The compulsory rent reduction imposed by Government represented a significant decline in the revenue account for the Council, which in turn placed constraints on investment in services and made borrowing less affordable. However, investment in Council housing stock has led to approximately 26,000 properties being brought up to the decent homes standard.
In response to a question from a member of the public, the Director of Finance and Property, Christina Thompson, explained that it was likely the Council had overachieved on its goal to save £1m by bringing in-house the services previously provided by Lambeth Living. She also noted the difficulties encountered as a result of the compulsory 1% rent reduction.
It was RESOLVED:
1) To note the approach to setting tenant and leasehold service charges, garage, shed and parking charges.
2) To note the reduction in rents of 1%, as set out in the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016.
3) To note the October 2017 forecast position as detailed in paragraph 2.1
4) To agree the proposed growth and savings for 2018/19 as set out in paragraphs 2.8 – 2.9 and Appendix 3.
5) To agree the HRA Budget for 2018/19 as set out in Appendix 4.