Due to the number of public speakers registered to
speak on this Item, this Item was taken first.
report was introduced by Cabinet Member, Voluntary Sector and
Leisure, Councillor Donatas Anyanwu who highlighted
were a limited number of Council owned properties across the
borough which are occupied by a variety of Voluntary and Community
Sector (VCS) groups
was little consistency in terms of rent arrangements across these
proposed strategy would ensure equity for all
proposed Strategy would provide tenants the benefit of gradually
increased rents over the next 6 years
Strategy would provide existing tenants, where their rents were
increasing, a rent-free period to help alleviate some of the issues
arising out of the pandemic.
Cabinet was addressed by Jenny Stiles, Vice-Chair of
Waterloo Action Centre, Abdu Ibrahim from the Eritrean Saho Culture
Association and Tedros Abay on behalf of the Community of Tigrayan
in the UK who highlighted:
Concerns regarding the cease of Lambeth Grants and
asked why empty properties had not been challenged
Appreciation for proposed renovations
That the proposal demonstrates long-term tenancies
and allows for community groups to plan in advance, and with
Issues regarding the internal mess that had been
left following the completion of some repairs. In response to this
issue, the Leader stated that they would take this comment away and
have conversations with relevant contractors.
In response to some of the comments raised,
Councillor Donatas Anyanwu, Cabinet Member for Voluntary Sector and
Leisure confirmed that:
Although the current arrangements for rent are not
equitable, the new Strategy would provide a fairer rent level for
each property within the Council’s portfolio
The subsidy would be more fairly split across all
A lot of the empty properties within the borough are
in a state of disrepair and require investment and additional
resourcing to bring them back in to use – this is being
looked at as a key issue in need of addressing.
Following consideration, Cabinet
grant all VCS tenants an extra quarter’s rent free whilst the
VCS Asset Strategy was being developed, to help alleviate some of
the challenges from lockdown, at a cost of
extend the transition period from three to six years, where rents
were due to increase.
provide additional independent business consultancy to tenants that
most need it.
incorporate feedback from the consultation into the Liaison
Officer’s job description, to ensure frequent interaction
with tenants and reasonable contact.
grant longer leases, on a case-by-case basis, subject to the usual
technical and financial due diligence, including organisation
governance and viability.
promote a VCS Panel with wider VCS representation, to promote
advocacy and support to those tenants that require capacity
building across a range of potential areas.