Friday, December 22, 2006

Merton Council Budget and Cabinet meeting.

I attended the Merton Cabinet on Monday night, the main item was to have been the Budget but that has been deferred to a meeting on 11th January, hopefully the minority Tory administration will be re-considering their decision to close the Bond Road centre for children.

Although the meeting had a packed agenda, many of the items fitted in the relatively uncontentious category. However, the meeting did proceed with approving a stock transfer ballot which will now go to Full Council on 31st January, David Williams the Leader expressed regret that the ALMO option at the Cabinet meeting seems to have been closed to the Council. In last weeks local Guardian he also stated that the letter to tenants letter may have been handled better in hindsight(this is understatement), this is not surprising given that a motion at the last Council had condemned how the letter had been sent out along with the content.

Probably the most contentious part of the Cabinet meeting was the decision to overturn two affordable housing schemes approved by the previous Labour cabinet in November 2004 which had received funding from the Housing Corporation and sell the sites on the open market. One of the developments on Merton Road in Abbey ward and was a very small development of just 12 houses which apparently is too large a concentration of affordable housing. The site will now be sold on the open market and one thing you can guarantee is that no affordable housing will be in any development if it is sold to a property company. The leader David Williams stated that "alternative sites are being sought though none have been identified", I have my doubts whether any affordable housing sites will be provided given the Conservative minority administration attitude towards affordable housing in Merton. Both dropped affordable housing development also happen to be in the two of the most marginal wards in Merton (Abbey and Ravensbury)

I enclose information below

C). 165-169 Merton Road (Abbey Ward) - That Cabinet decides:
i) To cease work on proposals for a housing scheme of 12 homes for new affordable housing arising from a previous decision at Cabinet in November 2004.
ii) To agree that the Director of Community & Housing, in consultation with the Cabinet Member, decide on demolition of the building, taking into account ongoing safety and security costs as well as the repeated incidents of trespass and anti-social behaviour, and the fact that full recovery of the demolition costs may not be guaranteed. Cabinet to note that if the option to demolish is exercised that capital of approximately £100,000 for demolition and site clearance (subject to necessary consents) would need to be approved and the demolition option if chosen, to be progressed by Director of Environment & Regeneration under delegated authority.
iii) To place the property on open market for sale (subject to necessary consents) after having gained outline planning approval for housing. To be completed under the Scheme of Management by the Director of Environment & Regeneration.

Ravensbury Garages Site (Ravensbury Ward) – That Cabinet agrees to cease all negotiations for new affordable housing on this site as previously decided in a Cabinet report dated 15th November 2004, and that Cabinet approves the sale of this site on the open market, having sought outline planning permission – subject to necessary consents and to by the Director of Environment & Regeneration under the Scheme of Management.


Blogger Jeremy Jacobs said...

Interesting Blog. Suggest that in addition to British Blogs you go with Once your on, I'll "fav" you and do a link from my rant Blog. (Besides, I dn't have any NuLabour chaps like you on board).

Tell me,is the ghost of Wimbledon Football Club still lurking in the council chamber?

2:18 am  

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