Gavin Smith wrote:For a start, the maximum discount available at present under the right to buy is £100,000 and is on a stepped basis. I don't know anyone living in a council or housing association property who could, allowing for a £100,000 off the notional value of £1 million, raise a mortgage of £900,000. They wouldn't qualify for a social housing tenancy in the first place.
I'm not sure of the two-tier arrangement to which you make reference. Southwark Council housing service surcharge customers, be they leasehold, freehold or mere tenants, do qualify for an £8.88 discount off the weekly rent of a garage. As Zoe has pointed out, as with house rents, the garage fund is not subsidised by council tax payments. To be honest, even at £27.50 a week - which I assume is the rate you pay, Davies - you'd find it impossible to find comparable size and access at one of the self-storage places. I previously had a lockup at Access Self Storage - which is a very good place and I wouldn't hesitate to use again - and to rent somewhere approaching the size of a standard garage would cost almost £200 per month. The link you seek ishere.
As for pest control charges, as a local authority Southwark has no responsibility/legal duty to provide a pest control service other than to take such steps as may be practicable to keep their district free of mice and rats. However, as a landlord, in common with other landlords, be they private landlords, housing associations, etc, Southwark does have a responsibility to provide a pest control service in certain circumstances and for certain pests. This is why council tenants have access to this service. As I understand it, so too does anyone - at substantially lower rates than those charged by commercial entities. Again, and I stand to be corrected by those more "in the know", this is funded exclusively through the fund to which Zoe made reference.
Your council tax payment is used to fund essential council services "such as recycling, street cleaning, education, libraries and social services" (Southwark website). It also funds the Mayor of London, the London Fire Brigade and policing services in the capital.
Davies wrote:Your 'understanding' of how council tax works is incorrect.Please explain how the garages being cheaper are not subsidised by council tax when my understanding was that council tax funds the council and the council rents out the garages? I genuinely want a link to the evidence not just: "Because Zoe (whoever she is) says so".
Why are council tenants eligible for free pest control and reduced rate garages when housing association and everyone else isn't?
Quote:What all local people are agreed they do not want is expensive pied-a-terres owned by people with no interest in the neighbourhood. The sort of flats shown in the Hay's Wharf scheme [similar to those now on the infamous One Tower Bridge site] fill our minds with the dread that this is what they might become.
Bermondsey has always been a 'village', proud of its history and taking an interest in its own affairs, though feeling a little despised; it wants its future inhabitants to be the same
Gavin Smith wrote:Hi Davies
Re para 1, I can make no comment other than to say that I would sincerely hope that wouldn't be the case.
Re para 2, I do understand your unhappiness. If you're a housing association tenant (a registered social landlord), they have a legal obligation to deal with pest problems on their property. If they are trying to shirk responsibility, you should get in touch with the Council's private sector landlord team for advice as your landlords are trying to get out of their legal responsibility. I've not seen the Yellow Pages for years! As a tenant, however, you shouldn't have to pay for pest control.
Re garages, no, it isn't a "snip" on my wage, but it is considerably cheaper than the open market alternative of Access Self Storage et al. Of course if you can't afford a garage then the answer is to sell the clutter that would otherwise occupy one. I make no comment about my personal means or ability to afford a garage, save to say that I work 18 hours a days in order to sustain a comfortable standard of living.
As Peter and others have said, your understanding re council tax is wrong. The garages form part of the council's housing stock and are self-funding in the same way that council housing is.
In simple terms, the council is responsible to ensure its own land is vermin free, hence why council tenants can call upon the services of the pest control department. The subsidised garage rent for service charge payers is on account of the fact that we have already made payments into that self-financing pot that is the housing fund. There is a plethora of information contained on the Southwark website and I'd suggest you take some time reading it as it's too numerous to particularise/link to.
Davies wrote:the rest of us who pay for the plate. If not through Council Tax then through income tax
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