Lib Dems demand more of a say in wake of city homes scandal
- Credit: Danielle Booden
Opposition councillors on Norwich City Council (NCC) will today (Tuesday November 30) propose a motion to give themselves more say on issues impacting council tenants in the wake of a scandal involving hundreds of missed safety checks.
In October, it was revealed that a failure in oversight had resulted in missed electrical safety checks at nearly 900 homes, some of which should have been carried out at least five years ago.
In addition, water supplies in up to 500 homes may have missed vital checks for legionella, a germ which can cause lethal illnesses.
Letters were sent to 17,000 Norwich council tenants and leaseholders to tell them the council has put in place an "urgent" programme to make sure the checks are done.
Now, the council’s Liberal Democrat group is tabling a motion to involve opposition parties and representatives of tenants and leaseholders in a Health and Safety Compliance Board which the Labour-controlled council has pledged will meet four times a year to monitor improvements.
Councillor Judith Lubbock, who will propose the motion, said: "There are new governance arrangements, comprehensive plans and proposals being developed to return NCC homes to full compliance, including the creation of a Health and Safety Compliance Board.
“We feel it is essential that councillors from opposition parties have a seat on that board'.
- 1 Doctors baffled by teenager's horrific long Covid symptoms
- 2 Norfolk man amongst UK's 12 most wanted
- 3 'Once in a lifetime catch' - man lands monster fish in Norfolk
- 4 Council leader arrested after suspected drink driving on Christmas Day
- 5 Music-loving dad whose ashes were fired into festival crowd took own life
- 6 Revealed: Travelodge behind multi-million pound hotel development
- 7 Man who survived motorcycle crash died from Covid, inquest told
- 8 Norfolk village named among poshest places to live in the UK
- 9 Seven of the oldest Norfolk businesses
- 10 Hot tub wrecked after car smashes through garden wall from Wilkos car park
Councilllor Caroline Ackroyd, who will second the motion, added: “Why shouldn't the voice of those who receive the services from the council have a say in how the council improves its services?
“If there had been better scrutiny and more openness and transparency in the past from a wider selection of councillors and tenants there may not have been this failure extending back over many years and now costing over £2m to put it all right.”
Commenting in response, council leader Alan Waters said: “I’m pleased that the Liberal Democrats have acknowledged the comprehensive plans the Labour administration has put in place to tackle the failures around housing compliance.
“It is the responsibility of [the] Labour administration to sort this out and that’s what we are focused on.
“Recommendations, recently passed by the scrutiny committee and cabinet, means there will [be] regular progress reports to the housing regulator, cabinet, scrutiny, all members of the council and the tenant involvement panel.
“[This is] ample opportunity for all views and contributions to be heard as we work towards 100% compliance.”