Green Party accused of ‘acting as agents’ for the Tories

Brighton and Hove's Green-led council has been accused of "acting as agents for the Tory-led coalition" after a letter emerged which appears to contradict the council's pledge to not evict council tenants who are unable to pay the 'bedroom tax'.

Tenant letter brighton

Brighton and Hove’s Green-led council has been accused of “acting as agents for the Tory-led coalition” after a letter emerged contradicting the council’s pledge not to evict council tenants who are unable to pay the ‘bedroom tax’.

Two weeks ago the Green administration running the council set out a policy that would preclude those getting into arrears over the bedroom tax from being evicted.

However a letter has emerged apparently threatening a tenant with court proceedings to repossess their home after they went into arrears over the tax.

 

The tenant who received the letter spoke to the council citing the local Green’s no eviction policy, only to be informed by a member of the council staff that they had “never heard of it”.

At a meeting two weeks ago a Green Housing committee spokesperson assured a group of residents that there would be “no more threatening letters sent to tenants”.

Labour and Cooperative spokesperson for tenant liaison Leigh Farrow is now demanding an immediate investigation into the council’s much trumpeted policy of ‘no evictions’.

Labour and co-operatice councillor Leigh Farrow said the local Greens were “acting as agents for the Tory-led government”.

“I am today calling on the Green administration to launch an immediate investigation into this matter and to give assurances that no further distressing threatening letters are being sent out to tenants.”

7 Responses to “Green Party accused of ‘acting as agents’ for the Tories”

  1. Tambien

    This is an odd piece. It states that The Green Group at Brighton ‘ set out a policy that would preclude those getting into arrears over the bedroom tax from being evicted.’

    But you now appear to be saying that they have deliberately gone back on that policy. Is that what you are saying?

    Or is it in fact more likely that BHCC’s paid staff – not those belonging to any political group who are elected as councillors – just made a mistake in sending out such a letter?

    Have you asked the Green Group what’s happening? Because there’s no comment from them. Did they refuse to comment? And did you ask the Council’s press office (because the Council employs the officers who write the letters, not the Green Group)? Because there’s no comment from them either. Did they refuse, too?

    And how come we have a Labour Councillor here implying that his party is the reason no-one in Brighton will be evicted (which implies that this letter WAS sent in error) when the Greens came up with the policy and are the largest group on BHCC at present?

    And how come this Labour Councillor is saying his Party is responsible for no-one in Brighton being evicted when no Labour-run councils are refusing to enact the evictions elsewhere in England?

    Just a question, like…

  2. WTF?

    Agree with Tambien, very poor article. Is this actually about Bedroom Tax? There’s nothing in the letter that indicates that this property has an extra bedroom, no comment from the tenant in the article about Bedroom Tax. Is every tenant in BHCC’s jurisdiction now immune from eviction for non-payment of rent – if so, I wish I lived there, it’d be well cheap. If opposition to the Bedroom Tax (and I AM a strong opponent) is going to be taken seriously, we need better reporting than this garbage.

  3. johnontheleft

    I second Tambien. How do we know this wasn’t sent in error by staff members unaware of the policy? Seems more than likely.

  4. Adam

    Funny how it says “please contact me”, but is not sent from an individual.

  5. JC

    So what you are proposing is any Brighton council tenant can decide not to pay the rent and stay in their accommodation. I’m not sure this is either a good idea or fair to those who pay.

  6. Adam

    Seriously, LFF is getting worse and worse.

  7. jennywren27

    Yes it is solely about bedroom tax arrears. I know the person who got the letter. She’s the same one that spoke to the Housing Committee 2 weeks ago and got a round of applause from all the councillors on it! The letter is the first stage of eviction proceedings. The council’s stance is now that the letter is not a mistake, that the tenant doesn’t have the criteria to qualify for the “No Evictions” policy. At no time has this criteria been explained to tenants. And this letter is not a one off either. (A generous interpretation would suggest that Green councillors hadn’t got a clue how full of holes the policy was. Tenants told one after the meeting this when she came to speak to them and was so full of what the Greens had done for them. She thought we were making an unnecessary fuss, or she was pretending she didn’t understand how it would work.) The Greens seem to think tenants have ‘magic beans’ to make up the shortfall in their rent. A person on JSA of £71 a week can’t suddenly find £23 a week out of it to pay the bedroom tax. It’s debatable too if this money is even owed at this stage – this tenant and many others are appealing their bedroom tax decisions. It is a disgusting way to treat a tenant who’s paid rent on her house for nearly 30 years. Brighton and Hove Green Party members need to be aware what’s being done in their name!

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