Last year we discovered that Barnet Council had bought 28 city properties, in order to move their own homeless families in to, despite our own city facing a housing crisis forcing local people to wait more than a year for a home.
At the time, we also discovered that the Conservative controlled City Council, had no idea that this had happened!
So I raised this issue formally in the Council Chamber, pointing out that Cllr John Holdich had stated that he would be “contacting Barnet Council about its intentions“, the “additional pressure on our services” and “asking our MPs to raise the matter in Parliament.”
I therefore asked whether they’d contacted Barnet Council and discovered why they failed to forewarn us, what additional pressures had we seen on our services and did they have a date for when the matter would be raised by our MPs in Parliament, and whether the administration had further concerns that another local London Authority might undertake a similar manoeuvre?
As a result I discovered:
- Barnet Council “were apologetic as it was their intention to notify” Peterborough City Council, despite failing to do so?
- Peterborough Council “have not seen any additional pressure on services”, despite claiming they would.
- Peterborough City Council are “concerned that other council’s may seek to purchase property in our city…. but there is nothing that [the Council] can do to stop it.”
- Tory Cabinet Member for Growth, Planning, Housing, and Economic
Development, Cllr Peter Hiller, also claimed “..the city’s new Labour MP is rapidly gaining a reputation for being somewhat tardy in her communications. I’ve heard nothing from the MP on this matter or whether it might be raised in the Commons in the near future.”
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