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Tenants' leader, MPs and Councillors Meet for War Council.

March 18, 2009 9:48 AM

Local tenant leaders, MPs and councillors agreed tactics at a meeting on Friday (13th March) to discuss a day of action on the 25th March which includes a lobby of Parliament, presenting a petition to the Prime Minister in Downing Street and meeting a Housing Minister. The day of action is part of the borough's campaign to persuade the Government to change rules that allow the Treasury to profit from tenants' rents.

The current rent rules mean that the Government exercise a lot of control over rent increases and how much of the income from the rent can be spent locally on the management and maintenance of tenants homes.

Next Wednesday (25th March) over 70 tenants led by Jean Crossby, Chair of the Sutton Federation of Tenants and Residents' Associations will descend on Parliament in an open top double-decker bus to meet their local MPs Tom Brake and Paul Burstow and together with their MPs march on Downing Street to present a petition to the Prime Minister.

The tenants, MPs and councillors are concerned that news that the Government were set to halve the increase in rents this April may prove misleading. As the details emerge, it appears that Ministers have not committed to fully fund the cost of a lower rent increase and that any change will be delayed, forcing councils to go ahead with planned increases in rent.

Commenting Tom Brake said, "For too long, the Government has been siphoning off part of Sutton's tenants' rent. This must stop now! It's time Sutton's tenants' rent was spent on doing up Sutton's tenants' homes.

Paul Burstow MP added, "Next week's day of action will show just how strongly tenants feel about the way in which the Government pockets their rent. There is a lot of work to be done locally to improve Council housing. When tenants pay their rent, they have a right to expect it to be spent on managing and maintaining their homes.

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