'Council must keep rent cash' - demand

PUBLISHED: 16:11 15 August 2008 | UPDATED: 09:29 10 June 2010

FRIDAY, AUGUST 15: A leading Exmouth councillor has hit out at Government claims on £5 million a year of council rent money. Tenants pay £13 million annually to live in District Council-owned and managed properties, with £5.2 million taken by the central Government. Now EDD

A leading Exmouth councillor has hit out at Government claims on £5 million a year of council rent money.Tenants pay £13 million annually to live in District Council-owned and managed properties, with £5.2 million taken by the central Government.Now EDDC portfolio holder for communities Cllr Jill Elson has called for funds to be ring-fenced for housing. The authority has taken official steps, working alongside other landlord councils, to pressure the department for local government to review rules.Arguing that authorities such as EDDC will face an even greater burden as the credit crunch results in repossessions and financial difficulties, Cllr Elson has called for rent money to go back in the housing pot."I believe that in this economic climate, and when you think about all the local people we are employing to work on the properties, and the fact we are spending money to help people who may be in financial difficulties, rent money should be ring-fenced."We could then spend that £5 million on affordable housing."East Devon's affordable housing waiting list currently stands at around 4,500, Cllr Elson warning the figures could rise with current economic downturn.

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