Reply To: Major Works billed as Service Charges

#4043

Hi Alex. I’m afraid I don’t have the details – there may be something in the Forum minutes, but I couldn’t guarantee it as items aren’t written down verbatim for reasons of practicality. I would have to suggest reading the minutes for the last few meetings this year and combining that with a Google search.

My impression is that Camden Council, like many other council I know about, changes/retargets its investment/building and refurbishment strategy depending on what funding pots are available and those pots are deliberately designed to ensure that that happens – it certainly does cause last minute changes as schemes can withdrawn without any notice or have very short application periods. I’m certain it’s a pain in the backside for all concerned. In terms of accuracy in meeting the criteria, I would hope that Camden tries to strictly comply with the criteria because the risks of getting it wrong and having the bill fall on Camden Council itself are too great (whether I’m right or wrong on the latter point may be for the various schemes’ auditors to pick up on).

Sometimes the funding pots just benefit council tenants (such as kitchen refurbs via Better Homes) and sometimes leaseholders benefit (such as insulation, which I think was delivered via energy companies after directions from central government). At a guess, also sometimes leaseholders pay for the benefits while tenants don’t. All works charged to leaseholders “have” to be justifiable in terms of reasonableness/appropriateness – but at that point people’s views will differ over what is reasonable and what isn’t (especially in terms of how well the works are carried out!).