Stevenage Borough Council approves rent rise

Stevenage Borough Council have moved to increase rent rates

Stevenage Borough Council have moved to increase rent rates - Credit: Archant

Social housing rent costs will rise after approval was given at a full council meeting last night (Wednesday).

Members of Stevenage Borough Council voted in favour of the 5.61% average rise which comes into effect in April, costing most households an extra £5.23 a week – approximately £270 a year.

Liberal Democrat councillor Robin Parker put forward a motion for the increase to be lowered to 4.1% – working out at an extra £3.84 a week. However this was defeated by the Labour majority and Conservative and UKIP councillors.

Cllr Parker, who represents the Manor ward, said: “The responsibility for this large rent increase, for the fifth year running, lies solely with the Labour council, and not the Government – who have removed the previous Labour government’s insistence that council house rents should be increased each year above inflation, until they equal those of other social landlords.

“It seems wrong for tenants to bear the weight of unspecified growth items. Most tenants just want a good and responsive repairs service.”

Labour councillor Sharon Taylor, leader of Stevenage Borough Council, said: “Robin Parker should be going back to his own government which has imposed the massive increases in discount under the Right to Buy scheme.

“Last night he said he didn’t agree with those increased discounts yet he is taking this council to task, so his comments should be to his own government and not this council.”