Calls for councillors to declare whether they are council tenants following complaints against cabinet member

A COUNCILLOR has called on his fellow members to reveal whether they are council tenants after officials had to investigate complaints against a cabinet member.

Keith Bobbin has lived in his council house in Rokescroft, Pitsea, for more than 40 years and believes that fellow councillors should be made to declare their housing situation after Terri Sargent was accused of getting preferential treatment.

Mrs Sargeant, Basildon councillor responsible for community, received a new kitchen at her council house in Lower Street, Noak Bridge, as part of the Decent Homes Programme.

But neighbours were left upset because 14 of them are still waiting for work to start and 51 have not yet had repairs completed.

Mr Bobbin, Labour councillor for Pitsea North West, is set to have his bathroom re-fitted in 2016 or 2017- the final year of the programme to bring homes up to an acceptable standard.

He said: “I have always been open and up-front about living in a council house and I think all councillors should be. I’m surprised to hear that Terri Sargent is a council tenant, but it’s not something which people are keen to talk about.”

All councillors are requried by law to complete a notification of interests form to register financial interests such as their employment, contracts between themselves or their company and the council, details of any sponsorship and connections to any land in the area.

The form does not request to know whether they live in a council property.
Basildon Council received complaints about Mrs Sargent, who has done nothing wrong, after workers from the firm Mitie were spotted carrying out the work.

Alan Davies, Labour councillor for Fryerns ward, added: “The problem is how it looks to the outside world. You do wonder if there has been any preferential treatment if other tenants are still waiting for work to be done.”

Mrs Sargent declined to comment, but her leader, Tony Ball, said: “These allegations are completely unfounded and have no basis in fact."
 

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:35pm Mon 28 Jan 13

OldSmokey says...

Alan Davies, Labour councillor for Fryerns ward, added: “The problem is how it looks to the outside world. You do wonder if there has been any preferential treatment if other tenants are still waiting for work to be done.”

Mrs Sargent declined to comment, but her leader, Tony Ball, said: “These allegations are completely unfounded and have no basis in fact."

Typical answer, expected nothing else.

So that's a yes then "Preferential treatment for Mrs Sargent"
Alan Davies, Labour councillor for Fryerns ward, added: “The problem is how it looks to the outside world. You do wonder if there has been any preferential treatment if other tenants are still waiting for work to be done.” Mrs Sargent declined to comment, but her leader, Tony Ball, said: “These allegations are completely unfounded and have no basis in fact." Typical answer, expected nothing else. So that's a yes then "Preferential treatment for Mrs Sargent" OldSmokey
  • Score: 0

4:30pm Mon 28 Jan 13

jolllyboy says...

It is essential for transparency here. It must be shown that no councillor who is a council tenant has no say in awarding contracts concerning council houses, nor planning decisions which may relate directly or indirectly, etc.etc.
It is essential for transparency here. It must be shown that no councillor who is a council tenant has no say in awarding contracts concerning council houses, nor planning decisions which may relate directly or indirectly, etc.etc. jolllyboy
  • Score: 0

9:18pm Mon 28 Jan 13

EthanEdwards says...

Should people live in social housing for upwards of forty years?
Is there a moral argument that residents should try to get into the normal housing market when they can, so that the less fortunate can get a home?
After all there is a huge waiting list and no society on the planet can just give everyone who wants it an allocated house.
So there's always going to be a demand from people FAR less fortunate than you.
Shouldn't social housing be 'a leg up' not a lifestyle choice. Just a thought.
Should people live in social housing for upwards of forty years? Is there a moral argument that residents should try to get into the normal housing market when they can, so that the less fortunate can get a home? After all there is a huge waiting list and no society on the planet can just give everyone who wants it an allocated house. So there's always going to be a demand from people FAR less fortunate than you. Shouldn't social housing be 'a leg up' not a lifestyle choice. Just a thought. EthanEdwards
  • Score: 0

10:51pm Mon 28 Jan 13

Gb2013 says...

I am very surprised to read this is a council house as I am very sure that ALL council houses in Noak Bridge were made to have WHITE PVC windows all matching as this is a conservation area to be reserved to certain standards? am I right? Hmm this must be the ONLY council property in Noak Bridge that has been allowed to keep BLACK leaded windows? Thought so! No preferential treatment aye Mrs Sargent and Mr Ball!?!
I am very surprised to read this is a council house as I am very sure that ALL council houses in Noak Bridge were made to have WHITE PVC windows all matching as this is a conservation area to be reserved to certain standards? am I right? Hmm this must be the ONLY council property in Noak Bridge that has been allowed to keep BLACK leaded windows? Thought so! No preferential treatment aye Mrs Sargent and Mr Ball!?! Gb2013
  • Score: 0

12:24pm Tue 29 Jan 13

foxy108 says...

Of course treatment is preferential, perk of the job :-)
Of course treatment is preferential, perk of the job :-) foxy108
  • Score: 0

12:47pm Tue 29 Jan 13

TheWizzard says...

According to the ECC website, she does have a beneficial interest in that property
According to the ECC website, she does have a beneficial interest in that property TheWizzard
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree