max temp: 12°C

min temp: 7°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Mid Suffolk: Proposed council housing 5% rent rise is due to Government move - claim

06:00 05 February 2014

Mid Suffolk District Council in Needham Market.

Mid Suffolk District Council in Needham Market.


Homeowners could see their rents go up by more than £220 a year because of a £57million debt levied on a council by the government, according to a leading councillor.


Council tenants in Mid Suffolk could see their weekly rents go up by more than 5%, following a rise of 4% last year.

Opposition leader at Mid Suffolk District Council, Green councillor Andrew Stringer, said he had 
“sympathy” with the Conservative authority which had put forward the increases.

He claimed the government’s policy meant council rents were being forced in line with more expensive, but 
similar homes, in the area.

“We had to take a loan of about £60m at Mid Suffolk to get the loan at a reduced rate – the rent rises have nothing to do with council cuts, it is to with the government,” Mr Stringer said. “I have a problem with this and have voted against it. I do have sympathy with Mid Suffolk District Council’s position but it does not mean I agree with it.”

In 2012 it was revealed that more than £300m of debt had been handed to Suffolk councils due to the government’s decision to abolish the Housing Revenue Account.

Now individual councils, which own housing stock, are responsible for their share from the account but will receive 100% of housing rents. At the time Mid Suffolk said the changes would allow the authority to build its own affordable housing for the first time in 20 years.

Marilyn Curran, deputy leader and housing portfolio holder for Mid Suffolk, said no final decision had been made to increase rents.

“We are considering various options but I did have a meeting with tenants and they do understand that there is a need for the housing to be kept at a decent standard and to consider building homes for the Right to Buy scheme,” she said. “There are a number of people on a waiting list so there’s a lot to be considered.”

A spokesman for the Department of Communities and Local Government said councils should be “striking a balance” between making rents affordable and having enough money for investment in homes and services. “There is no requirement on councils to apply the maximum rent increase 
if they can deliver a good service while applying a smaller change,” he said.



The church is launching its fight back against gangs targeting places of worship for lead. St Mary's Church, Combs Road, Combs. Left to right is Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Kearton and Ipswich Bishop Martin Seeley.

The public have been asked to help the church and the police combat thieves targeting medieval churches across the country.

Residents have been campaigning for a by-pass for the four villages for decades.

Suffolk County Council is to contribute £450,000 towards building a case for the construction of a new by-pass around four villages on the A12 in the north of the county.

The Greyhound, Lavenham

Two fire crews are at the scene of The Greyhound pub in Lavenham after a small chimney fire broke out.

Lost pig found wandering in Wrabness by public and reported to police

Police are hunting for the owner of a large pig found trotting down the road in Wrabness.

The church of St Peter and St Paul in Lavenham

Supporters of one Suffolk church targeted by lead thieves have rallied round to raise the necessary funds to repair the damage caused to it – and help prevent it from happening again.

Robert Morton

MPs have warned the region’s new ambulance chief they will keep a laser like focus on the turnaround of the service when they came face-to-face in parliament.

Community transport, like Dial a Ride, faces financial cuts.

Funding for on-demand transport in Suffolk is to be cut in half – but there was a furious reaction after the Conservative cabinet at the county council ruled out any new debate on the subject.

Stock image. Photo: PA

Suffolk police have strongly denied officers have used a Taser against a 91-year-old man after being accused of doing so by a BBC investigation.

Bella was brought in the Braintree Police Station with serious injuries

A Shar Pei dog was brought to Braintree Police Station in a “horrific” state with scars across her stomach and internal injuries.

Matt Gaw strikes up a conversation with commuters in London

I’m standing in a queue at a large supermarket. A woman in front of me has long since packed her shopping into carrier bags, writes Matt Gaw.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages