Moley’s Council News Snippets – Part Three

Poplar HARCA housing

Quite what went on with the transfer of Poplar HARCA housing stock to the Council would take far more than a brief mention here to cover.

It would seem that 400 Poplar HARCA properties on their numerous estates were transferred to LBTH but someone forgot to sort out insurance for them.

Moley was alerted to the Poplar HARCA stock transfer cock-up by one of his most reliable sources who pointed him to the Audit Committee video.

Thanks for that Anonymous Person!

The insurance error was only one of several problems, another was that an estimate of the cost of repairs to properties was not done until after properties had been transferred and so the real price of obtaining them was far more than the purchase price.

Anyone ever bought a flat without costing repairs against the purchase price? Exactly.

Anyone ever bought 400 flats without costing repairs against the purchase price? Seems so.

As we said above there are many details which we have not covered here such as how can the LBTH property purchasing process be so slack that this can happen and why was there no oversight of the process?

Sure it was only £100,000,000 or so but remember the old adage that if you look after the £100,000,000’s the £1 billions will look after themselves.

Or does that only apply to pennies and pounds?

As ever Cllr. Andrew Wood has detail on this and related issues.

Anything else? Of course there is, there is always something else in this borough.

Covid-19 funds

As we said last week Whitehall has given £112,017,000 Covid-19 relief funding to Tower Hamlets so Moley thought it would be interesting to see where the money has gone.

Standard requests about this were unsuccessful so Mole submitted a Freedom of Information (FoI) request to LBTH, number 23192241.

The FoI response Mole got back was that the council has no idea where the £112,017,000 went.

Which is a bit odd even for this part of London.

Weird thing is that Cllr. Andrew Wood (Independent, Canary Wharf) had also asked about this, presumably in a more formal manner (Members Enquiry?) and he did get some information.

And finally…

While some parts of LBTH have no idea where the Covid-19 funds were spent (or they do but don’t want to tell us) other parts of LBTH seem desperate to get rid of their money!

This may be connected to the fact that with some funds, like Right To Buy Receipts, if local authorities do not spend the money in a specific time frame the government takes it all. Ooh!

The Enquirer was surprised to see this tweet which seems to imply that LBTH does not know where to spend the £20m of Local Infrastructure Fund money it has.

‘This is super important! LIF money needs to be spent & legally has to be spent on infrastructure. Join the Q&A to tell us what you’d like to see & how you’d like your area to be improved.’

And that is that! We did not even get into the detail of the different Covid-19 funding pots, that fascinating subject is for another day.

Something to look forward to, eh?

Table of Contents

Part One – Council reserves get spent & The Secret Meeting
Part Two – Computer says ‘I have no idea’
Part Three – Poplar HARCA & the Covid-19 cash

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