Brent's housing scrutiny committee dissolved now the service is back in house
PUBLISHED: 12:00 05 March 2019
A scrutiny committee tasked with keeping an eye on Brent's housing stock has been scrapped.
The committee was set up to oversee the bringing in-house of housing management following the collapse of Brent Housing Partnership (BHP) in 2016.
Scrutiny of housing – but not the eight councillors and tenant who served on the committee – will now move back under the community wellbeing scrutiny panel where it was before, the council said.
The decision was voted through by councillors at the full council meeting on February 25.
Cllr Michael Maurice, (Con), who serves on the committee, said: “If it saves some money and can be done as efficiently as it was before then I have no problem with it.
“As long as everything on the housing agenda is dealt with it doesn’t matter that it’s moved back to wellbeing.”
BHP, which was set up in 2002 as an arm’s length management organisation (ALMO), was put in special measures in March 2016.
It was ordered to improve its poor performance in the following six months and failed. Brent Council promised quicker repairs and more investment in council blocks when it took it over in October 2017.
Brondesbury Park’s former Conservative councillor Carol Shaw, who died in September 2018, was a fierce critic of the ALMO. In 2016 she told this paper she had received “caseloads of complaints” from her constituents.
She said at the time: “My residents’ ongoing dissatisfaction with BHP has given me great cause for concern and stress with countless problems that are still not addressed and remain unresolved.”
A council spokesperson said: “By 2020 the money we receive directly from government will have been slashed by 79pc.
“The council needs to find ways to deliver good services in an efficient way. We are faced with many difficult choices about the services we can afford to protect – the ones which matter most to people. This year is harder than ever.”