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Tenants hit with a huge hike in rents

COUNCIL house tenants in Solihull will be hammered by an inflation-busting increase in rent.

COUNCIL house tenants in Solihull will be hammered by an inflation-busting increase in rent.

From April, the average rent will increase by an extra £5 a week - equivalent to a 24 per cent council tax increase.

This will mean that some of the borough’s poorest residents face a monthly bill of £285.

At last week’s cabinet meeting, council leader Ian Hedley said the hike “appalled” him.

But councillors claim that the increase had been foisted on local authorities by the Government.

“There’s not one member of the cabinet around this table who wants to do this,” said Coun Hedley.

“But we haven’t been left with a choice. I’m just lost for words.”

Councillor David Jamieson, cabinet member for transport, said the increase was “shameful”.

“I’m angry on behalf of the hard-working people I represent, who are trying to keep afloat,” he said.

“We’re told that we’re all in this together, but by golly, these people will feel they’re in a lot deeper than others. It’s not people on benefits who this is going to affect, but those who get by on their own.”

Ministers have said they want to bring council rents closer to those of private landlords.

Because councils rely heavily on the Government for subsidies, they say they’re powerless to go against the recommended increase.

Doing so, housing officers say, would see them lose funding to spend on services and improvements.

Cabinet voted to approve the increase with “outrage and regret” and said they’d raise the issue with MPs.

 

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