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Axe South Essex Homes to save £1.1million a year
10:00am Wednesday 17th October 2012 in Echo News
AXING South Essex Homes could generate more than £1.1million a year to plough into major housing projects in Southend.
On the eve of a debate about the future of the management body, which is responsible for looking after Southend Council’s 6,000 homes across the borough, bosses have revealed a convincing case for bringing the service back in-house.
Officers holding the purse strings at the Civic Centre believe scrapping the organisation could free up millions of pounds to be spent on other schemes, such as building new council housing or revamping the town centre’s troubled tower blocks.
Members of Southend Council’s community services and culture scrutiny committee will sit down today to discuss the way forward, although a final decision will not be made until the authority’s Tory leadership meets later this year.
However, Jacqui Lansley, head of community strategy and development, said there was a strong case for axing the body. She said: “The council is now able to retain the rental income from homes they buy, build or bring back into use to invest in new and improved housing.
“Any savings in management costs can therefore be used to re-invest in the housing stock or bring forward new affordable housing.
“When looked at on its own, the financial case for bringing the function back in-house is compelling.”
South Essex Homes, which was set up in October 2005, is given more than £9million a year by the council as a management fee for running the properties.