Court backs council over pounds 21m subsidy
Wednesday 05 March 1997
Camden in north London is expected to receive pounds 20.9m as a result of Court of Appeal victory and a further 15 other councils are expected to benefit from the judgment made yesterday.
Steve Bundred, Camden Council's chief executive, said: "This is a victory for common sense and for long-suffering council tenants." He said that cuts in the Government's housing grant over years have left many of its estates "with simply no cash for vital repairs" and that the extra money could now be used for housing investment.
The extremely complicated case centred on whether the DoE was obliged to pay a subsidy when the council made a change to its accounting practice for its housing revenue account. Camden, along with other councils, had been asked to change its accounting practice for its housing revenue account, the separate budget for housing services, to bring it in line with recommendations from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.
Although the Act governing the operation of housing revenue accounts came into force in 1990, it was not until 1994/5 that Camden changed its system in line with the recommendation. This involved a one-off payment for which the council argued it was entitled to a subsidy of pounds 20.9m. The Secretary of State for the Environment had argued that if the council had adopted the new accounting method before 1990, no adjustment would have been necessary.
Lord Justice Roch said in his judgment that he was prepared to accept that the Secretary of State intended that the subsidy should not be paid, but had not worded a directive clearly enough to achieve this.
The judge said the council had argued that if the subsidy were not paid, it would mean either an average rise of pounds 230 for every council taxpayer, or massive cuts in council services.
The judge rejected the Secretary of State's claim, saying that although ministers had not wished to pay the subsidy, if the Secretary of State "has not used the words necessary to achieve his objective, that is unfortunate".
Mr Bundred said yesterday: "We have to fight for every penny for regeneration of our run-down estates. This money has been kept from our 30,000 tenants. It is overdue and very welcome."
- 1 Replica Back to the Future Hoverboard released
- 2 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 3 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
- 4 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 5 Dylan Moran on quitting smoking, being about as sexy as the Pope and why comedy panel programmes are 'c*ck shows'
Costa Concordia: Shipment of Mob drugs was hidden aboard cruise liner when it hit rocks off Italian coast, investigators say
Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
Iran nuclear talks: Prospect of deal with Iran pushes Saudi Arabia and Israel into an unlikely alliance
A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
£25,000 - £30,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you looking for a fantastic opportunity...
£50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...
£45,000 - £55,000: Loren Hughes: Are you looking for a new opportunity that wi...
Circa £45,000-£50,000 + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ac...