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Tories attack Hendon MP sheltered housing Bill
A SENIOR Conservative councillor has attacked Hendon MP Andrew Dismore after he tabled a Bill yesterday to change the way decisions affecting sheltered housing are made.
The Labour MP announced on Monday he would table the Bill which would make it easier for residents to challenge decisions by councils and ring-fence grants from central government.
In December Barnet Council was defeated by residents in the High Court over plans to cut live in wardens in sheltered housing.
Now Councillor Sachin Rajput who is in charge of adult services, said: “The Labour government changed the rules to stop ring-fencing this money only last year. “If Mr Dismore wasn’t such an isolated and ineffectual figure in his own party he could have influenced what they are doing, rather than just putting out press releases. “Not even Labour ministers agree with him that central government should control every penny councils spend.”
The decision to stop protecting the money was made by Labour in 2008 to allow councils to focus cash on the most in need.
However, Mr Dismore said the idea of removing the protection on the cash was so it was spent on those who need it most, which he said Barnet Council were not doing.
He added: “This isn't opportunism. While it's unlikely the Bill will pass in this Parliament, you never know, and I have written to sheltered housing residents pledging to bring it back next time if I'm re-elected.”
He also attacked his Tory opponent for the Hendon seat at the next election, Cllr Matthew Offord, saying: “I have been against these plans all along, while Cllr Offord has voted for them.”
The Bill will have a second reading on February 5.
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