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Monday, February 13, 2017

St Michaels Gate Peterboroughs own Magic Roundabout - but without the laughs

Now that everyone seems to be jumping on the St Michael Gates case, in a nutshell for new readers (or those like Cllr Turnip living on Mars for the last few years - he still blocks us on social media, but then after all this time he only has a few followers !) some North London property 'suits' and an associated but secretive property company are at the centre of #StMichaelsgate The 'Suits' property company 'magically' block purchased a small ageing development in Peterborough, and almost immediately served notice on the current rent paying families thus making some of them homeless, many just before Christmas (NICE!); the properties after a swift tart up,  then offered to any Local Authority to house their homeless,. i.e. Peterborough could be a homeless warehouse for other local authorities throughout the UK! So rather than have say homeless from Scarborough or Bradford piling in, Cllr Seaton (Conservative) (if ever a man needs media training; did you see him on BBC Look East?) can claim, at a stroke, to be reducing the substantial numbers of Peterborough homeless (ie another lot of truly desperate people) coaxing them out of Bed and Breakfast and the Travelodge and into St Michaels Gate, so that the former tenants at St Michaels Gate now homeless can move into bed and breakfast and the Travelodge, vacated by the previous homeless and now residing/ being bumped from St Michaels Gate .... are you still with us???

Think, the Magic Roundabout ... but not so amusing and the hapless homeless will never get off it...

Cllr Seaton says this clever wheeze represents a reduction of £2million for the housing budget (we say in his dreams), but as the PCC now seems to be looking at the some allegedly sub-standard properties elsewhere already owned and managed by these 'Suits' from North London, any paper savings by the PCC may be soon lost in terms of legal hassle and costs - but then our Gillian has a battalion of paralegals in her ever expanding corporate department - we are as always, ever hopeful and to assist, below are some interesting legal comments on social housing leases and service charges just posted on the internet. The PCC and Cllr Seaton might like to follow them up, it could even save the council a few bob or two.  

Service charges, contracts, social housing and subsidies

Author: Giles Peaker
An interesting question. To what extent, if at all, can leaseholders’ service charges be set at a level to ‘subsidise’ a shortfall as against actual maintenance costs in service charges recoverable from social tenants in flats provided under a section 106 agreement.
The difficulties in this case were compounded by lease provisions which, for the non-social flats, apparently entitled the landlord to recover up to 3000% of any amounts actually expended (a reference to 10% of costs to all buildings, not to a specific block) – but nobody had sought rectification of this obvious error.
A development of 130 units had 39 as social housing, managed by an housing association, pursuant to a section 106 agreement with the council.
The service charges on the social housing units were capped at £522 per annum initially, rising with RPI.
The section 106 agreement made no provision as to who was to cover any shortfall between that amount and apportioned costs actually incurred in the management of the building and grounds.
The freeholder apportioned costs after deduction of the social housing units payment amongst the rest of the leaseholders, to secure 100% recovery.
To reads the full story follows this link:

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THE HIGH COURT has ruled....People have a right to lampoon and criticise politicians and public officials under the Human Rights Act, the High Court has ruled.

We have the full High Court judgment, saved as a page on here. l

ampoon (lampoon) Pronunciation: /lamˈpuːn/ verb [with object] publicly criticize (someone or something) by using ridicule, irony, or sarcasm: the actor was lampooned by the press noun a speech or text lampooning someone or something: the magazine fired at God, Royalty, and politicians, using cartoons and lampoons.

Derivatives: lampooner noun lampoonery noun lampoonist noun Origin: mid 17th century: from French lampon, said to be from lampons 'let us drink' (used as a refrain), from lamper 'gulp down', nasalized form of laper 'to lap (liquid).


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