Guest Blog: Cllr Simon Wheale: Labour need to get tough on Rogue Landlords.

Simon is Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Manchester City Council

Simon is Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Manchester City Council and a Withington Councillor

I have written previously about how Labour in Manchester is making the wrong choices for Manchester.

Unlike nearby Labour Salford, they have turned down £1.5m in Government money to freeze the Council Tax, and raised it instead by an inflation busting  3,7%. Labour still keep reserves of £150million. They are saving just £1.8m trying to close front line services but can still afford to subsidise free drinks for  football stars at an Alicia Keys gig.

So once again it comes as no surprise to me that the Labour council is dragging its feet and letting the people of Manchester down

For years, the Liberal Democrats have been calling for  a city-wide licensing scheme to crack down on rogue landlords. A strong, robust and wide-reaching scheme would cut-down on noise, rubbish and poor housing standards as current rules are too easy to find ways around; yet the Labour controlled Manchester City Council is arguing that a scheme would be too expensive and wouldn’t yield any benefit.

I’d like those Councillors to come and walk around parts of my ward where many of the homes are in multiple occupancy. Particularly at this time of the year when many landlords choose to re-decorate homes, lining the streets with skips and other debris. I’d also challenge those same Town Hall bosses to live  a week in homes where tenants have had to deal with poor waste management and maintenance problems that they often can’t get landlords to resolve.

My view is that we need a proper, comprehensive, Landlord Licensing scheme. What do you think? Let me know your experiences and help me put pressure on the council top-brass to do something about this issue that so many of us face daily.

I would also like to ask people to contact my colleague, Levenshulme Councillor James Hennigan. In tandem with John Leech, MP for Manchester Withington, he’s looking to get a council scheme off the ground that will force landlords to display smaller, flush to the wall ‘To Let’ signs.

The Liberal Democrat council in Leeds was able to pass such a motion, that has now been adopted voluntarily outside of the original ward intended. Large ‘To Let’ signs act as both a magnet for burglars and make entire street look untidy and unkempt and I don’t see way we in Manchester shouldn’t be able to do the same as the Liberal Democrat council in Leeds.

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