Councillor quits post after cash row

A SENIOR Labour councillor has resigned from an important housing forum in a row over how local authority money is spent.Bradley Maguire, who represents Priory Heath on Ipswich council, has quit the borough's All Hallows housing forum – which is responsible for local authority homes in the Gainsborough and Priory Heath area of town.

By Paul Geater

A SENIOR Labour councillor has resigned from an important housing forum in a row over how local authority money is spent.

Bradley Maguire, who represents Priory Heath on Ipswich council, has quit the borough's All Hallows housing forum – which is responsible for local authority homes in the Gainsborough and Priory Heath area of town.

And he has asked the council's scrutiny committee to look at the way the forum spends its money.

There is no suggestion there is any wrong-doing, but Mr Maguire was concerned that councillor members of the forum had no say in where the money went.

"We were told that councillors had no vote on spending – not even the chair," he wrote in a letter to scrutiny committee chairman Martin Cook.

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"Councillors were also not allowed to vote at meetings with tenants and no minutes of those meeting were being taken."

The letter concluded: "The tenants and co-opted member should have a great deal more input into forum and other meetings, but the issue of who has the final word on spending taxpayers' money should be with the elected councillors."

A report for the scrutiny committee prepared by senior officers says that according to the code of practice for housing forums, only tenants can vote on how to spend the budget.

This is because that comes from the Housing Revenue Account – from council house rents.

Minutes had been taken of all housing forum meetings since September 2000.

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