Ollerenshaw Points the Finger At Tenants

Tory Councillor Eric Ollerenshaw was quoted in Inside Housing this week (14th September 2001) saying that Council tenants owe the Council £20.9 million in rent. He admits that “part” of the problem is how bad the Council are at paying housing benefit. Other reasons he doesn’t consider are the lack of well paid jobs available to most people in Hackney, and the Council’s useless housing management system that has let tenants get so far behind with their rents.

Councillor Ollerenshaw, of course, also fails to look at the other side of the story. Some tenants are behind with their rent, but what about all the outstanding repairs that the Council are legally obliged to carry out but continually fail to do? It’s a lot easier to point your finger at Council tenants than it is to face up to your own responsibilities.

Crooked Councillors Sent Down

Two Hackney councillors convicted of electoral fraud – according to some reports the biggest fraud in British electoral history – have been sent to jail. Isaac Leibowitz (Conservative) and Zev Lieberman (Lib Dem) were convicted of forgery and conspiracy to defraud and given sentences of 6 and 4 months respectively.

In the murky world of Hackney politics, it hardly comes as a surprise that the big parties are up to no good behind the scenes and might serve as a reminder to local campaigners in the area that we shouldn’t expect the middle class parties to play fair when their political futures are at stake. Of course, the biggest electoral fraud of all is that the major parties can claim to represent Hackney’s working class majority.