Star date: 9th February 2018


Following rent rises of over 20% during the last five years, Salford City Council is set to increase social housing rents by a further 3.8% from April this year for its Pendleton PFI properties. PFI-funded housing is exempt from a 1% rent reduction imposed on other social housing providers in the city.

Balancing out the rent rises are reduced service charges for some properties, while the Council states that costs for addressing fire safety issues within the high rise blocks in Pendleton "have not yet been identified".

Full details here...

Salford Council 3.8% rent increases and service charges
click image to enlarge

Having been hammered by rent rises of over 20% during the last five years, Salford City Council is set to increase rents for its Pendleton social housing tenants by a further 3.8% from April. Rent charges for garages and the Duchy caravan site will also increase by 3.8%.

The previous huge rent rises were the result of the former Labour Government's 'convergence policy', continued by the ConDem Government, which tried to align social rents to a national formula. This ended in a mess when, in 2015, social landlords were expected to increase rents by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus 1%...

...Then, in 2016, social housing providers were told by the Tory Government to reduce social housing rents by 1% - except for 'PFI-funded housing'. Pendleton is controversially funded by PFI, or Private Finance Initiative, for which the £78.7million original capital cost will end up costing over £430million by the time it's finished (see here).

According to Salford Council figures, the PFI is costing over £13.7million a year (less Government 'credits' of £7.5million), and is set to rise by over £200,000 from April. Indeed, a Council report for its City Issues meeting next week cites "Increased PFI costs in line with the agreed contract" for pressures on its housing budget.

Pendleton tenants living in properties owned by Salford Council and managed by Pendleton Together will see the 3.8% rent rise from April, after a rent freeze last year, although some of the increase will be offset by reduced service charges.

Those living in low rise properties and sheltered accommodation will be worst hit by the combined rent increase and service charges...

Tenants in Turnpike Green will see an increase in service charges, making their joint rent and service charges rise by almost £12 per month. Others will see joint rent and services charges rise by between 2.6% and 3.2% (Lombardy Court, Pendleton Green, Woolpack Green, Church Green, Graythorpe Walk, Sedan Close and Tunbridge Square), an average of around £10.50 per month.

For those living in the nine high rise Pendleton blocks, charges will vary from a 3.1% overall reduction at Salix Court (£3.23 per week on a 48 week basis), to a 1.7% increase (£1.81 per week on a 48 week basis) at Thorn Court.

Tenants at Beech Court and Plane Court will see a 1% reduction in overall rent and service charges, while those living in the other blocks will see overall rises of between 0.9% and 1.4% (Hornbeam, Whitebeam, Holm, Malus and Spruce Court: see graphic for full details).

Interestingly, the Council report adds that "Newly added to the proposed 2018/19 service charge is an energy management fee payable by the Council, to secure competitive utility tariffs alongside the management of energy accounts...

"Pendleton Together has advised that reductions in utility charges are largely a reflection of these competitive tariffs, as opposed to any significant reduction in consumption..." Wasn't the controversial NIBE heating system supposed to lead to a 'significant reduction' in energy consumption?

Meanwhile, the report also states that "Work is ongoing to address fire safety issues within the high rise blocks" and that "full costs have not yet been identified...Any costs associated with potential payment of disturbance allowances would need to be quantified as part of the ongoing budget process".

We'll let the Pendleton tenants themselves ask what the hell this means, as Pendleton Together has an "agreement" with Salford Council not to respond to Salford Star questions (see here)...

Bob the regular wrote
at 15:36:42 on 14 February 2018
Thank you Mr or Mrs Wrote. Yes , comrade Dennett does in fact live on Albion, he says so on that video. Since he chooses to live on one, perhaps he approves of TMO housing management as opposed to "housing provider management". Perhaps he can let us know his views on this subject, but I doubt he will. A pal of mine knows someone on that block, and guess what, these fortunate people are all getting a 1% reduction this year, not confirmed yed, but that is what they are expecting. So Dennetts rent goes down, whilst others go up. Keep the red flag flying comrade Phil.
Bob the regular wrote
at 19:36:33 on 13 February 2018
Phil, you obviously like reading a free press, but why does your pal Dennet and his gang ,along with all the housing providers , blank journals like the Star? All I was trying to ascertain, was if the rents in places that were controlled by TMO organisation types, run by amateurs, was going up the same as the places controlled by "housing providers" nominated by our knowledgeable council. With regard to affordable housing, It was Salford labour council that knocked down thousands of structurally sound houses that could have been refurbed at reasonable cost. I know what I am talking about on that, as I spent my life on the tools in the construction industry. I have worked on the refurb of god knows how many old houses. Dirty work,but it can be done. Salford council got millions from brother prescott to knock all the old houses down. Salford council thought tony blair and his crew would be in power for ever, and that they would give lots of cash to all the luvvys in the "housing provider industry". It won't be long before we all learn the truth. I predict that a lot of these councils will be going the way of detroit and carrilion. The surrey county council thing could be just a clever feint by the government, just to jolt people into thinking ,"well if Surrey are skint , what about the wasters?" What if the credit insurers who insure people who supply local authorities get spooked, they have with big name retailers. You can bet that if a few councils fail that ours will be one of them. I can hardly wait.
Hedley Hopper, Political Columnist & Metrosexual Man of Mystery wrote
at 19:35:40 on 13 February 2018
@ Phil…re Mayor Dennet - More of a hirsuite Gregory Peck with those deep limid eyes and sardonic smile! But let’s be realistic…costs do go up, so do rents and council tax – sometimes quite disproportionately, especially IN Salford. A quick fix to raise money would be to divert it from repairing potholes in Salford’s roads by redesignating those hazards as “traffic calming speed holes”. At one fail swoop two birds killed with one stone! Incidentally, I WAS joking …. before some Civic Centre and/or Labour Party Apparatchik claims this as their “idea” and adopts it as official policy!
at 19:35:21 on 13 February 2018
Bob - video on MEN says Albion Towers. Interesting watch about the cladding. Does fan Phil live there too by any chance? https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/salford-mayor-slams-government-over-13300301
Phil wrote
at 16:37:35 on 13 February 2018
Look, I can state categorically that I am most definitely not Mayor Dennett's lover. Although I must also state that he is quite a good looking fellow, with what I can only describe as a Gary Cooper presence. Yes. Yes, he really is very attractive, but no, as I stated earlier, I am not his lover. Nope, I just believe that he is a good man. That he is a man of genuine socialist principles. That in effect, he is by far the best person to lead this city through its current crises that have been entirely brought upon us by years of harsh Conservative rule. We, as Salfordians, will not get better than Dennett. And as I have previously stated, the Mayor has many many personal qualities that I believe are necessary in a leader. He's thoughtful, he's modest, and he has a lot of humility. These are all good qualities, and ones that we should all applaud, and try our very best to have in ourselves. Here endeth the sermon, and I hope that you rabble of always complaining, but never doing "losers" feel suitably chastised.
Retired Socailst wrote
at 13:15:58 on 13 February 2018
The question on every Star readers lips? who is Phil? i thought it may be Mr Dennett's partner the way he jumps to his defence i always felt you can't defend the indefensible but in Phil's eyes you surely can. Can you not see the way Mr Dennett got his flat, i wonder if he went through the bidding process? no. This man sits over the wipe out of our kids nurseries while cutting jobs, and putting cash were not supposed to have off the Tories into Rugby and Posh gardens for the idle rich.if the man got is priorities right ok the realty one more champagne socialist shouts loud but does sod all.
Phil wrote
at 06:50:39 on 13 February 2018
Bob, do you live on a diet of grapes, sour grapes? You keep harping on about the Mayor living in a block of flats, and how you hope his rent isn't going up. Look, just be grateful that the Mayor of this great city actually LIVES in social housing. Respect to the man for having principles, and living by them. And Bob, from my limited experience of meeting him; I've met him twice, by happenstance, on the street when he was the Councillor for Langworthy; he comes over as a man with many qualities. Qualities such as thoughtfulness, humility and gentleness. He, for my opinion is a decent bloke, and I'm glad that he's the Mayor. Long may he reign.
Bob wrote
at 22:33:03 on 12 February 2018
Well, it looks like nobody is going to tell us about Dennets rent and if it is being increased. I remember ages ago the Star did an article about the block he moved onto. Bit of controversy about it ,if I remember right. I am sure it was a TMO block, a proper one not like the Chelsea one. I think he was at one time on the management board. All good socialist involvement for the workers and tennants all running their own affairs like a collective. Despite their lefty leanings, these groups work very well for the benefit of residents, keeping rents and service charges in check ,and standards high. I hope the one on Dennets block have done a good job on his and our Mayor does not have a rent increase.That way we can give him more of the stick he deserves for the increases everyone else has got. Can anyone remember the name of his block so we can find out?
Bob the regular wrote
at 18:30:32 on 12 February 2018
Phil, it seems obvious that you know our mayor very well.Could you please ask him how much his rent is going up? I honestly do not know as I think he lives in a TMO block. Can you please find out and let us know. While your at it I think we also need to know about rent rises ,if any , by Winsdsor and Barracks TMO groups. He should know all about these as well. We can then judge them by their performance against Pendleton Together , Salix,City West and all the other "providers"
at 06:58:28 on 12 February 2018
@Phil admires his leader's socialist principles - including free speech maybe from news link below? equally.http://www.salfordstar.com/article.asp?id=2557
Phil wrote
at 20:10:22 on 11 February 2018
I imagine that it will be going up by the same amount that everyone one else's will be going up by. I must say, one of the things that I most admire about Mayor Dennett is that he sticks to his socialist principles. Not for him to be a faux socialist, latin name, Marcus Deefus Pseudosocialisticus. Faux socialists are of the type that talk about socialism (all the time, as nauseum) but also brag about owning two houses and earning four hundred quid per day. No, in Mayor Dennett's case he lives and breathes Socialism and eschews, at least on a personal level, private ownership of property. I take my New York Yankees cap off to the guy, principles like that are rarer than one would imagine in today's age and, most crucially, this is why we as Salfordians must support him.
Bob the regular wrote
at 06:43:40 on 11 February 2018
Like I said, how much is Dennets rent going up?
"Head in the clouds still" wrote
at 08:39:29 on 10 February 2018
£3 plus council tax hikes, increase in most commodities. How much a week extra is that? Some people just don't get it
Phil wrote
at 06:41:06 on 10 February 2018
I repeat, three pounds per week will NOT lead to a rise in Survival Crime, be that via shoplifting or prostitution. Three pounds per week is NOTHING. Think about it, what does three pounds get you? That's right, it gets you a coffee from Starbucks or a packet of Lurpak and a copy of the Daily Mail. Or even the approximate price of - wait for it - Six cigarettes. Yes Folks, that's how far three pounds sterling will get you. So don't bang on about how crippling a three pound per week rent increase will be. The truth be told, it is NOTHING!
Bob the regular wrote
at 19:04:10 on 09 February 2018
The sad thing about this is the fact it will not end here.All these organisations are "financially challenged". The cost of all their mistakes is being loaded onto the residents. I have but one question. (for the time being that is). How much is the rent going up on the block where our beloved Mayor lives. If it's not going up the same as all the others, perhaps we can be told why. Could it perhaps be looked after in a different way. What about the barracks housing and windsor.Any increases there I wonder?
"Heads in the clouds" wrote
at 16:13:04 on 09 February 2018
What planet are you lot on "its only £4 week" you obviously have no relationship with poverty and it's impacts on those who don't have a penny to spend on heating during the winter months, thet use food banks so give ur prejudiced heads a shake
Felsey wrote
at 14:45:17 on 09 February 2018
Disgusted to see a further squeeze on these residents. I would have renegotiated the PFI deal for that £430mlllion bill to see a PPI type investors surcharged rule in getting 35% back into our local community. Dropping social housing rents by 12% and a rent freeze for 8 years in all our Council Asset owned property areas in Salford. This hype is scandalous, deplorable and bad.
Phil wrote
at 14:45:12 on 09 February 2018
Wow! Yes, I admit it, I failed gcse maths, I got an E. Those poor tenants, they're not even going to be four pounds a week worse off, just three. A whopping three pounds stirling. I suppose that they're just going to have to scrimp and scrape and cut back on all the luxuries in life that that three pounds would otherwise have been spent on, won't they? I accept though that it will be hard, almost as hard as living in the slums of Metro Manilla, a family of nine living in a dilapidated shack and surviving on a meagre twenty five dollars a week. Yes folks, Salford Council putting up the rent by three quid a week will, in its very own Salford way, be the equivalent of that.
Phil wrote
at 14:44:52 on 09 February 2018
I cant see what all the fuss is about. So certain tenants are going to see their rent and service charges go up by twelve pounds per month. WOW! A whole twelve pounds per month. JEEZ, That is JUST Outrageous... A whole FOUR POUNDS PER WEEK. My God, that will really break the bank. Destination Skid Row those tenants will soon go. Come on, get real. Four pounds extra per week works equates to a packet of Country life butter and two cups of tea from a greasey spoon.
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