Maintenance charge has been postponed

The introduction of a controversial grounds-maintenance charge will be postponed following concerns from residents, but a row over whether it can be paid through housing benefit could continue to be a sticking point .

Friday, 4th March 2016, 5:00 am

Isos Housing has announced that its contentious proposal to start a service charge in April will be delayed until a later date.

The social landlord had intended to hit all of its Northumberland tenants, including in areas such as Widdrington and Amble, with a weekly bill of £1.58 – equating to more than £80 a year.

The plan sparked fury among residents and Northumberland County Council criticised Isos for its lack of dialogue over the issue.

Isos has now agreed to push back the date to give time to consult residents. A spokesman said: “We received comments from residents and their representatives expressing some concerns about the proposed charge.

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“Having listened to those concerns, we have postponed the introduction of this charge until a later date.

“It is important to listen to our residents’ views and we will revisit our implementation plans to consider if changes can be made. We have committed to writing to our residents again by September, to advise them of our intentions.”