A biased review of Uttlesford housing report

Right to say no

I RARELY write to local newspapers but I feel I must correct the many inaccuracies and misunderstandings expressed by Milan Milovanovic in last week’s paper where he criticised Uttlesford District Council and its housing service.

I have never knowingly met Mr Milovanovic and it is a pity he could not be bothered to pick up the phone and talk to staff before penning such an inaccurate and unpleasant assessment of Uttlesford and its achievements. In concentrating on weaknesses and ignoring our strengths, Mr Milovanovic paints a very biased and distorted picture of the housing inspection report.

It is well known that the council had severe financial problems three years ago but it has never been under special measures or administration and contrary to Mr Milovanovic’s assertion, the Voluntary Improvement Board was an advisory committee put together at the request of the council – it certainly was not imposed by Government.

The Board agrees that the council’s improvements are generated from within and have not been imposed from outside. The council’s record on affordable housing is second to none, and all our current stock, unlike that of many councils, meets the decent homes standard. The service is highly regarded by our tenants.

The council’s financial position has been sound for some time, and as an organisation we have a high sense of self-awareness.

Of course we are always seeking to improve and the Audit Commission’s report shows that we are well on the way.

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That is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all the council’s staff, and for this they deserve great credit.

John Mitchell

Chief Executive

Uttlesford District Council