MAYOR OF LONDON REPLY TO ESSEX COUNCILS’ LETTER OVER HOUSING ISSUE IS WELCOMED

A reply by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to a joint letter from all Essex local authorities highlighting issues with London council housing people inappropriately in the county has been welcomed.

The leader of every Essex council and the county’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner co-signed a letter to all London boroughs and the capital’s mayor in December.

In it they highlighted problems experienced with families being re-homed in inappropriate housing across Essex and raised concerns about a lack of communication between councils when doing so.

Neil Stock OBE, leader of Tendring District Council and chairman of the Essex Leaders and Chief Executives Group, said the letter was a positive step.

“While we wrote to every council and the Mayor of London, only Mr Khan has replied,” Cllr Stock said.

“However, Mr Khan’s reply is encouraging. His office has some strategic oversight of housing in the capital, and he has offered to be part of our conversations with London boroughs who have operational control and ultimate responsibility for this issue.

“Mr Khan has also picked up our offer to jointly lobby Government on the issues which Government has control of, such as housing policy, which is a positive step.”

Essex council leaders are now writing to all of the county’s MPs asking them to pick up the issue and lobby government – working jointly with Mr Khan following his letter.

Cllr Stock added: “Though Mr Khan’s letter is positive, what we need is action at various levels.

“That is why we are now asking our MPs and Mr Khan to play their part in lobbying government on the changes it needs to make, while we will continue to pressure the London boroughs to stop placing vulnerable families in unsuitable accommodation, far from their support networks, and without telling us.”

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