Flats’ facelift is branded a waste

Pebble dashing underway at Ingleborough House, Hala, Lancaster.

Pebble dashing underway at Ingleborough House, Hala, Lancaster.

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PEBBLE dashing being carried out on blocks of flats in Hala at a cost of almost £350,000 has been branded a waste of money by an estate resident.

The work is part of a programme of improvements being done to the council properties, which also includes new bathrooms and kitchens and other essential maintenance in some of the homes.

It is being carried out on 60 council properties – 56 flats and four shops – at a cost of £341,819.13.

Residents living in privately owned flats within the blocks must pay for their share of the work, as laid out in their lease agreements.

One Hala resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “What I am seeing happening at the moment is something that is really not essential.

“Surely something like extra doctors or nurses or policemen is more important?”

The 25-year-old resident added: “I just don’t understand it. People’s jobs at the council are potentially at risk and they are paying for things like this.

“The flats are getting new kitchens and bathrooms too. The buildings are looking a bit grey but they are not that horrific. Surely they could just paint them?

“Surely that money could be better spent on something everyone could benefit from, such as a youth centre or playground?

“We are being told that we are having to make cuts and then we are being told about things like this and I jdon’t think it’s a priority.”

A city council spokesman said: “A range of improvements and essential repairs are currently being made to properties on the Hala estate, which include exterior works on flats, as part of our planned works programme.

“Those residents who have previously purchased the leasehold of their flat will benefit from the works and the terms of their leases stipulate that they should pay their portion of the costs as they are necessary to maintain the fabric of the building.

“All residents were consulted on the planned improvements in March and offered the opportunity to hear about the proposed work, meet the contractors and raise any questions or concerns they had.

“The works are funded from the Housing Revenue Account, which the council is prevented in law from spending on non-housing related services.”