Thousands of council homes in Milton Keynes officially classed as "non decent" after £75 million repairs backlog

Nigel Long outside a newly-built council house, which is yet to become 'non-decent'
Nigel Long outside a newly-built council house, which is yet to become 'non-decent'

Hot on the heels of announcing a 2.99% council tax rise is announced for MK householders, Labour council leaders have been slammed for not keeping their own house - or houses - in order.

For a report during this week’s annual budget-setting process reveals there is a £75m backlog of repairs on the council’s stock of 12,500 properties.

To make matters worse, 23 per cent of the homes in which tenants are living - 2875 properties - are officially classed as “non-decent”.

The government’s definition of non decent is a property not in a reasonable state of repair, without reasonably modern facilities and services, or with ineffective insulation or heating.

“Tenants will want to know why their money isn’t being invested. It’s not good enough,” said Tory leader Alex Walker.

“At the same time, Labour are hiking up the council tax by the maximum possible level for the fifth year in a row, hitting hard-working residents once again,” he said.

But Labour,, who join forces with the Lib Dems over budget matters, say they plan to invest £165m in improving council houses over the next four years.

The money, dedicated to houses NOT in the £1bn regeneration areas, will be on top of day-to-day repairs, said Cabinet member for housing, Councillor Nigel Long (pictured).

He blames the Tory government for the housing stock problems, saying: “I believe we are addressing the longstanding failure to invest in existing housing improvements and in the supply of secure affordable housing.”

This year MK Council is facing a general budget cut of £10m. It has had to make £150m in cuts since 2010.

The 2.9 per cent council tax increase planned for next year will generate more cash for the council. But it will leave the average family in a Band D house around £300 a year worse off.