Green Councillors have written to Tenants and Residents Associations in their ward (Central) to explain their decision to return the Your Community Your Choice money to Sheffield Homes to improve services, rather than spend it on community projects. The letter follows :
13th February 2011
Dear Tenants and Residents
Your Community Your Choice (YCYC)
You may have read in the press that the Green Councillors voted for the Your Community Your Choice (YCYC) money set aside for 2011/12 (£800,000) to be returned to Sheffield Homes to be spent on improving services. We did this because:
It is your rent money, which we think should be spent on basic services like repairs and dealing with antisocial behaviour. We support community projects on the estates, and many YCYC projects were good, but they did not always benefit council house tenants who pay the rent.
It cost Sheffield Homes £300,000 to distribute the £600,000 the 2009/10 YCYC money. That is £1 on administration for every £2 on projects! We saw support for TARAs under threat as Sheffield Homes staff struggled to organise the YCYC process.
We question the fairness of the process. All tenants could make a bid and vote at the events, which were run like TV game shows. But decisions were made by those who turned up on the day, on the basis of a very short presentation. There was no background information about the bidders or the project. The total attendance for all events (covering 42,000 properties) was 336. That’s a turnout of less than 1%.
We do not accept that money will now be used to increase the pay of Sheffield Homes staff or stop them making efficiency savings. They have already had their budget cut in real terms. As councillors, we will continue to push Sheffield Homes to improve its services. We know that Tenants and Residents Associations and the local Boards do the same. We do not think that using rent money for YCYC is a substitute for democratic control and good management.
We hope this explains our position and would very much welcome your comments, whether to agree or disagree.
Cllr Jillian Creasy Cllr Rob Murphy
Office 205 3320
Mob 07791 614 904 Home 274 7752