Council warned not to go on spending spree

PUBLISHED: 12:35 05 January 2007 | UPDATED: 22:28 28 May 2010

Cllr Alan Melton

Cllr Alan Melton

A WARNING to Fenland District Council to beware how it spends the £19million windfall from the sale of its housing stock, has been sounded by its former leader, Councillor Alan Melton. Already speculation is around as to what we should do with the mone

A WARNING to Fenland District Council to beware how it spends the £19million 'windfall' from the sale of its housing stock, has been sounded by its former leader, Councillor Alan Melton.

"Already speculation is around as to what we should do with the money. Well we haven't got it yet," he told fellow councillors at the latest full council meeting.

He said Councillor Peter Skoulding, the council's portfolio holder for financial strategy, was correct in stating that any surplus should be invested, and he added: "Remember the lesson of other authorities within Cambridgeshire, who having disposed of their housing stock, went on a spending spree, failed to levy council tax, only to find that the revenue has now run out, and the council tax has had to go up as much as 100 per cent just to cover revenue costs.

"Any old fool can write the cheques out and spend other people's money. We have a duty to protect this new-found asset for the people of Fenland, to whom it belongs."

Referring to the sale of the housing stock as "a major achievement for this council", Cllr Melton paid tribute to Councillor Kit Owen, the council's portfolio holder for housing, Tim Mills, the director of housing and development, and the council's officers, for their hard work and dedication during the past three years which meant that Fenland would "now have the investment in housing that our present and future tenants deserve".

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