I have just watched the BBC News report which has revealed the financial costs of housing families in 4 star hotels as a direct result of the housing benefit caps that you and your colleagues pressed the Government to introduce. It appears that some of these families with children have been languishing in 4 star hotels for months and that last year’s hotel bill was £2 million of public money.
You will recall that the centrepiece of your argument to government was the high cost of a handful of families living in large properties and claiming housing benefit in Westminster. Now, because of your Government’s policies, the public purse is paying considerably more for these same families to live in unsatisfactory living conditions, contrary to law. Are you willing to accept any personal responsibility for this appalling state of affairs?
You have repeatedly argued that most of the people who had to move because of the housing benefit cap would be housed in Westminster or nearby. What you did not tell Council Tax payers was that your pledge would involve housing families in 4 star hotels at four times the cost of housing benefit.
The homeless families interviewed talked about feeling that they had been forgotten by the Council.
Please can you tell me when the Council will cease paying such outrageous amounts to house families in 4 star hotels and when the council will cease its unlawful action of housing families with children in B&B for more than six weeks?
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg