The deal was that if St. George's Community Housing, Basildon Council's housing organisation, got two stars following an inspection by the Audit Commission that they would get £142 million over five years to improve the housing stock. As previously reported the Labour government ratted on the deal and said that regardless of the result of the inspection there would be no money. Now they have have performed a bit of a U-turn, though 'bit' is the operative word. St. George's got the two stars and there will now be £5m this year, about half of the originally promised amount. This is much better than nothing, but nothing like enough.
That we have even got that much is due to careful lobbying by Basildon Council's Leader, Tony Ball, Basildon's Chief Executive and officer team, and the Cabinet Member responsible, Andy Baggott. We were also helped by support from the local Labour party, where the leader, Lynda Gordon, went against her own government and MP to back Basildon's tenants. All credit to her for that, though I suspect this compliment will not help her with her colleagues. Basildon Labour is a bit fractious you see.