Work which is being carried out to pebble dash blocks of flats in Hallam at a cost of over £360,000 is being branded a total waste of money by residents. They feel that the money would be better spent on something that everyone can benefit from, such as a playground, park or youth centre.
The work is only part of the councils programme to improve their properties that are all protected by a property insurance policy. As well as pebble dashing, work will include brand new kitchens and bathrooms. Work is being carried out on sixty council properties at a total cost of £361,899.19. Anyone living in one of the privately owned flats within the blocks has to pay for their share of the work, as per their lease agreement.
One of the unhappy residents said: “What I am seeing happening at the moment is something that is really not essential. Surely something like extra doctors or nurses or policemen is more important? I just don’t understand it. People’s jobs at the council are potentially at risk and they are paying for things like pebble dashing. The buildings are looking a bit grey but they are not that horrific. Surely they could just paint them? Everybody is aware that the council have to make cuts so why are they wasting money on pebble dashing.”
A spokesman for the council said they are carrying out a range of both improvements and essential repairs which include exterior works on flats. They do not feel these tenants should miss out as they are just as important as any other tenant in the borough and the pebble dashing is necessary to maintain the fabric of the flats. The work is funded from the Housing Revenue Account and the council are prevented in law from spending this money on a non-housing related service.