House register ‘loses’ families

MORE than 2,000 families have been removed from Bolsover District Council’s housing register – in just one year.

Figures show there were 3,299 applicants on the housing register in 2010 but by 2011 this had dropped to just 1,180.

Cllr Duncan Kerr claims the data does not add up and is calling on the council to explain where the missing 2,000 families have gone.

He said: “It’s decades since the council had so few people on its register and at a time when demand is increasing it simply doesn’t make sense.”

The information, provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government, also suggests the council is struggling to let properties.

In March 2008 there were just ten empty properties however the number has gone up every year since then and by March 2011 there were 128.

Cllr Kerr added: “When compared to the size of its stock this deterioration in performance makes Bolsover one of the worst councils in the county.

“With average council rents now over £63 per week it also means that tenants are losing over £350,000 per year.”

Last week the council launched a new lettings system.

The new website – Bolsover Lettings – aims to give people more choice about where they want to live and a better understanding of where properties are available.

A spokesman for the council said: “People who are on our housing waiting list can now bid for a property.

“People are given points on their circumstances and we offer properties to whichever person is most appropriate.”

He added: “We launched the system last Thursday and everybody has had to reapply to the register.”

The council said it would not comment on the Department for Communities and Local Government figures until after the council meeting which was due to take place as the Derbyshire Times went to press on Wednesday.

A spokesman said: “We feel it would undermine the democratic process to comment before the meeting.”

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julia.rodgerson@derbyshiretimes.co.uk