Liberal Democrat pressure pays off on Haringey digital aerials scheme

Lynne Featherstone with a digital aerialHaringey leaseholders will soon pay less than half of the originally proposed cost to get digital TV, after a successful campaign by local Liberal Democrats and leaseholders.

Reports published recently detail a u-turn by Haringey Council and a notable victory for leaseholder groups and local Liberal Democrats on a change to the scheme which charged up to £1,000 for the installation of new TV aerials in housing owned by the Council.

Haringey Council’s Cabinet should agree to a new plan this week which will see full consultation, a cap on costs to leaseholders of £400 and a retrospective payment to leaseholders who have already had to pay up to £1000.

Liberal Democrats launched a campaign against the extortionate costs in June last year after it emerged that Haringey’s leaseholders had to pay up to ten times more than leaseholders in neighbouring boroughs.

After the decision was made by the Labour Cabinet to go ahead with the aerials scheme in July, Liberal Democrats forced a rethink of the scheme through Hraingey Council’s watchdog committee.

Local Liberal Democrats have today expressed concern at the fact that leaseholders and tenants still have to pay four times as much as some neighbouring boroughs to watch TV, and are now calling for the cost to be cut further.

Cllr Matt Davies, Liberal Democrat Housing Spokesperson, comments:

“I’m glad that finally the signal from local leaseholders and Liberal Democrats has got through to Labour loud and clear. Leaseholders did not want to have expensive, diamond encrusted aerial systems imposed upon them without any say.

“Unfortunately it took action by the Liberal Democrats and local leaseholder groups in July last year for Labour to realise their error. I am glad that our pressure will mean leaseholders get to pay less but it’s still quite a bit to fork out to watch TV. I know that leaseholders are still worried about the excessive cost, and the battle continues.”

Lynne Featherstone MP, adds:

“The digital aerial scheme fiasco is a prime example of how badly Labour runs Haringey Council. It fails to consult, it imposes an expensive system without considering the implications and only after intervention from Liberal Democrats and residents does it change its mind.

“I’m glad they have dropped the price but it’s still four times the price leaseholders in neighbouring boroughs pay  and we’re making that concern clear to the Council.”