Council Leader’s false housing claims rebuffed – by his own council

This is becoming a habit. Last month I reported on how claims by Labour councillors to building nearly 600 new council homes were false – according to their own Council officers.

Then at the Council meeting last week there was an absurd claim from the Council leader Cllr Stephen Cowan (which can be heard at the end of Audio Recording Part 3) that the previous Conservative administration had produced proposals to demolish two thirds of Council estates. When challenged Cllr Cowan said he had seen the Council document and would publish it – although when asked when he became rather vague.

To clarify matters I emailed the Council’s Head of Planning Regeneration as follows:

There was a reference made at the Council meeting on Wednesday evening to a council document containing “plans to demolish two thirds of the council estates in the borough.” Please advise if you or any of your colleagues are aware of any such document having been produced by the Council in any form at any stage. If so please send me a copy.

Best wishes,

I have received the following reply:

“Dear Councillor Phibbs

Thank you for your enquiry, which was received on 21 October 2016.

I am not aware of the document you describe. I have also asked colleagues who work in Housing Regeneration and they have similarly informed me that they are not aware of such a document.

Yours sincerely,
John Finlayson
Head of Planning Regeneration”

Perhaps the best thing would be for Cllr Cowan to get on and publish it. Otherwise some might assume that no such document exists and he made the whole thing up – to divert attention from his own Council’s all to real plans to abolish council housing in the borough which are all to real.


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