Daniel Zeichner, the MP for Cambridge, has slammed housing association Metropolitan, now known as MTVH, for tripling monthly charges levied to residents for use of communal services at Lammas Field, Newnham ward, without consultation or notice.
Metropolitan are to triple the monthly charge for maintaining footpaths, the nearby car park and other facilities from £10 to £30 – a rise of 200%, or 32 times the current rate of inflation of 6.2%.
Residents were shocked at the lack of information provided in justifying the increase at a time when many are feeling the pinch as taxes rise and bills go up.
Several exasperated Lammas Field residents contacted the MP, local City Council candidate Cameron Holloway, and City Councillor Niamh Sweeney, appealing for help in getting the decision reversed.
Daniel Zeichner said:
“I understand Metropolitan must cover costs for providing services and maintaining facilities. What I disagree with is that charges for their use go up by a huge amount without discussing the decision beforehand with those affected.
“Residents are right to feel unhappy, especially as several have told me Metropolitan have so far refused to provide an explanation to justify the rise or give a detailed statement of any increase in the costs involved in providing services. With people seeing their bills and taxes go up and up, it is only fair that this decision is – at the very least – urgently reviewed.”
Cameron Holloway, Labour’s candidate for Newnham ward in the forthcoming City Council elections, added:
“I’ve spent time speaking with a number of residents at Lamma’s Field to better understand this issue.”
“Residents need to know why they’re suddenly being asked to pay an extra £20 per month. Those who pay direct debits have already had money taken out of their accounts at the new rate, with no idea of what they’re paying for. At a time when bills are going up for everyone, this lack of transparency is inexcusable.
“If MTVH are going to raise costs, they need to explain what residents will get in return. This isn’t the first time – a number of residents have told me they are fed up with their poor treatment by MTVH over a number of years.”