No debate over rents hike

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Campaigners fighting a huge hike in council housing costs in Sheffield have accused city leaders of denying residents the right to have their say.

Opposition leaders the Liberal Democrats made an attempt to block proposals to increase rents by 6.2 per cent from April by ‘calling in’ the issue to allow time for further debate.

But the Labour councillors claim scrutiny is not needed as the proposal will be voted on at the next full council meeting at Sheffield Town Hall.

Coun Penny Baker, Sheffield Liberal Democrat spokesperson for housing, said: “The last thing local tenants need right now is an excessive hike in rents.

“We know the council has options so we wanted this plan looked at in detail to see how this proposed hike can be avoided.”

A council spokesman said the local authority’s hands are tied by Central Government guidelines which set out rises.

Portsmouth Council is one of few in the UK which has put up its rents by less than half the government’s recommended increase.