Clash over unclaimed £64K to ease Pendle rent bills

Clash over unclaimed £64K to ease Pendle rent bills

Coun Mohammed Iqbal

Coun Joe Cooney

First published in Pendle Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Photograph of the Author by

COUNCIL chiefs have defended their attempts to spend Government cash aimed at helping people struggling to pay their rent.

Pendle Council was allocated a pot of £142,000 to spend on Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) this financial year, but with just over three weeks of the year to go, £64,000 remains unspent.

And unless that money is given out before March 31, it will be returned to the Government.

Coun Mohammed Iqbal, leader of the Labour group on the council, said: “Coun Joe Cooney (council leader) is on the verge of returning money back to the Government due to this money not being spent.

“The point was highlighted to Coun Cooney months ago about him not keeping a finger on the pulse on this matter.

“Pendle Council has left it until now to make a plea to people to apply.

“He will more than likely be sending money back at a time when one in three requests have been refused.

“He needs to wake up and help people struggling across Pendle instead of returning money back to George Osborne.”

So far, 460 DHP cases have been processed, with 130 refused and 330 awarded, totalling £78,353.82.

Coun Cooney said: “We can’t force people to apply for this money.

“We have information on our website and have sent out press releases urging people to apply.

“But we can’t make people do so. We want to allocate the money but we have criteria we have to stick to in doing so.

“Councillors can do their bit by urging people in their ward who may need the help to apply.”

DHPs are designed to help those on Housing Benefit who have been affected by the welfare reform changes.

The council said that frontline staff had given advise to customers who appear to be suffering hardship, as well as running marketing campaigns and working with landlords who have had customers suffer from the ‘Bedroom Tax’.

Anybody wanting more information on DHPs can call the council on 01282 661800.

Comments (3)

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3:39pm Fri 7 Mar 14

ROBERTSLUMDWELLER123 says...

Cooney is a Government yes man who wants a mention in Cam&Clegg's thank you list to grovelling councilors
Cooney is a Government yes man who wants a mention in Cam&Clegg's thank you list to grovelling councilors ROBERTSLUMDWELLER123
  • Score: 5

8:40am Sat 8 Mar 14

jenkinsroy says...

1 Dose Coun Joe Cooney sit on the
claims board for H.B.P if so why.??
2 And all so why did this council NOT
TELL US about this payment .??
3 I will be for one asking the priminister
about this matter why this council are not
giving the right information to us voters.?
4 After all he will be listening because
of the upcoming votes in 2015.
under the freedom of information act.
5 I will be doing some homework on
ALL Councillors to see if he is
doing its job right and all the over
councillors in PENDLE .???
6 It is about time we all looked at the way
our council are run by the people
WE all vote for they must look after us first
the voters after all we put them where they are today
and we can get rid of them the same way.
7 So Mr Cooney this is one of many question I
have for you and your councillors tell me why
you did not inform anybody outside of the council
meeting about the right to claim this money.????
also why are you returning the money to the
government .???.
I for one want a answer to this question you
can put it in the Telegraph for us all to see
after all you are responsible for what you do
are you not YES or NO .????
I LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR REPLY MR COONEY
P.S. hang on too the money DO NOT SEND IT BACK NOW
i will get you some more claimants for you O.K.
god know they are thousands out here NOT hundreds
1 Dose Coun Joe Cooney sit on the claims board for H.B.P if so why.?? 2 And all so why did this council NOT TELL US about this payment .?? 3 I will be for one asking the priminister about this matter why this council are not giving the right information to us voters.? 4 After all he will be listening because of the upcoming votes in 2015. under the freedom of information act. 5 I will be doing some homework on ALL Councillors to see if he is doing its job right and all the over councillors in PENDLE .??? 6 It is about time we all looked at the way our council are run by the people WE all vote for they must look after us first the voters after all we put them where they are today and we can get rid of them the same way. 7 So Mr Cooney this is one of many question I have for you and your councillors tell me why you did not inform anybody outside of the council meeting about the right to claim this money.???? also why are you returning the money to the government .???. I for one want a answer to this question you can put it in the Telegraph for us all to see after all you are responsible for what you do are you not YES or NO .???? I LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR REPLY MR COONEY P.S. hang on too the money DO NOT SEND IT BACK NOW i will get you some more claimants for you O.K. god know they are thousands out here NOT hundreds jenkinsroy
  • Score: -2

12:04pm Sat 8 Mar 14

coates warder says...

probably only spend it in nelson anyway
probably only spend it in nelson anyway coates warder
  • Score: 0

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