Seek advice from the experts before gambling with public funds

Date: Monday 24th July 2017

Sir, I hope Eden District Council has the foresight to consult the housing associations first before committing to purchasing any dwellings from Persimmon (Herald, 15th July).

The asssociations have the expertise that the council now lacks for rented social housing requirements and regulations; if they do not wish to purchase these homes what is the reason? Exactly why can Persimmon not sell houses it considered suitable for planning consent recently?

Could it be the site’s leasehold conditions, with commitment to future costs for land and drainage maintenance, adding to the household bill, or the style and structure of the houses being unsuitable for current government guidelines?

Perhaps the associations consider they will not recover their costs if a future sale is needed (these matters are being considered at national level by a concerned Government).

Until those facts and many others are known it would be folly to continue with any purchase and the council would be best advised to listen to experts and not try to be that which they should never aspire to be; speculative businessmen.

They are elected as managers of our assets and providers of our social and political wishes, no more. Collecting detail after commitment is supreme stupidity, the horse has bolted and the stable door is unhinged.

Would it be safer to leave entrepreneurship to those with experience who risk their own capital and not those who wish to gamble public funds without experience? Yours etc,

JOHN DUMONT

Penrith.