Residents on Northampton housing estate 'angry' about paying added maintenance tax

A meeting was held at Duston Community Centre on July 17 regarding the management charges being made to residents on Timken Estate.
A meeting was held at Duston Community Centre on July 17 regarding the management charges being made to residents on Timken Estate.

A public meeting was held this week in Duston for residents to share their frustrations over having to pay additional maintenance costs on top of their council tax fees.

On Tuesday evening (July 17) the Duston branch of the Labour party hosted a meeting to share their 'anger and frustration' over having to pay additional costs, known locally as the 'Timken Tax', for maintenance works on the Timken Estate.

In common with other local new developments the residents have to pay additional charges to management companies to maintain the estate but the chair of the Northampton Labour Party, Dale Willis, said residents are not getting value for money.

The meeting was organised by the Duston branch of the Northampton Labour party.

The meeting was organised by the Duston branch of the Northampton Labour party.

He said: "There was a real sense of anger and frustration in the room.

"Local residents are being taken for a ride. They are paying a lot of additional charges on top of their council tax but seeing absolutely nothing for it.

"We are going to be supporting the residents in setting up a community group to liaise with the managing agents and also join them up with other new developments where residents are experiencing similar problems."

The additional payments have been in operation since the estate was developed but many residents say they have seen the charges increase by 35 per cent in the last three years, with fees of up to £500 a year extra to pay for maintenance companies to come and cut the communal grass areas and maintain the car parking spaces.

Sandie Maitland chair of Duston Labour added: "Residents are angry that they have to pay the 'Timken Tax' for services that the rest of the area get delivered as part of their regular council tax.

"They are even angrier with the poor quality and high cost of the work being done. We will be contacting the developers and managing agents and asking them to take their responsibility to the community more seriously.

"We will also be helping residents to set up their own estate liaison groups so that they can hold the service deliverers to account."

Duston Labour will be hosting a further session for Timken residents in September.

A spokesperson for David Wilson Homes South Midlands said: “We are committed to supporting residents in and around the areas we build homes and take our responsibilities on our site very seriously.

“Before reserving a home at Arena Gate, all residents and their solicitors were made aware of the management fees involved, which go towards any ongoing works and upkeep of the communal areas.

“The amount of money charged is set by the management agency, but residents who do have queries about this are invited to contact us directly.”