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Davy51

Antisocial housing...

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I have some sympathy with that arguement - which basically tells us what crazy and complex benefits system has evolved to be exploited by claimants and those that are feeding off claimants. So perhaps more "Council" houses would take the profit motive out of the equation? :wink:

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Not as long as single parents and bigger families get higher priority on the council housing lists it won't!

 

(and we don't have any council houses in Warrington anyway. WBC simply GAVE away over £1billion of publicly owned assets to an outside agency over which it has no control.)

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From the Golden Gates Housing website:-

 

"GGHT has a Board of 12 Non-Executive Directors including 5 tenants, 4 independent members and 3 Councillors. We are a company limited by guarantee, are registered with the Charities Commission and the Tenant Services Authority (TSA)."

 

So they are a limited company which WBC does not own and where it has only a 25% presence on the board of directors and, since they are incorporated as being limited by guarantee, the board members liability is limited to a nominal sum (often as low as £1) in the event of the company being wound up.

 

This is the organisation to which WBC transfered over 10,000 properties with an average value of, say, £100,000.

 

£1billion worth of assets owned by the council tax payers of Warrington gifted to a company with its liability limited to £1 per member. Sounds like a recipe for future disaster to me!

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Nothing has changed Obs.

 

GGHT was set up in exactly the form it is now well before WBC gave away all the council houses in 2010.

 

Their main problem is that their "investment programme" is focused solely on replacing kitchens, fences, bathrooms etc. - things most of us would consider to be maintenance rather than investment - they have absolutely NO concrete strategy for replacing the ageing housing stock they have been given.

 

Their accounts show that last year they enjoyed an operating surplus of £2.7 million - which is only just over £250 per property. They're not going to be rebuilding many houses for that!

 

As part of their 30 year business plan GGHT has a £70 million loan arrangement with Santander, but this is already earmarked for maintenance and minor improvements to the existing housing. In fact, they state in their 2010/11 Financial Statement "It is unlikely that ANY new build activity will take place in the medium term"

 

Their only acquisitions last year are that they have bought 32 new build bungalows from WBC - for £1.8 million. That's only just over £55K per bungalow, so the WBC council tax payer has been shafted again there.

 

They simply have no answer to the question of where they are going to be in 30 years. Houses, especially some of the 1960's and 70's build properties they have, do NOT last forever. And yet they don't have any kind of capital replacement plan. 30 years from now GGHT will have thousands of houses which are at or beyomnd the end of their lifespans, no way of funding their replacement, and £70 million of debt to a Spanish bank - all of which has been spent on kitchens and fencing which by then will need replacing again.

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Believe it was Gordon Brown's obsession with the PSBI that led him to force Councils down this road - he later went on to build schools and hospitals through PFIs, thus saddling our g/kids with the bill. Think it shows yet again, how irrelevent local democracy is, in the face of central Gov dictat. :angry:

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Dear Inky Pete,

that must be one of the best researched and informative forum post I've ever followed. Have you thought of submitted the information to the police ? Sounds like a case of malfeasance could be appropriate.

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They've not done anything illegal, it's just that GGHT's mission statement and purpose has never included anything about preserving the value of the assets they've been given by providing financially for their replacement when they reach the end of their useful lives.

 

Mind you WBC, and councils in general, never did either. They just assumed that the taxpayer would be lumbered with the bill again when all the houses needed to be replaced, just as they were when the council houses were first built.

 

If they had made provision for replacement then council house rents would have had to have been higher in order to accumulate a rebuilding fund - and the rents would then have been pretty indistinguishable from those available in the private sector.

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