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Arms Length or Stock Transfer? The future for Council Ho


Cllr Paul Kenny
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Next week the Lib Dem/Tory cabinet will discuss the options available to the council for the future of the circa 9,000 council homes currently under the management of the arms length organisation Golden Gates Housing (GGH). Visit my blog to download the council report in full.

 

Thanks to Labour ?65million has been invested in meeting the decent homes standard over a 4 year period. Indeed it was the previous Labour administration that set up GGH.

 

Despite this success story the housing service faces financial pressures not least rising tenant aspirations and the loss of revenue from right to buy sales which has seen a net loss of nearly a quarter of the stock in the last decade alone.

 

Proponents of Stock Transfer will highlight the increased investment that this option could bring in realising tenant aspirations and also in new build for rent but this comes at a cost. Visit http://www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk/dch/ for further details.

 

There are now a number of local authorities in the country who have balloted tenants and have lost the vote to transfer. The so called 4th option - which Defend Council Housing lobby for is still not favoured by the government leaving Warrington with a major decision which will affect generations to come.

 

A decision is not expected till later this year - a Housing Options Panel will be called to look at the options available to the council and will be asked to make a recommendation to council.

 

However, the Warrington Lib Dems were enthusiastic supporters of stock transfer at the time GGH was formed and I am not aware of any change in their policy since then.

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Originally posted by Cllr Paul Kenny:

Next week the Lib Dem/Tory cabinet will discuss the options available to the council for the future of the circa 9,000 council homes currently under the management of the arms length organisation Golden Gates Housing (GGH).

Thank god for that, if it were labour they would have made the decision without any form of consultation with anyone with there put up and shut up policies.
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Originally posted by legion:

Thank god for that, if it were labour they would have made the decision without any form of consultation with anyone with there put up and shut up policies.
Eh :confused: that's what the current leaders keep getting slated for... ie 'lack of consultation and put up and shut up policy' :confused:
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Legion, At the time there was consultation to move towards an arms length organisation. It was clear that there was widespread support for this approach from tenant groups and tenants.

 

It is the government that are calling on local authorities to consult with tenants and other key stakeholders and I am sure the cabinet will agree to this. It is the right thing to do.

 

Read the council report on my blog for the full details. This is a significant issue which will face the council, with far reaching consequences.

 

The purpose of my post is to give readers the opportunity to examine, if they so wish, the arguments for and against different management options for the existing council stock.

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Originally posted by Cllr Paul Kenny:

It is the government that are calling on local authorities to consult with tenants and other key stakeholders and I am sure the cabinet will agree to this. It is the right thing to do.

So if the Central government (Labour and I presume your choice of favoured political views) are the ones calling for the localised government (Libs/Cons) to "discuss the options available"...then what exactly is your first post complaining (or alerting us to) as maybe I misread your first post, but to me it looked like you were saying that their decision to "discuss" was not in the best intrests of the local tennants.

 

so can you explain your stance please

 

is this a good move y/n ?

is this a labour initiative y/n ?

 

cheers

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Is this a good move? - Any decision should be based on evidence. That's why, I presume, the cabinet will ask the Housing Options Panel to look at the financial modelling in detail.

 

I am not going to come down in favour of arms length or stock transfer until I have seen the figures and considered the impact the different models would bring to Warrington.

 

Is this a Labour Initiative? - Stock Transfer has taken place in many local authorities which were Labour controlled when the decision was taken eg St Helens. Likewise many decided to go for the arms length option eg Warrington and Wigan.

 

This is an example of local choice. The Government are relaxed about this matter but do not currently support the so-called 4th option. This has led some local authorities where tenants have voted not to transfer between a rock and a hard place.

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Ha ha, one could undertstand this bit of self promotion by a local councillor, IF we knew what he and his party were advocating; rather than the wishy washy posts we've seen. :roll: Fact: It is his party (NuLab) in Government, that has pressured local authorities into selling off Council Housing in the first place, at a time when more and more working folk can't afford to buy and are dependent on the social rented sector. Yes, we know the LibDems, the Tories and half the Labour Group wanted to sell off our Housing Stock under previous Labour Government pressure; and the least worst option was an arms length company, thus giving local democracy some control of servicing housing need. :roll: So please, don't try insulting our intelligence by coming on this forum with issues that you have no convictions over. :o Stick to self promoting gimmicks like giving out badges to veterans or petitioning for Post Offices that your Government have caused to close. :o

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OK, im still not sure what the answer was, but before I get thrown too far away from your original post can you clarify something else for me.

 

you said

 

Despite this success story the housing service faces financial pressures not least rising tenant aspirations and the loss of revenue from right to buy sales which has seen a net loss of nearly a quarter of the stock in the last decade alone.

now if a quater of stock has been lost over the past decade and so has the revenue these rents would have brought.....why was the huge cash injection of revenue from the house sales and the rent from the remaining 75% not reinvested in creating new homes and increasing the stock to a level to match demand.

 

it seems to any person with a business mind, that if you sell of your old stock, you re-invest in new stock...its called remaining fluid ?

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Originally posted by observer:

Ha ha, one could undertstand this bit of self promotion by a local councillor, IF we knew what he and his party were advocating; rather than the wishy washy posts we've seen. :roll: Fact: It is his party (NuLab) in Government, that has pressured local authorities into selling off Council Housing in the first place, at a time when more and more working folk can't afford to buy and are dependent on the social rented sector. Yes, we know the LibDems, the Tories and half the Labour Group wanted to sell off our Housing Stock under previous Labour Government pressure; and the least worst option was an arms length company, thus giving local democracy some control of servicing housing need. :roll: So please, don't try insulting our intelligence by coming on this forum with issues that you have no convictions over. :o Stick to self promoting gimmicks like giving out badges to veterans or petitioning for Post Offices that your Government have caused to close. :o

Insulting your nephew obsy. Not nice at all, especially as his former leader, you no doubt taught him a lot of what he knows.
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Legion, The cash raised from Right to Buy has not been reinvested in new council homes. Successive governments have not allowed this. The present government did relax this but it has had negligible impact here in Warrington.

 

Instead RSL's have been encouraged to build through direct grants hence the current development at Robson Street. Off course this is no where near enough to satisfy demand.

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"Right to buy" was introduced by Thatcher, and has taken away social housing stock, without funding replacement units - BUT that was a right-wing TORY Government, and we've had 10 years of so-called Labour - without the removal of "right to buy" and Government investment in a massive Council Housing re-building programme, in order to provide homes for young folk (and immigrants!) and depress demand in the private sector housing market. Unfortunately, far from building NEW Council Housing; NEW Labour has pressured Councils to sell them off wholesale; taking away democratic accountability/control of social housing provision, whereby (at one time), rents could be subsidised by the general fund to provide cheap/affordable rents - Maggie stopped that one too! :roll:

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