Swindon Council is trying to stop tenants from hearing the case against transfer

Swindon Tenants Campaign Group Press release October 3rd 2011

1)The Council is refusing to honour the commitment of Head of Housing Bernie Brannan and Brian Mattack (then Lead member for Housing) in late July, to give Swindon Tenants Campaign Group a list of addresses of tenants. Having originally said that they could not provide the addresses because it would be in breach of Data Protection legislation, they took legal opinion which said they could provide the list. Since Russell Holland took over as Lead Member we were told they were seeking a third legal opinion!
2)The Council has refused to give us access to meetings in sheltered accommodation. Tenants have complained about the one sided presentations Council staff have given at these.
3)STCG asked for the right to put the case against transfer in Housing Matters. The Editor said that we could have 250 words, which is hardly sufficient to explain our point of view. However, we did give them 250 words (whilst asking for more space) and as yet they still haven’t published them.

Martin Wicks said:

“The Council’s ruling group is peddling the fairy tale that they are not trying to convince tenants to vote in favour of transfer. Yet their actions prove otherwise. Russell Holland, Lead member for housing, when talking at Swindon Tenants Voice about what would happen if tenants voted yes, said “If the ballot is successful…”

If the Council is “just presenting the facts” why are they trying to prevent the campaign against transfer getting its point of view out to tenants?

The whole apparatus of the Council is being mobilised to campaign for a Yes vote. They are sending staff on home visits who are clearly not briefed on the issues related to transfer. Staff are being told they have to do this as well as their ordinary day job.”

For further comment

Ring Martin Wicks on 07786 394593

Visit our website at: https://keepourcouncilhomes.wordpress.com


On July 29th Bernie Brannan (Director of Housing) sent an email, on behalf of himself and Brian Mattack (who was then Lead member for Housing) which said:

“We are pleased to say that on further checking by our legal team, on whether we can release addresses of tenants to be balloted, they have now advised that this can be done.”

Subsequently Mr Brannan told us the list would be available “in good time”.

At a Council meeting in September, in response to a question as to whether the Council would honour this commitment, Russell Holland said he was aware of no such commitment. Sitting twenty feet away from him was one of the people who made that commitment. When asked as to whether or not he had checked with Mr Brannan and Mattack, Mr Holland said no!