Dear Swindon Tenants Campaign Group
I am an Independent Councillor on Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council, we underwent LSVT back in 1995 and it has been financially disastrous for tenants who now find themselves paying far higher rents than Council tenants in neighbouring Winchester, despite it being a far more affluent Borough. More recently one of our transfer HA’s has been swallowed up by Sovereign HA removing any last notion of our housing being locally controlled, with the all Councillors having been kicked off the Board.
I was a Board member on one of the transfer Housing Associations 5 years ago but resigned after 6 months appalled at their antics.
I subsequently joined the Defend Council Housing movement and have assisted tenants groups and councillors to successfully defeat Stock Transfer campaigns, most recently in Mid –Devon and Brighton & Hove.
The fact that I am an ‘Independent’ usually makes it easier to work with local ‘party’ councillors.
Having briefly looked at some of the comments on your website, it appears the usual approach of misinformation and fear is being rolled out. At least you are organised, they usually only win where there is no effective opposition.
In Winchester the Council have not even bothered to raise the possibility of transfer in light of the changes to the HRA, as they know it will have no chance.
If you need any assistance or advice please feel free to contact me. I have been quoted in DCH documents and gave evidence to the House of Commons Council Housing Group, I also produced a report for DCH back in 2006, which is still on their website, on the effect of the transfer. The only real change is the rent differentials are now higher the Housing Associations are just as inefficient and local influence has now almost completely disappeared.
Coucillor Ian Tilbury