We have recived a number of phone calls and emails from tenants telling us that they have been phoned by Council staff who have tried to persuade them to vote Yes.
One tenant tells us that they sent back a card indicating they were undecided “due to the very one sided information” they were receiving form Swindon Borough Council.
The tenant got a phone call in response. The tenant says that the caller said “I recommend that you vote Yes. There is nothing to lose.”
The tenant explained that despite requests to the Tenant Advisors, and “Mr Brannan’s statement that there are downsides to either option”, they were finding it difficult to reach a considered opinion.
The tenant asked how could the agreement be enforced? What sanctions would apply if the Housing Association failed, what happens in the event of a merger?
“Answers were largely along the lines of I do not know or I am sure it will be alright.”
The tenant’s conclusion from all this?
“I started off as a genuine ‘don’t know’. Having dug about a bit I am now a committed VOTE NO. mainly due to SBC and their Marketing Consultants DWA trying to bamboozle me into voting Yes.”
Both senior Housing Managers and Russell Holland, Lead member for Housing have said that the Council is not trying to influence tenants which way to vote. This and many other incidents show that in reality the Council is organising a Yes campaign, and the senior Officers and the political group which controls the Council is being disingenuous.