Monday, November 06, 2006

Council advice to Merton tenants

The following information has been issued to officers for those who ring up Merton Council about stock transfer letter that has been issued to tenants(and the phones are bound to be buzzing). The information is very biased in the extreme, the policy has not even been determined by Merton Council and it all sounds like a done deal. Whatever happened to consultation and evaluating options, all seems to have gone out the window under the minority tory administration in Merton. Indeed Putting you first seems like a distant memory.

We are sending the letter to residents so that they hear about our plans from the Council directly, rather than simply reading about it in the paper. This briefing note is being sent out to staff for the same reason - we want you to hear about any plans from us first.

The letter to residents may well generate enquiries. If a resident contacts you with any questions or concerns they key points (as set out in the letter) are:

We don't have enough money to improve the stock to the standard that both we and residents would like or maintain it above our basic legal obligations this is mainly because we have to pay a lot of money back to the Govt each year in Housing Subsidy (£6.4m this year)

RSLs don't have to pay this money back and can also borrow money (which we can't), so they have more money to spend on service improvements and modernisation of the stock
for these reasons we believe that stock transfer is likely to offer the most benefit to residents as the way ahead for the housing service

We believe it is an exciting opportunity that would result in better services, better maintained and improved homes, for what is likely to be the same rent as tenants would pay to the Council (because of rent restructuring which applies to both LAs and RSLs equally)

No decision has yet been taken - the report will go to full Council on 31/1/07

If the Council decides to go ahead with the proposal, there will be a long period of consultation, ending in a ballot of tenants

So the message is positive - we strongly believe that tenants have a lot to gain through stock transfer.


Post a Comment

<< Home