Housing transfer like 'selling family silver'

PUBLISHED: 18:49 30 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:50 11 May 2010

CLLR DEBORAH ROBERTS

CLLR DEBORAH ROBERTS

THE transfer of a council s housing stock to a housing association has been condemned as selling the family silver . Cllr Deborah Roberts has said South Cambridgeshire District Council should delay a decision until the Government decides on new council

THE transfer of a council's housing stock to a housing association has been condemned as "selling the family silver".

Cllr Deborah Roberts has said South Cambridgeshire District Council should delay a decision until the Government decides on new council housing plans.

These plans could see councils keep more than the 50 per cent of the rent income which it currently retains.

In a letter to Cllr Simon Edwards, the district council's housing portfolio holder, she said that at the recent Labour Party national forum it was announced that there was a need to reform the system of council housing finance.

"The review is considering how it can be ensured councils have a sustainable, long-term system for financing housing."

She said she hoped that the review would create "a level playing field" over council housing.

Cllr Roberts, who is an independent member representing Fowlmere, has urged Cllr Edwards "to take a step back and put the breaks on" until the outcome of the review is announced.

But, she said, too, that the Conservative-controlled council appeared not to support council housing, which is the reason behind the need to transfer the stock to a housing association.

"That cannot be true," she said. "The material being put out by the council and its advisers assures tenants that this exercise is about what is best for our tennants."

Talking to The Crow, Cllr Roberts said the transfer of housing stock gave the appearance of the council "selling the family silver".

"If there are changes then the council will have no decent argument to put to its tenants.

She said it would be better to abandon the "great rush" to dispose of the housing stock until the Government's review is revealed.

"If the council continues to refuse to stop the process it really shows its not about the problems of council housing but it shows they don't want council housing."

Cllr Roberts added that she believed the district council could be making a decision which would be "completely unnecessary" in the months to come.

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