Series of blunders' over transfer of housing stock

PUBLISHED: 11:58 17 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:49 11 May 2010

THE proposed transfer of a council s housing stock to a housing association has become a series of blunders , claims a councillor. Cllr Sebastian Kindersley, the leader of the Liberal Democrat group on South Cambridgeshire District Council, said problems

THE proposed transfer of a council's housing stock to a housing association has become "a series of blunders", claims a councillor.

Cllr Sebastian Kindersley, the leader of the Liberal Democrat group on South Cambridgeshire District Council, said problems had arisen because of a determination to "ditch the housing stock come hell or high water".

His comments came after the district council admitted that a tenant ballot to elect members to a new shadow board had led to at least 400 papers being sent to the wrong people.

In some cases the ballot papers were sent to people who had died.

Cllr Kindersley said such a situation was "distressing".

This, he said, was the latest episode in "a series of blunders".

He continued that the process for the transfer of the housing stock was being "driven too fast".

Cllr Kindersley said his group was calling on the controlling Conservative group to halt the project until there has been a review.

He stressed, too, that the portfolio holder, Cllr Simon Edwards, "should consider his position".

Last week the district council decided to re-run an election for tenant members of the shadow board.

Cllr Edwards said the decision to re-run the ballot was due to "an administrative error".

He said: "Any election we conduct must be a robust and credible process."

Meanwhile, councillors were considering today (Thursday) whether to set up a stand-alone housing association to take over the homes stock.

Cllr Ray Manning, the leader of the council, has recommended the creation of a new housing association specifically for South Cambridgeshire.

If approved then tenants will be balloted over the proposal.

The proposal comes after a panel had been considering the possible models for the type of a potential new landlord.

"The panel has collectively appraised each model against locally-based criteria and has come to a view on the model that would suit South Cambridgeshire," said Cllr Manning.

The new housing association would be a not-for-profit organisation run by a management board.

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