It's a moral obligation

PUBLISHED: 10:57 10 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:48 11 May 2010

I WAS interested to read Dr Steve Sharples s response to my previous letter (Postbag, June 5) about the misleading information being put to council tenants. 1. If the figure of £600,000 that the council has so far spent is inaccurate perhaps Dr Sharples c

I WAS interested to read Dr Steve Sharples's response to my previous letter (Postbag, June 5) about the misleading information being put to council tenants.

1. If the figure of £600,000 that the council has so far spent is inaccurate perhaps Dr Sharples could say how much the council has spent on this process.

2. Dr Sharples may want to quibble about when is a ballot not a ballot, but he cannot dispute that 82 per cent of tenants who took part voted against transfer.

3.When it comes to the differences between "secure" and "assured" tenancies again Dr Sharples is misleading. Perhaps he would like to state unequivocally that the legal protection afforded by both is the same.

4. If Dr Sharples has not seen any implicit claim that housing associations have an unlimited pot of money to fund improvements. I suggest he read the literature being sent to tenants by the council.

Dr Sharples is correct to state that 50 per cent of rent money has to be paid to central Government and then goes on to state that RSLs (Registered Social Landlord) can borrow money to fund improvements.

However, he neglects to mention that this borrowed money has to paid back with interest.

While Dr Sharples is right in stating that Government policy is for convergence between council and housing association rents he must surely be aware that, in fact, little progress has actually been made towards this aim.

I am pleased Dr Sharples wishes to see a full debate on these important issues and I trust he will use his position as independent tenant advisor to actually advise tenants that there are two sides to this debate.

The council may not be under any legal obligation to make tenants aware of both sides of the argument, but surely they are under a moral obligation to do so.

JOHN TAYLOR

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