Visit intrusive and ill-judged

PUBLISHED: 10:01 25 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:56 04 May 2010

WE had a visitor from South Cambridgeshire District Council, who looked like a repair man (with ID badge) driving an SCDC white van, to talk to us regarding the proposed transfer of Council housing stock to a Housing Association. He had a set of forms,

WE had a visitor from South Cambridgeshire District Council, who looked like a repair man (with ID badge) driving an SCDC white van, to talk to us regarding the proposed 'transfer' of Council housing stock to a Housing Association.

He had a set of forms, apparently one for each council-owned household in our street, and asked several questions such as whether we had received the council's offer document, and ticked the boxes according to my answers.

He asked if I had any questions about transfer, so I questioned him, as we're paying for it, and he said "they're talking half a million" for the cost of pushing transfer, said that the offer document was legally binding, and that rents wouldn't go up - but if we didn't elect to transfer, we'd end up with "the cheapest tender", as the council would be out of money for repairs soon.

He gave me a card "for independent advice", and I pointed out that the independent advice is being paid for by the district council from rents and revenues, is highly biased towards transfer, that my transferred friends were most unhappy with the outcome of transfer, and that the council had overspent, not the tenants.

At one point, he stated that our home was "only worth £9,000" with sitting tenants, and that there would be no problem for a housing association in getting a loan from a bank, which implies that a bank would think a HA getting our homes for a song to be a nice commercial proposition.

Such a price would be a gift to a private company of a home that has already been paid for from tenants' rents.

I find this visit intrusive, ill-judged, and very possibly coercive to vulnerable tenants.

Chris McCabe

Primrose Walk, Little Gransden

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