Friday, March 07, 2008

Defend South Cambridgeshire Council Housing

A new campaign group has been launched to fight the plans by South Cambridgeshire District Council to sell off its council housing stock. South Cambs Against Transfer (SCAT) includes councillors, tenants and other supporters, and says its aim is to inform tenants of the disadvantages of transferring to a Housing Association, and to campaign for a “NO” vote when a ballot is held on the Council’s sell-off plans later this year.

Dave Kelleway, a Council tenant from Teversham, was elected Chairman of SCAT, and said after the first meeting: “We have already received a lot of support from tenants, who are fed up with receiving one-sided propaganda in favour of transfer from the council, paid for from our rents, and are outraged that the council has now decided to spend another £600,000 on more of the same, without allowing us a vote.

“SCAT will point out that rents are always higher with Housing Associations, that tenants lose their secure tenancies on transfer, that democratic control will be lost, and that it is a one way street – there is no vote allowed to go back to council control. "

SCAT Press Officer Cllr. Deb Roberts (Independent) said: “The condition of the housing stock in South Cambs is very good compared to other areas, and the situation would be even better if the council had re-invested receipts from the sale of council homes back into the council housing budget, rather than divert £10.5 million to other services, including nearly £6m on the new offices at Cambourne.

“I think that there is a growing unease amongst council members that the council has decided to push ahead with the next, very expensive, phase of trying to privatise the housing stock, without asking tenants if they want us to spend even more of their money. If there is as little tenant support as it appears, it really will be a scandalous waste of money”.


Leftwing Criminologist said...

hi, good luck with the campaign - the recent collapse of a housing association highlights yet another reason why we should have publicly owned and democratically administered housing

Chrissie said...

I've heard of Housing Associations treating tenants very badly, & their lack of accountability gives them a free hand. Obviously, not all HAs are as bad, but they're able to be. Tenancies are less secure under HAs, too.

Jim Jay said...

Well most transfers from the council will mean moving from a "secure" tenancy to an "assured" tenancy which gives the tenant far less rights.

Also there is far less democratic accountability when you aren't electing your landlord.

I notice that South Cambs Against Transfer now has a web site which you can find here although can i be the only person who thinks the acronym SCAT is not entirely salubrious.