Remember this? From the large scale stock transfer attempt of 2004. The Labour, Lib Dem and Conservative leaders all of the same mind. And they were right too, but the ballot failed to support them.
Four years and about £20m of negative housing subsidy later, the Lib Dem administration is having to look again at the long term future of our Housing stock. Because about 30p in every pound our tenants pay in rent is creamed off to subsidize social housing elsewhere (another Gordon Brown classic stealth tax – hitting the poorest!) Kingston just can’t afford to keep its housing stock in decent repair.
I chaired the Housing Consultative Committee on Tuesday. Once again the same questions from residents about unrepaired gates and fences, windows and frames etc.
The administration has launched, in some haste, a questionnaire to test the water to see whether there might be support for some change in ownership and management. Sensible move – except they didn’t use the resident participation mechanisms open to them beforehand. This at a time when HCC has just spent umpteen hours over the last 10 months drawing up a new RP compact – with administration encouragement. Result – bad start for process and ‘mea culpa’ from Executive member with ‘absolution’ pronounced by Chair of HCC on condition of genuine contrition and a firm purpose of amendment. This was done more in hope than expectation but we must always hope!
Meanwhile the Government might get its sticky fingers out of our tenants’ pockets – and pigs might fly!