Council tenants in Brighton and Manchester are to vote this week on whether to hand over control of their homes to private companies. The ballots affect over 18,000 homes.
Charlotte Smith is a campaigner with Manchester Defend Council Housing (DCH). “We’ve had around 30 activists out leafleting 6,000 homes,” she told Socialist Worker. “People are coming together to fight the council.
“The local Labour Party has put out a leaflet urging tenants to vote yes. It’s not something they’ve done before – and it shows that the no campaign has them rattled.”
DCH campaigners were out last weekend speaking to tenants of over 12,000 properties in Brighton and Hove.
Manus McGrogan was one of those canvassing tenants. “The council has spent huge amounts of money on glossy magazines to convince tenants to vote yes,” he said. “But we’ve been out talking to people – and giving them the facts.”
Nationally DCH is launching a new pamphlet to coincide with the publication of a report into “the role of social housing” commissioned by Ruth Kelly, the cabinet minister for local government issues.
The pamphlet sets out the case for investing in council housing and will be launched at the House of Commons on Tuesday of next week.
Meanwhile police are investigating a ballot held in February last year at the Holland Estate in Tower Hamlets, east London.
Some residents allege that the ballot, which recorded a majority for transfer, failed to register their no votes.
DCH pamphlet launch, Tuesday 20 February, 6pm, Portcullis House, London SW1. To register email email@example.com