Council tenants in Swansea have delivered a resounding no to the council's plans to transfer their entire housing stock to a private limited company.
Some 13,800 homes were up for grabs, and on a 56 percent turnout 72 percent of tenants voted no to the Lib Dem council's plans.
Chair of Swansea Defend Council Housing Paul Lynch says, speaking in a personal capacity, “I am absolutely delighted that the overwhelming majority of tenants throughout Swansea have seen through the council's one-sided pro-transfer propaganda. tenants deserve to be congratulated for standing up to the bullying, and for effectively telling the council, the Assembly and Gordon Brown that we will not be blackmailed into privatisation.
“Well done to all those who have supported the Swansea Defend Council Housing campaign in achieving this crucial No vote. The strength and unity we created as a broad coalition of different groups just goes to show how effective we can be when we unite behind a common cause.
“Being involved with this campaign has inspired me to continue defending our public services. I have recently been selected as a Welsh Assembly candidate for Respect, along with my colleague Ahmed Al Jeffrey, in the South Wales West region.
“I look forward to campaigning to defend our hospitals, schools and pensions – and to working to secure direct investment to improve council housing.
“I hope political representatives from all parties will now join with tenants and other interested parties in lobbying the Welsh Assembly and the Westminster government to secure a level playing field for council housing. This should provide the same level of debt write-off and gap funding that was on offer under the Tawe Housing privatisation scheme.'
Full report in next week's Socialist Worker