A PRIVATISATION threat hanging over Nottingham City Council housing has sparked protests from council workers and tenants. A 90-strong meeting was held at Nottingham's YMCA building to discuss how to fight off Nottingham City Council's housing plans. It started with the presentation of a 60-page report from Nottingham City Unison. 'Nottingham is not for sale,' was how the Unison officer summed up the report.
Labour councillor Jon Collins argued that although an arm's length management organisation (ALMO) was under consideration it was still 'some considerable way away' and did not represent privatisation.
He was unable to stay to hear Mark Weeks from Defend Council Housing explain that ALMOs were a halfway house to privatisation and full stock transfer. He was backed up by Kath McGurk from Kirklees, where an ALMO is already in place. Neil Vernon, from the construction workers' union, also pointed out the dire consequences of ALMOs for the council workforce.
The mood of the meeting was summed up by one tenant who said that he blamed 'Tony 'Judas Iscariot' Blair and John 'Pontius Pilate' Prescott' and vowed to campaign to make sure that 'Stay as we are' was one of the options on any ballot.