Socialist Worker

Demand is building for council housing ‘fourth option’

Issue No. 1943

Over 140 council tenants, councillors, council officers and trade unionists from 29 different areas around the country came to parliament on Tuesday of last week to take part in an inquiry organised by the House of Commons council housing group. MPs heard evidence from 19 areas of the country covering a wide range of issues.

This included reports from authorities that had decided to retain their homes after consulting tenants, evidence of the post-transfer experience and complaints about one-sided and undemocratic consultations.

The MPs will be writing up the evidence and submitting it to the deputy prime minister, John Prescott.

Meanwhile more MPs are signing the current early day motion in parliament backing the demand for direct investment in council housing as an alternative to privatisation.

Alan Walter from Defend Council Housing said after the session, “The evidence we heard today shows that there is massive support amongst tenants and elected councillors for the ‘fourth option’ of direct investment.

“It is also clear that the government’s drive to privatise council housing has hit the buffers in a big way.

“What was encouraging was evidence of the increasing numbers of councils who are now backing their tenants, rather than just trying to stuff government policy down our throats.”

Brighton & Hove City Council last week passed a resolution to write to the office of the deputy prime minister calling for direct investment in council housing.

The vote was supported by members of all four parties and one independent member, and carried by 46 to two.

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Sat 19 Mar 2005, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1943
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