Councillors in Mid Devon who are sceptical about a proposed stock transfer recently scored a victory by getting a motion carried at full council agreeing that an anti-transfer leaflet would be distributed to all tenants.
However, agreement was conditional on the leaflet being approved by the office of the deputy prime minister (ODPM).
The ODPM subsequently deemed the leaflet “unbalanced”, which was not surprising as its aim was to counter the “unbalanced” information coming from the council.
The ODPM said it was up to the council whether to put it out. But the council refused to send it out.
This is not the desired outcome, but it is has bought the vote no campaign some precious extra time as the ballot has had to be put back a month until November this year.
Last weekend saw activists stepping up the campaign to get the facts about stock transfer out to tenants by using the leaflet the council refused to distribute.
It is a very broad campaign with tenants, activists and Mid Devon Unison union working with all those councillors who oppose the privatisation.
It is worth noting that New Labour are conspicuous by their absence. Perhaps it is a sign of how right wing Labour has become when we have “old Tories” and Liberal Democrats fighting for retention and investment in council housing.