In a victory against the government’s attempt to force through privatisation, tenants in Stirling have voted to stay with the council – with 68 percent voting against transferring their homes.
Rowland Sheret from the organising committee of Stirling Against Stock Transfer, told Socialist Worker, “Stirling council should be insisting that the Scottish Executive and the Westminster government start putting money into local government to fund council house building.
“The money is there, and if they were prepared to fund private housing associations then they should be funding local councils.
“Some £3 million has just gone down the drain with the Stirling Housing Project. Questions have to be asked about this. How can officials and councillors be so out of touch? The Labour councillors are not just out of touch with council tenants but also with their own party. The Labour Party conference has just voted, for the third year in a row, to give councils the resources to build and modernise their council houses.”
Stirling council supported the proposed transfer of 5,600 homes – in return their £24.5 million housing debt would have been written off. Housing campaigners across Britain have long been arguing that release from housing debt should not be tied to stock transfer.
Joe McDonagh, chair of Stirling Against Stock Transfer, said, “We were always confident in the campaign that we were going to win a no vote, despite the £3 million the council were spending against the £1,000 we had to spend.
“Tenants were aware of the arguments. In the long run stock transfer would have meant higher rents and fewer services.”
In Renfrew a ballot was due to end this week. Ballots in Inverclyde and the Highlands were due to begin next month.
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