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Liverpool City Council preparing stock transfer of 21,500 council houses to RSLs

Liverpool City Council preparing stock transfer of 21,500 council houses to RSLs | 16.08.2004 21:10 | Analysis | Repression | Social Struggles | Liverpool


Liverpool City Council (Lib-Dem controlled) has been softening up tenants for Stock Transfer, already the glossy leaflets have been delivered, firstly those glossy full colour leaflets that went out a few months ago said that an ALMO (Arms Length Management Organisation, which is one step privatisation) isn't possible, they've also said a PFI (Private Finance Initiative) isn't possible either, thus leaving tenants with the fait-accompli Lib-Dem decision of Stock Transfer or nothing.

QUESTION: Why bother with the consultation? Basically to test out and identify what remains of tenant opposition in Liverpool after over 12 years of housing privatisation since 1992 under 'Moderate' Labour through to current Liberal-Democrats (since 1988).

So where is the opposition? The Liverpool Federation of Council Tenants and Residents associations? They've never successfully campaigned against a Stock Transfer they've never won a 'NO VOTE' with their plush city centre offices with their tens of thousands of pounds of annual funds throughout the 1990's (funded through a levy on tenants rents, at £5 per year). They are fully a puppet of the city council they don't represent the council tenants in Liverpool they sell council policy to tenants, in short they are collaborators with the city council and have betrayed council tenants throughout the 1990's and beyond.

What about the Trade Unions? They've not defended their own members jobs from Unison the management Union to the UCATT, GMBU, APEX based in Long Lane Aintree the housing repair unions, we've only got to recall the recent threat to sack 400 workers who've been transferred from Enterprise sub-contractor, to another sub-contractor then to COBALT.

So if you're one of the remaining 21,500 council tenants are you ready to fight for your rights, your homes, your neighbourhoods, your communities? Well are you...

Or are you going to be misled by corrupt tenants associations like the (house owner led) Boot Tenants & Residents Association amongst others who collaborated with those who wish to throw tenants into the private sector with all that entails and who've never effectively opposed transfer of our houses and land to private sector housing companies in Liverpool.

The council are not even allowing tenants the right to vote to remain as council tenants with all the legal rights that RSLs, Housing Associations, housing trusts and other private sector tenants no longer have.

The fake 'consultation' means tenants speak and councillors impose what they intend anyway, previously council tenants overwhelmingly rejected transfers to 'Housing Companies' in 1998, they are the 'RSLs' they mention transferring previous council housing to in 1998 and 2002 in the attached city council statement from their website, ie South Liverpool (Housing Company Limited) covering Speke/Garston, COBALT (Housing Company Limited) covering Norris Green, Croxteth, Fazakerly. The Liberal-Democrats ignore the people of Liverpool when it doesn't suit either their political agenda or their 'partners' commercial big business interests.

Tenants consulted on future of council homes

Liverpool's council tenants are being urged to have their say on the future of their homes in a project called "Your Home, Your Future".

They are being invited to a special exhibition at St Georges Hall next month where they will help to decide the future of council housing in the city.

A radical approach to the future of the city's council homes is needed to bring homes up to the government's "Decent Homes Standard" by 2010.

Your Home, Your Future is asking tenants for their views on a range of options for the council to use to raise the extra £57 million needed.

One option being considered is stock transfer, where all council tenants would become the tenants of registered social landlords (RSLs), which are able to borrow money not available to the council to pay for the improvements necessary.

Stock transfers have already been carried out in several areas of the city, including Speke, Netherley, Norris Green and elsewhere.

Another option being considered is the setting up of an Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO), which would manage homes, but the council would retain ownership.

But there are question marks over how soon the council would be able to set up an ALMO, and there would be competition from other councils looking to set one up.

The final option being considered is the Private Finance Initiative (PFI), meaning the private sector would fund housing improvements and the council would pay the money back over a number of years.

The major weakness with PFI is that it is only suitable for a small number of homes, rather than the 21,500 owned by the council.

The council has not yet decided which of the three options to take forward and wants to hear tenants' views.

They will be able to have their say at meetings across the city throughout the summer, as well as an event at St George's Hall, which takes place on Tuesday 14 September.

Councillor Flo Clucas, Liverpool City Council's executive member for housing, said: "We would prefer to offer a wider choice to tenants, including, for example, housing co-operatives similar to the Eldonians. Unfortunately, this wider choice isn't available and the government is insisting we consider only these three options. However, the council is determined to win as much influence for tenants as we can.

"We are still in discussion with the government to see how this may best be achieved. By the autumn, we hope to put forward a new proposal that will be in the best interests of our tenants. I'd like everyone to come to St Georges Hall on 14 September to tell us exactly what they would like to happen. It's very important that every council tenant has their say."

The council hopes to have found out which option tenants prefer by the autumn before entering a second phase of consultation on the chosen option.

Fact sheets, as well as details of Your Home, Your Future meetings, roadshows and events are available by calling free on 0800 085 2207, or by visiting

Liverpool City Council preparing stock transfer of 21,500 council houses to RSLs


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  1. contact for campaign resources + support — trade unionist