Friday, 8 October 2010


At Thursday evenings council meeting the Conservative administration at Thanet District Council squashed any chance for council tenants and leaseholders to have a ballot on the future of their own homes and set in motion a process that will create an 'Arms Length Management Organisation' to manage TDC housing stock in the future.

The TDC Overview and Scrutiny Committee of 14th September had asked council to reconsider the option of a ballot.

Labour and Independent members, who represent the vast majority of council tenants and leaseholders, argued passionately for their residents to be given a vote on the issue, but the ruling Conservative group totally ignored their pleas.

Labour Group Leader Cllr Clive Hart said "at the start of this process council agreed to ballot tenants and leaseholders if the result through consultation was not conclusive. The changes proposed seriously affect tenants and leaseholders and on Thursday evening Labour and Independent councillors pointed to many inconsistencies in the consultation process and called for that ballot.

Shadow Member for Housing Cllr Iris Johnston said "The biggest concern is that 18,000 council homes in East Kent, under Tory dominated administrations, will now be ripe for privatisation. I still have a letter written by Councillor Sandy Ezekiel on the 30th September 2001 where he recommends encouraging the ‘sale of Council homes to the private sector’. With the support of a punishing national Tory Government and a weak indifferent Liberal Party this looks more and more like a reality".

Labour and Independent councillors argued that the consultation had been a total farce and designed to simply get the result the leading Conservative group wanted. Indeed, when proposing that a ballot 'not be held' Conservative Cabinet Member Cllr Chris Wells said "lets get on and do what we intended to do in February".

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