Council To Take Back Control of Housing
But Conservatives say residents should have had a choice
The management of the borough’s housing stock is to be brought back under Ealing Council’s direct control.
The plans were agreed last night by the council’s Cabinet. The decision will come into effect after 31 March 2011 when the agreement with Ealing Homes, the current housing management organisation, comes to an end.
The Council say the decision is backed by council tenants and leaseholders and highlight a postal survey showing 61% supported plans to bring Ealing Homes in-house. They say 6% opposed the plans, while 33% didn’t know or didn’t have an opinion either way.
Council Leader, Councillor Julian Bell, said: “We know that tenants and leaseholders want to see improvements to the way their homes are run, so I’m delighted that they back our decision to bring housing management back under the council’s direct control. We strongly believe that this decision will not only allow us to improve our services, but also help us to save money through ending needless duplication. “
But opposition Councillors are unhappy with the move. Cllr Colm Costello, Shadow Cabinet Member for Housing presented a petition of 1,720 signatures from council tenants and leaseholders, asking to be given a choice over who manages their housing. They also wanted the decision to be deferred until the matter was debated at the 19 October full Council Meeting.
"The housing petition presented an ideal opportunity for Cllr Bell to demonstrate his credibility and commitment to the principles of choice and open governance which he so fiercely advocated in opposition. Now that he is in control, he has decided to bin the very first petition to be presented to his Cabinet, and in doing so has effectively stuck two fingers up at the 1,720 residents who signed the petition. Its actions like these, which make the public, think that the words of politicians mean nothing."
All Cabinet decisions are subject to call in for a period of five working days from the date of publication of the minutes of the meeting.
Full results of the consultation carried out by Ipsos MORI are available on the council’s website at www.ealing.gov.uk/housing
September 15, 2010