Labour Convenes Emergency Council Meeting

New administration want to stop the privatisation of Ealing Homes

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Just days after taking control of the council the new Labour leader has called an extraordinary meeting in a bid to reverse plans to privatise Ealing's housing management.

Ealing Homes- an arms length management organisation (ALMO) - looks after 19,000 council homes (including 5,000 leaseholders) in the borough on behalf of the council.

It's run by an independent board of directors but Ealing Council is its only shareholder and remains the landlord of the homes.

An Audit Commission inspection in 2008 downgraded Ealing Homes from two stars to one star and a report highlighted a number of problems including budgeting and complaints with repair works.

The previous Conservative administration aimed to wind up the organisation at the end of March 2011 and to tender out housing management contracts to specialist groups.

However, in his first major move since taking control of on Friday, Leader Julian Bell has convened the council for the sole purpose of reversing that position.

The motion being debated is:

“This Council resolves that with immediate effect its support for privatising the Management Contract of Ealing Homes is removed. The Council mandates officers to immediately draw up proposals to return Ealing Homes to direct management by the Council.”

The move has already come under fire.

Conservative Councillor Phil Taylor says it will be the tenants who will suffer:

''The Labour solution is to bring the whole thing in house. This one move alone will increase council tax for all residents by 2% or lead to a massive increase in council house rents and service charges. Tenants and leaseholders will have to deal with town hall bureaucrats who have no incentive to give them a good, inexpensive service.

He writes:

'' Labour have moved swiftly today to demonstrate that they will be ideological, they will prefer service deliverers over service users and that the Council’s costs will soar out of control.''

The meeting will take place on May 18th.

May 11, 2010


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