Cllr Lee Mason leader of the Labour Group wrote a letter to the Northampton local paper (Chronicle & Echo) which reads:
“Currently the Tories on Northampton Borough Council are cooking up plans to get rid of all council houses to a private organisation. I believe this is a huge mistake because transfer of council housing to a housing association means the loss of secure tenancies, higher rents and charges and less democratic control of housing services. Some Housing Associations are lobbying central government for greater deregulation, which is further bad news for tenants.
Local Tory spin says there is little money to improve our council houses but this is just not true. Northampton Borough Council (NBC) has access to £49.3 million of Backlog Funding from the Homes & Communities Agency to improve homes. NBC is guaranteed to get £4.5 million in Year 1 and then if successful could get £14.7 million in Year 2 and then a further £30 million in Year 3.
On top of this the Tories should use the £2 million they are wasting on a pointless “Stock Options Appraisal” to improve homes. Northampton Labour’s priority is to bring council houses up to a decent standard whereas the Tory priority is to get shot of them altogether. By law to do a full scale stock transfer the Tories must hold a ballot of the tenants.
As Leader of the local Labour Group I urge all council house tenants in Northampton to vote “no” in a future ballot, which will probably come within the next 18 months or so. Don’t be fooled by Tory propaganda and their misleading glossy leaflets. A resounding local ‘no’ vote will send a strong message that our council houses are not for sale.”