Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Defend Council Housing in Hounslow

This report from the House of Commons Council Housing Group, chaired by Austin Mitchell MP, slams "the grim failure of current housing policy reliant on the private market (which) reinforces the case for government to invest in first class council housing"

During the recent local election campaign our Labour opponents quite shamelessly, and shamefully, peddled the deliberate untruth that the Community Group had intentions to privatise the local authority's housing stock, even persuading one malcontent on the Ivybridge estate to circulate a leaflet completely inventing a meeting at which such a plan was alleged to have been discussed.

The facts, of course, are a little different. The "half-way privatisation" in the form of the Arm's Length Management Organisation (ALMO), Hounslow Homes, took place under the previous Labour administration, and when I chaired the Hounslow Homes Management Review in 2006/7 every self-interested tentacle of the local Labour octopus was deployed to resist any attempt by me to take the service back in-house.

Under the coalition administration the first local authority New Build (made possible by a long belated change in legislation) was authorised by the Executive at my behest in my capacity as Lead Member for Housing.

It will be interesting to see just how enthusiastically the new administration resists the trend towards selling off local authority housing stock.

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