COUNCIL tenants in Vale Royal have voted overwhelmingly in favour of transferring the ownership and management of their homes to a housing trust.
A massive 85% of tenants voted in favour of switching from Vale Royal Borough Council to Weaver Vale Housing Trust. Only 14% voted against and nearly two thirds took part in a secret postal ballot carried out by the Electoral Reform Society.
The vote means 7,000 council homes will be handed over in July.
A £67m programme of repairs and modernisation will be carried out in the first five years after transfer.
Anne Bingham Holmes, Vale Royal's chief executive, said: 'The council has believed from day one that any decision to transfer its housing stock should rest entirely with the tenants. This resounding 'Yes' vote shows tenants have listened to the proposals and made an informed decision to transfer.
'We are delighted with the result. This council has worked hard to give tenants decent homes but, with the vote to transfer, the money will be available for the repairs and modernisation they badly need.
'The council will continue to work hard to ensure a smooth transfer to Weaver Vale Housing Trust.'
Trust chairman Cllr Tony Hooton added: 'We are delighted that tenants have voted overwhelmingly in favour of the transfer.
'Now the hard work really begins. The next few months will be spent preparing to ensure everything is in place for the transfer next year.
'Tenants should be congratulated for taking such a momentous decision.
'Now it is up to Weaver Vale Housing Trust to deliver the brighter future tenants have voted for.'
* Vale Royal Borough Council offices will be closed at noon next Monday, re-opening at 9am on Wednesday, January 2 Cheshire County Council Social Services Office within Wyvern House will remain open on December 27, 28 and 31 from 9am-5pm.