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Residents to vote on housing transfer

COUNCIL tenants across Vale Royal will soon be asked to decide if they want a new landlord.

COUNCIL tenants across Vale Royal will soon be asked to decide if they want a new landlord.

Vale Royal Borough Council is today finalising the details of an offer to transfer their homes to the ownership of a local housing organisation.

If the transfer goes ahead it would affect a sixth of the population of Mid Cheshire and council chiefs are urging all tenants to read the offer document and exercise their right to vote either for or against the proposal.

The council wants to transfer the ownership and management of its 7,200 homes, including 3,500 in Northwich, to Weaver Vale Housing Trust, an independent, not-for-profit organisation.

It wants to do this because strict Government rules currently prevent the council from borrowing all the money it needs to bring its homes up to modern standards.

But Weaver Vale Housing Trust could borrow the necessary money from banks and building societies to achieve this.

The homes would be sold off for an average price of £7,220 each and the council would expect a net receipt of £42.3m from the transfer.

It would use most of this money to pay off debts.

If the transfer goes ahead, the Trust is pledging a £67m programme of repairs and improvements for tenants' homes in the next five years.

The terms of the offer tenants will receive have already been broadly agreed and the Offer Document will be sent out to tenants by September 21.

The Offer Document includes details of the five-year rent guarantee tenants would receive from Weaver Vale Housing Trust and also explains details of the repairs and improvements that would be carried out if tenants vote in favour of the transfer.

Tenants will be invited to comment on the proposals during a 28-day consultation period after which the council will decide whether to ballot them on the proposal.

The ballot would be a secret postal vote and the transfer will only go ahead if the majority of tenants who vote are in favour of it.

The ballot would take place in November and if approved the transfer may happen next July.

Commenting on the Offer Document, Vale Royal's lead councillor for housing, Cllr Brian Lloyd, said: 'This is a very important document, it tells tenants everything they need to know about the council's transfer proposal.

'It is important that tenants read their consultation document so they have all the information they need to make an informed decision when they are asked to vote.

'Tenants have the right to vote whichever way they want but the most important message to get across is that everybody should use their right to vote.'


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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