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Date 22 November 2006

Fourth stock transfer rejection means council housing investment vital

UNISON, the union representing housing workers, today welcomed the fourth rejection of stock transfer in a row, this one delivered by Highland's council house tenants.

Dave Watson, UNISON's Scottish Organiser for Policy said "This latest result shows that there is now a groundswell of rejection for the stock transfer policy. This follows similar rejections of this flagship policy by tenants in Edinburgh, Stirling and Renfrewshire. This adds to the pressing need for the Government to allow democratically accountable councils to have the same ability to invest in housing as that granted to other stock owners. Direct investment would be cheaper and deliver faster improvements, yet government persists in forcing tenants into unwanted stock transfer. It is time for the Treasury to give councils the same support as given to stock transfer."

Aderyn Coull, UNISON Highland Branch Housing Lead Steward said: "We are delighted that Highland Council tenants have placed their faith in remaining with Highland Council rather than transfer to an unknown landlord and will work with them to ensure that the Scottish Executive give councils the necessary funding for modernisation works. Tenants have refused to be coerced by the threats to future investments. Now the council and the Government need to ensure that this investment is available".

UNISON has fought against council house transfers for some time alongside tenants, other trade unions and housing campaigners. The union has called for a 'fourth option' to ensure that investment is available for council housing in a similar way to the investment thrown at stock transfer, PFI or so-called 'arms-length management companies.'


For Further Information Please Contact: Aderyn Coull, Highland Housing Lead Steward 01463 225265 (H) 07881452137 (M) Dave Watson - Scottish Organiser (Policy) - 07958 122 409 (m) Chris Bartter - Communications Officer - 07715 583 729 (m)