The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames’s tenants have voted to stay with the Council despite the difficulties the Council faces in finding money to improve homes. The tenants made their decision known through an independently run ballot of all tenants on the proposal to transfer the Council’s housing stock to the newly formed KT Housing Trust.
Electoral Reform Ballot Services, who conducted the vote, announced the result of the ballot of tenants as follows:
Number of tenants voting: 3,812 (65% turnout)
In favour of transfer 1,421 (37%)
Against transfer 2,391 (63%)
Leaseholders were consulted in a separate ballot, 882 voted, with 378 (43%) for the proposal and 504 (57%) against. Tenants and leaseholders were able to vote by post, telephone or e-mail.
Councillor Rolson Davies, Executive Member with responsibility for Housing, said: “Given the financial difficulties facing the Council to provide the necessary investment in homes, we believed we had a duty to let tenants consider the option of transferring their homes to another landlord. Indeed the Government’s policies made it quite clear we were obliged to.”
“The tenants’ decision is clear – they have voted to stay with the Council and we take that as a vote of confidence. Their choice endorses our ability as a landlord to continue to deliver a high quality housing service, despite the financial restrictions placed upon us.
“We all sincerely believed transfer was in the best interests of tenants and there was support from all the political parties in Kingston for giving tenants the choice. The challenge remains to find the investment needed to improve Council homes as the Government will not be providing any money. The Minister has recently confirmed this. We will be working with tenants and leaseholders to look at what options are now available to improve services for the future.”
“This has been the most widespread and far reaching consultation exercise that we have ever undertaken. I am very pleased that over 65% of tenants and 51% of leaseholders have taken part in this important vote.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for the thought and consideration they have given to this proposal. I would also wish to thank Council staff for their hard work over the past year.”