‘No’ vote in 2006 was a big mistake

Coun Mike Taylor.

Coun Mike Taylor.

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GRANTHAM Mayor and cabinet member Mike Taylor is still rueing the 2006 decision taken by council house tenants to reject turning council houses over to a housing association.

Coun Taylor believes tenants would have benefited from far more investment if they had voted in favour of the switch five years ago.

Coun Taylor said: “If we had gone with the LSVT (Large Scale Voluntary Transfers) then they could have called on £90 million overnight to do what needs doing.

“Unfortunately the Labour Party - and I’m not being political - had a big campaign against it. They had this idea that council tenants are their last bastion of support and, unfortunately, we lost the vote.”

Councils which switched to housing associations do not have to pay towards any of the national housing debt.

Despite projections of more money in the future, Coun Taylor believes a housing association would have provided much more money for improvements than the council could afford.

He said: “We are trying to do the best with the money we’ve got, but we can’t do what we would like to do because of lack of funds.

“The housing association could have done the work overnight.”