Labour are spending vast sums on “engagement” (ie propaganda) in support on their plans to abolish council housing in the borough. They want to transfer all the housing stock to a Community Gateway housing association. This year alone they are spending £778,000 form the General Fund and another £125,000 from the Housing Revenue Account.
Yet despite all this spending how much support do they have? Not much to judge by those I’ve spoken to. So why not just ditch the flawed scheme before any more money is wasted.
So I asked the Council for “any indications so far – from polling, focus groups, consultations, etc – as to the level of support among tenants and leaseholders for the proposal.”
Ayesha Ovaisi, the “Project Manager” replied that:
“The engagement activity over summer has proved to be very useful and was aimed at building awareness of the possible stock transfer.”
That didn’t really answer my question. So I tried again, this time with an FOI request:
“Please provide any information that has been collated from polling, focus groups, consultations regarding the views of tenants and leaseholders on the proposed council housing stock transfer.”
Here is the response:
Hammersmith and Fulham confirms that it does hold information covered by your request. It has become necessary to carry out a public interest test. This is where needs to balance the public interest in disclosing the information against the public interest in withholding it. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 obliges us to respond to requests promptly, and in any case no later than 20 working days after receiving your request. However, we now need further time in which to consider the public interest in disclosing the information. We estimate that it will take up to an additional 20 days to take a decision on where the balance of the public interest lies. Therefore, we will respond to you by 3 January 2017.
Senior Investigations & Information Officer
Remember it’s our money Labour have been using for all this activity.
What have they got to hide?
Rather shocking. This is not a trivial amount of money!
A pertinent question is whether LBHF have any indication at all from the central government that they will approve this scheme. If the answer is “no” then there’s no point even pursuing it.