TENANTS VOTE NO!
UNISON calls for council to now look at public alternatives
for public housing
Edinburgh's council tenants have vote NO to housing
transfer by 53% to 47% on a respectable 60% turnout, despite
a huge and costly campaign by the council.
UNISON is now calling on the council to explore
the other options that already exist to finance public housing
and bring the improvements and new builds that are needed.
The Government can start by respecting tenants'
views and writing off the debt. It was ridiculous that the Government
would only write off the debt if tenants voted the way they
wanted. Clearly Edinburgh tenants were angry at that blackmail.
Tenants have clearly said thay want their public
housing to remain public. They want their housing to be democratically
accountable. They want everyone to learn the lessons of the
stock transfers elsewhere, not least in Glasgow.
If the money was available for private landlords,
then the money should be made available to public landlords.
Lets us have the 'level playing field' called for by the House
of Commons Council Housing Group.
The council had been expecting a YES vote after
the huge sums of money it put into its glossy campaign. UNISON,
working with Edinburgh Against Stock Transfer had much fewer
resources but did have the backing of UNISON's General Political
This was enough to produce 25,000 broadsheets
and newspaper advertising to put the other side of the argument.
Clearly tenants looked at the arguments and were either opposed
or felt they had not been given enough unbiased information
to vote away their council houses forever.
The council now has a duty to these tenants to
explore all available routes to get the funding to reward their
This vote should give a clear message to the Government
that people will not be blackmailed out of their public services.