Council tenants in Bolton have voted in favour of transferring the ownership and management of their homes to a new-style Bolton at Home.
In the ballot, 76 per cent of tenants voted yes to transferring their homes from the council to the new-style Bolton at Home. Only 24 per cent voted no. Overall there was a 56 per cent turnout.
The result of the ballot, carried out by the independent organisation, Electoral Reform Services, was announced today (July 30).
Councillor Cliff Morris, Leader of the Council, said: “The council has believed from day one that any decision to transfer should rest with the tenants. We’d like to thanks tenants for taking the time to vote. This ‘yes’ vote shows that tenants have listened to the proposals and made an informed decision to transfer.
The yes vote means, that under existing rules, Bolton at Home would spend around £124m on homes and estates in the first five years after transfer. Around £1.2bn would be spent over the next 30 years and £288m of housing debt would be written off.
Councillor Morris added: “The Executive will now consider a formal proposal to transfer the ownership of homes from the council to Bolton at Home on the basis that the existing rules for writing off the debt still apply. We have said all along that the reason we’re considering this proposal is to ensure that we can get extra funding for tenants’ homes.”
If approved then the council would then proceed to negotiate the detailed terms of the transfer with Bolton at Home and its advisers.
Should the transfer go ahead then Bolton at Home, which has managed the homes on behalf of the council since 2002, would become a not-for-profit registered housing provider. The whole process could take around a year to complete.
Noel Spencer, Chair of Bolton at Home, said: “I’d also like to thank tenants for taking the time to vote. We understand that some people have concerns and we would like to reassure them that, if the Executive vote to transfer, then we will be working hard to deliver on the commitments made to tenants in the formal offer document.”
Of 12,107 votes cast, 9201 were in favour and 2,906 were against. There were 31 spoiled votes.