Housing Privatisation

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2002 National Delegate Conference
25 February 2002
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that the campaign against the privatisation of council housing is continuing and gathering strength. It congratulates UNISON members and tenants in Dudley and on the Aylesbury estate in Southwark for their successful campaigns for a ‘no’ vote in the tenant ballots.

Conference further notes the outstanding success of the national, West Midlands Region and branch campaign which helped deliver the historic No vote in Birmingham. Also the application of similar strategies in Glasgow where, despite the ballot narrowly being lost after public monies were spent on considerable political intervention, valuable lessons were learnt which will assist future stock transfer campaigns. It also acknowledges the work of the Local Government Service Group in developing the campaign and its work, which includes:

1)Guidance to branches facing stock transfers;

2)Guidance on Arms Length Companies;

3)A national and regional training programme on housing transfers, investment options and organising

4)National publicity materials for campaigns;

5)National housing seminar;

6)Housing finance consultancy;

7)Work with DTLR on research into the impact of stock transfers on the workforce and trade unions.;

8)GPF funding of local campaigns worth over £100,000.

Conference welcomes the proposals in the Local Government White Paper, published in December 2001, that local authorities be given the power to raise loans for housing repairs and improvements against their income stream from rents. It considers that these proposals should be strengthened and introduced as soon as possible to enable long overdue and essential improvements to be made to council housing.

This development strengthens the argument against privatisation and should give greater impetus to local campaigns. Conference calls on all local authorities to put their privatisation proposals on hold so that irrevocable decisions are not taken before the new measures are enacted.

Conference calls on all affected branches to campaign jointly with tenants against further privatisation proposals. It instructs the National Executive Council to continue its campaign jointly with other unions, TAROE (the tenants and residents national organisation) and Defend Council Housing. It further instructs the National Executive Council to enable the decision of the Local Government Service Group Conference in 2000 by affiliating to Defend Council Housing.