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Sunday, 21 March 2010

The Actions of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council "In the Spotlight." Once Again !


'I can't believe the result of council house transfer vote'
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A RENEGADE councillor is questioning the result of a ballot that saw tenants vote in favour of handing over their homes to a new landlord.
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More than 9,300 houses and flats will be transferred from Neath Port Talbot Council to a not-for-profit organisation called NPT Homes, once a timetable has been agreed with the Assembly.
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But the council's Dyffryn representative Martyn Peters has written to Deputy Housing Minister Jocelyn Davies, posing a series of questions and raising his concerns about the outcome of the ballot.
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He is one of a small number of county councillors to publicly oppose the transfer.
"I have spoken to a lot of people and not one of them voted in favour of the transfer and they just cannot believe the result," Councillor Peters told the Post.
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"Not once in the last nine months has anyone come up to me to say they supported it.
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"This doesn't sit easy with me. There's something amiss, and quite a few people are saying the same thing."
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It's all to do with the Assembly's Welsh Housing Quality Standard. Neath Port Talbot argued it would need to spend £152 million bringing its homes up to scratch when it only had £40 million.
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As a result of the ballot — which backed the transfer by 3,600 votes to 2,758 — the council says there will be a programme of repairs and improvements worth £152 million in the first six years and £694 million over 30 years.
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As well as questioning the result, Councillor Peters has also complained that the ballot was unfairly stacked in the council's favour.
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He said the Defend Council Housing protest group was denied the names and addresses of tenants so it could discuss the transfer with them.
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"If this was an election then all parties would have a copy of the electoral register," he said.
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"The council said it was concerned about vulnerable tenants, but if this was a true democratic process then it could have put our literature in with its mailings.
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But the council had to get this decision, no matter what."
( I agree totally with these sentiments. Kevin )
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Neath Port Talbot said the ballot was run by Electoral Reform Services (ERS), a highly respected independent organisation.
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"The transfer ballot was run independently," said a council spokeswoman. "ERS is not connected with the Government, the council or the borough's new landlord, NPT Homes.
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"At no time during the ballot process were tenants' individual votes seen or discussed with Neath Port Talbot Council or with NPT Homes.
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"During the ballot ERS had a record of which tenants had voted and which tenants had not, but Neath Port Talbot Council and NPT Homes did not know at any time during the process how an individual tenant had voted or if in fact they did vote."
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She said ERS' security features ensured the integrity of ballots it ran were not compromised.
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"Every ballot paper had a unique bar code reference to ensure that no ballot paper was used more than once," she said.
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"Telephone, text and internet voters had a unique reference number and any attempt to vote more than once would have been detected and prevented by ERS."
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End
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What I find even more disturbing is that I was approached by some "Front Line Council House Workers " who stated that they HAVE ALREADY BEEN TOLD who is to remain with NPTCBC and who is to be transferred to the new organisation NPT Homes !
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How can this be the case as the results of the ballot are not even in yet !
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Has the result of the ballot already been decided by NPTCBC before the event ?
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Is the vote fixed ?
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If this is true then serious questions need to be asked.
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It looks like that I am not alone in my suspicions.
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Kevin
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Related links
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did everyone that should have had a ballot paper get a ballot paper??????
Is this a practice run to vote rig the next election.
I can smell another legal challenge coming.