MISMANAGEMENT of housing finances and the failure of the borough's housing services to implement and administer appropriate policies and procedures in respect of allocations, repairs and improvements during recent years, has resulted in the degeneration of many of the council owned housing estates in Burnley.

This highly-paid management team is well aware that council housing stock needs at least £40 million to carry out much needed improvements and repairs and the private sector stock needs at least £130 million of extra investment.

Confronted with this financial dilemma, they have, in their wisdom, decided that the solution is a whole stock transfer to a council set up local housing company - in order to raise finance privately by long term loans.

The majority of people in this town perceive the present housing management and administrative staff as incompetent, the housing allocation policies as unjust and the distribution of any available funding for improvements as unequal. Given the fact that the same management team, with the same support staff (plus an extra 20 per cent requirement) implementing the same policies and employing the same in-house services would be unaltered, I cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, envisage any benefits being enjoyed by the major stakeholders in this deal - the tenants - when the only significant difference appears to be a greatly increased borrowing capacity (which will undoubtedly be paid for by the tenants some time in the not too distant future) in order to retain the status quo.

Surely, it is only fit and proper to provide tenants with all the available options or alternatives to a council set up housing company, thereby ensuring that each individual will be capable of making an informed choice when the time comes for them to indicate their preference by casting their vote.

MS MARLENE DISLEY, Middlesex Avenue, Burnley.

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