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					SIGN OUR OPEN LETTER                                                Sign our open letter to Tony
                                                                 Blair. Tell the Prime Minister we
                                                                 want decent, affordable, secure
Tenants, trade unionists,         strings to improve our homes   and accountable council housing
councillors and MPs across        and estates. The government    – for us, for our children and for
England, Scotland and Wales       promised every tenant a        all those in housing need today
demand that government stop       ‘Decent Home’ – it was a       and in the future.
blackmailing tenants to accept    manifesto commitment at the
privatisation.                    last election.
   We want the ‘Fourth Option’:
direct investment without




Defend
Council
Housing
PO Box 33519, London E2 9WW
G Phone: 020 7987 9989
G E-mail: info@defend
councilhousing.org.uk
G Website: www.defend
councilhousing.org.uk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         ‘The principle of local authorities providing
Tenants,tradeunionists,MPsandcouncillorsatDCHConference                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  decent, affordable, secure and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         accountable council housing remains
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         immensely popular: 1.5 million
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         households on council housing waiting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         lists are evidence of the demand for
DCH held a national conference on May 22 at the TUC, London. The conference launched the Open Lettter to Blair. Here are                                                                                                                                                                                 council housing .
extracts from some of those who contributed. Workshops covered ‘Funding the Fourth Option’, ‘Case Against Transfer’, ‘Future                                                                                                                                                                                 Investment to improve existing homes
of ALMOs’ and ‘Organising Effective Campaigns’. Full transcripts and background papers at www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk                                                                                                                                                                                and build new council ones makes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         economic sense.
                 ‘If tenants vote to                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ‘Our UNISON branch             We’ve built an unprecedented alliance
                 stay with their                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              wish to fight. A lot of    of tenants, trade unions, councillors and
                 council, why should                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          our members not only       MPs. We’ve won the argument almost
                 the council not have                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         work in housing, but       everywhere except in the Cabinet’.
                 the resources to                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             we also live in council    Austin Mitchell MP
                 renovate council                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             houses, so we’re in
                 homes? And on the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            double jeopardy.           ‘If you’ve got a ballot coming up, fight like
other hand because we need many                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We have contacts,       hell to persuade people to vote no – the
more units of accommodation,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  we have knowledge,         more people who reject it the better
councils should be free once again                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            we have ability. And if    chance we have of turning over this stupid
to engage in new build with support                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           we want to keep            policy.’
from government to be able to do                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              council houses viable      Frank Dobson MP
precisely that.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               like we have had in
   Now, today is very well timed                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              this country for many      ‘Our job now is to unite all those in the
because it happens that we finally                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            many years then            98 authorities retaining their council
have got starting tomorrow, Tuesday,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          we’ve got to fight for     homes, the 50 odd ALMOs where tenants
the debate within the party around                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            them.’                     don’t want the second stage of
the future options for councils.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Jane Moore, Cardiff        privatisation and help those facing
   It’s not just people like me – it’s                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        UNISON                     privatisation proposals see the threat off
all of us together, all of us together                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   in their area.
– having forced that door open in                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             ‘Having won the vote          Take the open letter to Tony Blair onto
government let’s go through that                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              in Milton Keynes by an     every estate, get trade unionists signing
door and win what tenants deserve                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             overwhelming majority,     up at work and ask every elected
and that is a genuine choice for the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don’t think that we      councillor to sign too. Together we’ll make
future and councils once again                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                should rest there...       them listen!’
engaging in new build’                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        DCH and the ex-            Alan Walter, Camden tenant and chair
Jack Dromey, T&G                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ministers we’ve got in     DCH
                                         Get tenants, trade unionists and councillors to sign the Open Letter to Tony Blair
deputy general secretary                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Parliament and the

               ‘It’s time the government listened to tenants.                                                                                                                                                               ‘You can’t have money for investment in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              trade unions               WHAT YOU CAN DO
                                                                “By 2010 we will ensure that all
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              collectively should be     G Get tenants, trade unionists and
                   We are paying our rent, councils are         social tenants benefit from a decent,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            repairs or improvements unless you                speaking to Ruth           councillors in your area to oppose any plans
               trying to run a service, but the money that’s    warm home with modern facilities.”                                                                                                                          privatise, or you go to a housing association     Kelly.’                    for stock transfer, PFI or ALMOs – contact
               needed to keep our homes up to a decent          Labour Party Manifesto, May 2005                                                                                                                            or to an ALMO.                                    Cllr Reg Edwards,          DCH for help.
               standard is being siphoned off and used by                                                                                                                                                                      I think this is one of the great scandals of   Milton Keynes              G Organise a meeting in authorities retaining
government for other purposes! Really one of the                                                                                                                                                           our time. And it’s not just we who are saying it... the                                       council housing and those with ALMOs to
messages today is, don’t take us for mugs.                                                                                                                                                                 National Audit Office, in their official government report,        ‘We need to get back       back the campaign for the ‘Fourth Option’.
  And however much the government might want to shift                                                                                                                                                      says that it costs £1,300 more to carry out exactly the            to a situation where          We all need to win a ‘level playing field’ to
                                                                Tenants,tradeunions,councillors andMPssay:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         guarantee a secure, long term future for

                                                                INVEST
the focus, and make us forget about the decent homes                                                                                                                                                       same improvements… in other words transfer is not good             local authorities are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         council housing to see off privatisation for
promise that they made in the 2005 Labour manifesto,                                                                                                                                                       value for money, its actually bad value for money, and its         running their own          good.
which said that all of our homes would be brought up to                                            in                                                                                                      official, because it’s in a government document.                   services, that’s what it   G If you’re in an ALMO demand that once
a decent standard – we are not forgetting that promise.
  So the government needs to listen… we are fighting to         COUNCIL                                                                                                                                       ‘...Three or four million people live in council homes: how
                                                                                                                                                                                                           do you justify prohibiting councils from using their own
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              needs to be; if people
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              don’t like them, they
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         they’ve met the Decent Homes standard the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         homes revert back to the council – oppose
defend our estates, and we need the money put back in –
which is the essence of what the ‘fourth option’ is all about
– give us back the money that belongs to council housing,
                                                                HOUSING
                                                                Defend
                                                                                                                                                                                                           rental income and the value of their own housing stock in
                                                                                                                                                                                                           order to support borrowing to fund improvements? ‘...this is
                                                                                                                                                                                                           a very powerful campaign which in the end has arguments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              have the democratic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              right to get rid of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              them.’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         plans to transfer the company into the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         private sector.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         G Circulate the Open Letter widely and take
                                                                Council                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  it door to door. Ask your MP to sign EDM 48
and let councils spend it on bringing our homes up to a         Housing                                                                                                                                    and demands which are irresistible. So keep with it because        Cllr Robin Harling,
                                                                PO Box 33519, London E2 9WW G Phone: 020 7987 9989 G E-mail: info@defendcouncilhousing.org.uk G Website: www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk                                                                                                 ‘Future for Council Housing’.
decent standard.’ Eileen Short, tenant Tower Hamlets                                                                                                                                                       in the end we’re going to win!’ Michael Meacher MP                 Tandridge
PLEASE SIGN OUR OPEN LETTER
Ask all tenants, trade unionists, councillors and MPs to sign this
Open Letter to Tony Blair.
Return to Defend Council Housing, DCH PO Box 33519, London E8 4XW
phone: 020 7987 9989 email: info@defendcouncilhousing.org.uk
website: www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk

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