Ellesmere Port and Neston housing stock to remain in council ownership following overwhelming support from tenants

30 November 2015

Council housing in Ellesmere Port and Neston will continue be owned by Cheshire West and Chester Council and managed by an external organisation following ‘overwhelming’ support from tenants and leaseholders.

The decision was taken by the Council’s Cabinet last week following a 12-week consultation with tenants and leaseholders of the 5,800 homes affected.

They were asked for their views on three options for the future ownership and management of housing stock once the Council’s current contract with Plus Dane ends in June 2017.

Councillor Angela Claydon, Cabinet Member for Housing, told the meeting that the consultation had generated an ‘incredible’ 22 percent response rate.

The option with the greatest support - backed by 45 percent of respondents - was for the housing stock to be owned by the Council but managed by an external organisation, which is the current arrangement with Plus Dane.

This was closely followed by the option for the housing stock to be owned and managed by the Council, preferred by 44 percent. 
Only two percent of respondents wanted the housing stock to be owned and managed by an external organisation.

Councillor Claydon said: “There was overwhelming support for the Council to keep the ownership of our housing stock, with 45 percent in favour of another management contract.

“The options appraisal concluded that this option would deliver the best service for tenants, the greatest value for money and the greatest certainty.” A total of 1,241 responses were received to the consultation, which ran from July until September.

Satisfaction with the current arrangements and improvements in service delivery were among the reasons given by tenants who wanted the Council to maintain ownership and outsource the management service.

Other reasons included the perceived safety and security of remaining as Council tenants, and accountability of the Council as landlord.
Cabinet Members agreed that work could now begin to procure a contract for the housing management service to begin on 1 July, 2017.

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