Examination of Witnesses(Questions 20-39)|
MP, MR DAVID
WEDNESDAY 8 JANUARY 2003
20. You are sure of this?
(Mr Green) In the majority of cases, though I think
a couple of authorities did not.
21. You are saying that arising from that exercise,
from your specific request, tenants' groups did not respond?
(Mr Green) I cannot remember the exact numbers that
did not respond, but it was very few.
22. Have you any idea of how many were asked?
(Mr Green) It is likely to be ten.
23. How many?
(Mr Green) Nine or ten.
24. How many tenants' groups?
(Mr Green) We have eleven authorities pursuing PFI
25. Just before that, you said that a couple
of authorities did not. Could you just be more specific about
(Mr Green) Can I come back to you with that?
26. Out of eleven?
(Mr Green) Yes, we have got eleven local authorities.
27. Because even a couple would be at least
(Mr Green) Okay, nine.
(Mr McNulty) We also consulted a range of tenant federations
and also TPAS, the Tenants' Participation Advisory Service, who
are very up in this area, but in addition I would remind the Committee
that there is significant provision for consultation with the
tenants most directly affected as part of the process and we were
very, very keen that that was part and parcel of the entire reform
of section 27. Much of any "new burdens" that were placed
on authorities as part of the change to section 27 revolved around
as full a consultation as possible with the tenants who had been
directly involved in this and that is terribly important.
28. So the Ardwick ones that we talked about
earlier, what was their response?
(Mr Green) They are very supportive of what we are
trying to do. They are supportive of the proposals for change.
29. You are saying that it was up to local authorities
to do the consultation. Is that right?
(Mr Green) We asked them specifically to do that.
30. And some of them did not do it?
(Mr Green) A couple did not, yes.
31. Why did they not do it if you had asked
them to do it?
(Mr Green) I am not sure.
(Mr McNulty) We can get back to you on that.
32. You also or your Department, Minister, told
the Committee that you were unaware of tenants' groups who have
specifically opposed the establishment of arm's length management
organisations and, consequently, did not target them specifically.
What consultation have you undertaken with organisations or groups
who are opposed to PFI and other forms of contracting out of the
local authority housing function and would you tell the Committee
what response you have received?
(Mr McNulty) Well, I suspect, I do not know 100 per
cent, but I suspect that the answer to that is none. I am not
sure it would have been terribly useful or terribly instructive
for us or the organisations concerned if we had consulted what
are essentially political campaigning groups or if we are talking
about something specific to local authorities and the tenants
that are affected. If you are asking me did we ring up and have
a chat about council housing, the answer is no.
33. No, I am not asking that at all. You are
specifically saying that you are unaware of tenants' groups. How
are you unaware of tenants' groups who have officially opposed
the establishment of arm's length management organisations?
(Mr Green) We are unaware of groups who are opposed
34. Are you relying upon people writing to you?
Have you carried out an exercise in the area in which you are
operating? How do you know this if you do not ask anyone? Many
of these organisations are ad hoc, they are voluntary bodies,
they give freely of their own time, they meet in the evening,
they are not serviced by any particular organisation, so how do
(Mr Green) Having said that, we did have consultee
responses who were not in favour of what we were proposing, particularly
leaseholder groups who had bad experiences of the previous
35. I am particularly asking about tenants'
groups, Mr Green.
(Mr McNulty) The submission says very, very specifically
that, "We are unaware of tenants' groups who are opposed
to ALMOs", and that is just simply the truth. If you have
a useful list of tenants' groups who are opposed to ALMOs specifically
either in the urban areas or beyond, then I would be delighted
to see it.
36. If you do not ask the question, you do not
get the answer.
(Mr McNulty) If we are talking about specific ad hoc
groups, of which of course there are plenty, which sprang up or
diverted their attention as and when there was a stock transfer
and were totally against it, then that list could be fairly extensive
if you work on where the ballots were and work out who was for
and who was not.
37. The question, Minister, was in relation
to tenants' groups.
(Mr McNulty) Tenants' groups and ALMOs. The point
here is tenants' groups opposed to ALMOs and there are none who
have written to us.
38. You have not asked?
(Mr McNulty) No.
39. How do you know?
(Mr McNulty) Whom do we ask?
Mr Cummings: The tenants' groups.