First the good news. Rod Bluh has been away at the Tory Party conference, so he couldn’t write his column this week. Perhaps he didn’t take his lap-top computer with him. So what else was there to do but to hand over his column to Russell Holland, the lead member for Housing. He must have really struggled to decide what to write about.

Swindon Council, run by the Tory group, keeps on saying that it is merely ‘presenting the facts’ to tenants. Yet in Housing Matters they have said that transfer is ‘the best’ option, the ‘preferred option’. Everybody knows that the Tories want to sell off our houses. And today’s column says that transfer will be “the best way for tenants to protect their home”.

How can the Tories say, therefore that the ‘facts’ they are presenting are ‘neutral’ and ‘impartial’. It’s a nonsense.

The decision on transfer is not just a question of the finances. Some tenants don’t trust the promises of the Council. Some do not want to become Housing Association tenants because they have either had bad experiences themselves with them, or know family members who have. Others still would rather wait for a new bathroom than be transferred. As one tenant told me “I won’t sell my soul for a new bathroom”.

Whilst the Advertiser has published plenty of letters from those opposed to transfer, the Council leader, because he has a regular column is able to produce the ruling groups propaganda at will, whilst thus far opponents have not had the opportunity to have the right of reply.

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