As we approach the ballot of Swindon Council tenants, the moment of truth arrives. Given all the contact we have had with tenants, on the estates, by phone and email, I think it’s fair to say we have a reasonable picture of the different points of view and the discussion which is taking place.

My own view is this – the biggest danger we face is that tenants who don’t want a transfer will not bother voting because they think the Council “will do it anyway”.

The statutory guidance for such ballots states:

Paragraph 3(6) requires the local authority at the end of the ballot to write to all tenants (whether or not they voted) informing them of the result. A majority vote against transfer would mean that transfer cannot proceed and the local authority should make this clear to tenants.

And, of course, the Council has said this is the ‘offer document’.

So in the next few weeks we have to drive home the message that tenants have the power to stop the transfer. Don’t let the Council win a majority in the ballot because you did not use your vote.

I am convinced that if enough of the people who do not agree with transfer actually send their ballot form back, then we will win a majority against transfer. We have to press this message home in every way we can. We have the power to blow the Councils proposal out of the water. Make sure you use your vote.

Martin Wicks

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