Council homes figures add up

PUBLISHED: 13:20 21 July 2006 | UPDATED: 22:00 28 May 2010

FENLAND District Council will get on average £10,000 for each of its 3,800 council homes if tenants vote to transfer to a housing association. However, by the time other charges are stripped out, the council will end up with just under £5,000 for each. T

FENLAND District Council will get on average £10,000 for each of its 3,800 council homes if tenants vote to transfer to a housing association.

However, by the time other charges are stripped out, the council will end up with just under £5,000 for each.

The figures were revealed this week after the council published the amount Circle Anglia plan to pay for Fenland's houses, bungalows and flats.

Tim Mills, Fenland's head of housing, says Circle Anglia's total package price was originally £41.6 million, but they will be taking on £2 million of pension liabilities "that crystallise at the point of transfer."

However, says Mr Mills, that is a gross capital receipt which will be reduced by various adjustment such as the payment of a £5.3 million levy to the Government, a likely bill of £2 million in legal and set up costs, and debt repayment.

"These reduce the estimated capital receipt to £19 million. This net capital receipt will be available to the council to invest in capital, expenditure or to generate investment income to reduce net general fund costs," says Mr Mills.

Should tenants opt for a transfer following a ballot in November, the council should get its hand on the money in the second half of the next financial year.

His report was discussed yesterday (Thursday) by the overview and scrutiny panel at Fenland Hall and sets out the mechanics of transfer.

Circle Anglia has promised tenants' improvements to their homes that will include:

- Over bath showers

- Front of house parking

- Off street parking improvements

- Security lights

- Refurbishment of unmodernised sheltered housing

- Three additional scheme managers for sheltered housing

- Handyman/decoration service

- Gardening service

- Improved aids and adaptations service

In addition, Circle Anglia says it will invest £1 million in the first five years toward social regeneration initiatives and deliver a minimum of 500 new affordable homes in Fenland over the same period.

Mr Mills says: "The proposal goes significantly beyond what can be offered by the council to meet the aspirational needs of tenants."

Mr Mills reported a 'pool of opinion' last May showed 52 per cent of tenants who responded were in favour of transfer.

"However further analysis showed that the offer would need changing to ensure it was attractive to all tenants - sheltered and general needs tenants of all ages," he says.

In light of this, further research was undertaken and a new offer was put forward.

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