Maisonette tenants to vote on Flintshire housing transfer

Reporter:

Matt Jones

HUNDREDS of tenants will be able to cast their votes on the future of Flintshire Council’s housing stock later this year.

That was the assurance given yesterday during a meeting at County Hall on the subject of Flint Maisonettes.

Council bosses stressed again no decision has been made over the future of the 214 flats.

Fears have been raised that maisonettes’ residents would be excluded from the vote of all Flintshire council house tenants on whether to transfer the properties to a registered social landlord.

Five councillors ‘called in’ a report on the maisonettes which had been presented to the council’s executive committee in December.

One of them, Cllr Patrick Heesom, welcomed the clarification given and described the land as a “great asset” to the local authority.

He said: “I am immensely pleased on the outcome now we have the assurances that the maisonettes will not be sold off before the ballot and the tenants will get a guaranteed say in the ballot. That was the issue. It wasn’t clear.

“There is no doubt what was contained in that report needed scrutiny. We have got assurances that some of the other big issues will come back to council.”

The council is exploring options to demolish the maisonettes which were built over two phases in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and replace it with a mixed-use site.

Options for the site include a mixed civic, commercial and retail, health and social housing scheme.

Non-urgent lettings and high cost repairs have been put on hold at the site until a decision is made by the council.

The report presented to the executive committee describes the site as “dated” and a “challenge to maintain” and that it makes poor use of land in central Flint.

A working group is due to report back to councillors with ideas to be put to the full council.

Cllr Helen Brown, executive member for housing and a member of the working group, said: “All tenants of the council will have a vote. There is no decision-making in that group. It all comes back to full council.”

The council’s chief executive, Colin Everett, added: “Every single tenant will have full participation in the ballot.”

A resolution by Flint Coleshill councillor Alex Aldridge was adopted to bring any progress by the executive committee on the maisonettes back to the relevant scrutiny committee and then to the full council.

Speaking after the meeting Cllr Aldridge, also a working group member, said: “The key for me today was to demonstrate to people that not one single decision has been made.”

See full story in the Leader

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