Wednesday, 01 October 2014

Council takes ALMO back in house

A London council is taking its arm’s-length management organisation back in house this Friday with the hope of saving more than £5 million.

Ealing councillors voted in May last year to bring the service back in house after dropping plans to pass the management of the homes to private companies. The decision followed a consultation with tenants and leaseholders.  

The ALMO, Ealing Homes, was set up to deliver the council’s decent homes programme, which is expected to finish this month.

Hitesh Tailor, cabinet member for housing, said: ‘Although Ealing Homes did a good job in delivering decent homes, this was a good time to take a fresh look at the service. We drew up plans to bring the service in house last year, but the final decision rested with tenants and I’m delighted they backed our proposals.’

Ealing Homes’ staff will be transferred to the council under transfer of undertakings rules and move to the local authority’s main offices. The council expects this will create significant savings on leasing office accommodation.

Mr Tailor said: ‘This will give us significant opportunities to end duplication and save money.

‘These are challenging times for housing with government funding cuts, yet over the course of the next four years we expect to save more than £5 million.’

Changes to Bolton’s ALMO, Bolton at Home, have also gone through this week. The body has become a housing association, taking ownership of the 18,000 homes it previously managed on behalf of the council. It has promised to invest £124 million in improvements over five years.

Readers' comments (8)

  • Fear & Loathing

    Am I missing something here?

    I thought ALMOs were set up to provide a more cost effective management service for council housing.

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  • Sexton

    The point for establishibg ALMOs was to tap to the tax payers monies legally (while there was no tangible benefits to the tax payers), knowing that LAs have wasted the rent revenues for over 3 decades.

    Taking the stock back, those who voted for it, should wait and see the consequences of incompetence at work.

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  • Gavin Rider

    Newsflash!

    Incompetence in an ALMO is guaranteed to be more expensive to the taxpayer than incompetence by a local authority.

    What is needed is to get rid of incompetence, not restructure it.

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  • Gavin Rider

    Newsflash!

    Incompetence in an ALMO is guaranteed to be more expensive to the taxpayer than incompetence by a local authority.

    What is needed is to get rid of incompetence, not restructure it.

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  • McMadman

    There was never any need for ALMOs in the first place, nor indeed stock transfer. Only the ridiculous intransigence of the Liebore party in refucing to write down/write off debt unless Councils gave up direct control or transferred stock made such creations such as ALMO's & LSVT HA's necessary.

    All ALMO's did was add to the cost of management for a Council; a lot of the time it was the same staff involved anyway. All LSVT HA's are are privatising stock and removing it from direct democratic control.

    Liebore - the socialist party of the people ? Aye, that'll be right.

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  • McMadman

    Oops..... "refucing" should of course be refusing. "Refucing" could be taken to mean something else entirely, like being severely done over twice. Apologies for that.

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  • McMadman

    Oops..... "refucing" should of course be refusing. "Refucing" could be taken to mean something else entirely, like being severely done over twice. Apologies for that.

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  • "Refucing" could be taken to mean something else entirely, like being severely done over twice

    brilliant - comedy post of the day so far, made me smile anyway.

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