Sunday, 26 March 2017

Transfer manual ‘a delay tactic’

The government is to launch a second consultation on plans to allow tenants to take ownership of their estates - to the fury of campaigners who want new regulations to be published as soon as possible.

The Communities and Local Government department has confirmed that it will publish a ‘draft transfer manual’ setting out more detail on how the proposals would work in the spring.

Activist Jonathan Rosenberg claims the manual is unnecessary and part of delaying tactics to prevent tenants in Hammersmith & Fulham taking ownership of their estates, which are due to be demolished as part of the Earls Court regeneration scheme.

The government initially said it would publish proposals in February 2011. A consultation document finally appeared last March.

Mr Rosenberg, who is advising tenants’ and residents’ associations in the west London borough, said: ‘It [the government] has dragged its heels implementing the law it promised that enables residents to take ownership of their estates.’

Mr Rosenberg accused the government of favouring ‘big bucks over the big society’ as communities secretary Eric Pickles earlier this month gave permission for the estates to be transferred to developer Capital & Counties.

A spokesperson for the CLG said the manual will set out ‘how transfer will work in the future and the sort of criteria government will apply to ensure it represents value for money’.

She added that the consultation is necessary to ensure ‘financial and economic impacts are taken into consideration’.

The final decisions on stock transfer are due to be outlined in the autumn.

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