I am no fan of council hosuing stock transfer although it is perhaps right tenants make the decision in a ballot. Before that Gwynedd face some interesting questions.
In particualr Council rents across Gwynedd need to be equalised if the Council transfers its housing stock away from the Council and to make sure the tenants in Arfon get a fair deal.
At the moment the Council are working on plans that will eventually lead to a balllot of council house tenants about whether to stay with the Council or move to a new landlord. At the moment rent levels in Arfon are generally higher than other parts of the county and that seems unfair. Gwynedd Council has been in place for eleven years and for some time the Council have told the Labour councillors in Gwynedd that rent equalisation will occur between the areas of the three old districts, Arfon, Dwyfor and Meirionnydd, but there is no firm evidence that this is happening.
It is very important that this matter is clarified and that the tenants in Arfon are given fair play and a level playing field. This must start soon and go in to the future if stock transfer takes place.
It is not an issue which the council can avoid and it will need to be very clear before tenants are asked about the merits of stock transfer. That decision will be a matter for the tenants themselves but they will need to know all the facts about rents before they enter a ballot. I asked the Council's Chief Leader to clarify the position as the discussions about a new housing company are now progressing. He tells me that moves are afoot to address the issue - we wait to see.