Lib Dems campaign against any changes to homes group
LIBERAL Democrats in Derby have launched a petition against the potential for the city's housing group to be brought back under city council control.
The Labour-led city council has announced a review of the management of Derby Homes, which has managed and maintained the city council's housing stock for the past 10 years and, last year, had its contract extended for a further decade.
As Labour works to find £25 million in savings to set next year's budget, leading councillors said everything had to be looked at – including Derby Homes' future.
It therefore announced a review of the management structure of the housing organisation to see if savings could be found by bringing Derby Homes back under council control.
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At the housing group's annual meeting last week, tenants were strongly against the proposals, saying they had more faith in Derby Homes than in the city council to properly manage their homes.
Councillor Baggy Shanker, cabinet member for housing and advice, said the review would look at what Derby Homes did well to ensure good practice was not lost with cost savings.
But the local Lib Dems said keeping Derby Homes as an arms-length management organisation was supported by 90% of tenants.
Lib Dem housing spokesperson Bob Troup said: "Given this situation, it is madness to now consider bringing Derby Homes back into the council. The savings that might be made in eliminating duplication and streamlining services will be greatly outweighed by the loss of morale, decline in performance, loss of tenant trust, decline in innovation, slower speed of action and reduced efficiency."
Lib Dem group leader Councillor Hilary Jones said: "Local Liberal Democrats are committed to doing everything we can to fight the Labour cabinet's plan to scrap Derby Homes."
To sign the petition visit http://campaigns.libdems. org.uk/page2057