Councillors agree to housing takeover

Councillors have agreed to take over the responsibility for the management of the High Peak’s council homes.

At a meeting held last week, councillors agreed to disband the arms length management organisation (ALMO) High Peak Community Housing, and bring the borough’s 4,100 council homes back under the authority’s control.

High Peak Borough Council will now become responsible for the management of the properties, as well as providing services including repairs, lettings and rent collections.

The move will lead to savings of over £600,000, members heard.

Council leader Cllr Caitlin Bisknell said: “I was one of the executive members originally involved in setting up the ALMO and it was seen as the only way we could attract funding to bring the council housing stock up to standard. I am pleased to be bringing this back in house and am looking forward to working with our staff.

“This will open up a whole new chapter for us.”

But Cllr John Haken added: “£600,000 is a lot of money but I wonder whether it is going to be found by job losses. I would certainly welcome a guarantee that no members of staff from High Peak Community Housing will either be made redundant or take voluntary redundancy over the next two years.

“Moving onto the consultation, I noticed in the newspaper it said 78 per cent of respondents were in favour of this but what was not made clear, and may not have been made clear to the newspaper, is that only 164 people responded. If we were selling cat food we would not be able to use those figures as an advert.”