HC Deb 02 November 1998 vol 318 cc305-6W
Mr. Sanders

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will reassess his policy on housing ballots in the light of the CitySide HARCA and Poplar II HARCA ballots; and if he will make a statement. [57040]

Mr. Raynsford

Under Schedule 3A to the Housing Act 1985 (as inserted by section 6 of and Schedule 1 to the Housing and Planning Act 1986) the Secretary of State shall not give his consent to a proposed housing stock transfer if it appears to him that a majority of the tenants do not wish the transfer to proceed.

The local authority seeking consent will accordingly need to demonstrate that it has carried out adequate consultation and provide evidence of tenants' views. Although a ballot is not a statutory requirement, we believe that a properly conducted formal ballot is probably the best way in which an authority can satisfactorily demonstrate that a majority of tenants are not opposed to the transfer.