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Transfer council fails to justify methods.

Source: Insidehousing 
26/08/10

BY EMILY TWINCH

A Welsh council faces an appeal over a positive stock transfer ballot after failing to justify a decision to withhold data from anti-transfer campaigners.

The information commissioner in Wales has rejected the reasons given by Neath Port Talbot for not releasing the addresses of its 9,300 homes to Defend Council Housing.

The campaign group wanted to send literature against the council’s plans to hand over its homes to a housing association.

The commissioner has already ruled that the council should have released the addresses.

The council has since responded to the commissioner, but the watchdog has written back saying the reasons given do not change the preliminary findings.

It has given the council until 13 September to come up with further arguments.

A final decision will then be made and the council could be requested to release the information.

Huw Pudner, of the Defend Council Housing campaign, said the group would be appealing against the tenant ballot, which saw a vote in favour in March. Just over 56 per cent of the tenants voted in favour of stock transfer.

The council had estimated it would cost around 152 million over the next six years to bring its homes up to the Welsh housing quality standard.

Mr Pudner was to write to the Welsh housing minister Jocelyn Davies calling for the stock transfer to be halted.