Powers taken away from tenants’ board

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TENANTS board members at Sheffield Homes have been stripped of their powers to run the city’s council housing – without being informed.

The decision has been made although the company is not due to be wound up until April.

One tenant board member said: “It’s appalling – nobody on the board was even told. Three new board members have just been appointed – but what powers are they going to have? This comes after tenants found out important information warning services could worsen was withheld by the council before the ballot about whether to return to council management.”

Coun Penny Baker, Sheffield Council’s opposition Lib Dem housing spokeswoman, said: “With every day that goes by the facts around the process to wind up Sheffield Homes get murkier and murkier. It seems that tenants are not being treated with respect and that the decision has not been made in a fair way – it’s vital an independent investigation is held.”

Richard Palmer, head of housing commissioning at Sheffield Council, which is taking back control of housing, said: “The council has amended its Articles of Association to reserve certain matters to be determined by the council as sole shareholder.

“Reserved matters to be determined by the council as sole shareholder of the company include final decision making about certain strategy, policy and expenditure decisions, including incurring more than £1,000 on legal advice, in order to ensure that the council obtained oversight of these matters in the months preceding the transfer of housing management functions back to the council.

“This amendment to the Articles of Association was approved by the Secretary of State for Communities.”

A debate on the issue will take place at tomorrow’s full council meeting.