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Home > News > December 2011 > Tenants say ‘Yes’ to co-operative

Tenants say ‘Yes’ to co-operative
Council tenants in Rochdale have voted ‘Yes’ to creating the largest housing mutual in the country.
Ownership of 13,700 homes will transfer from Rochdale Borough Council to Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) in March next year.
The vote comes just weeks after Rochdale was declared the World Capital of Co-operatives and as the borough prepares to celebrate the International Year of Co-operatives next year.
The decision should, subject to final Council and Government approval, mean that RBH will become the UK’s first tenant and employee co-owned mutual landlord.
Fittingly, the announcement was made by Council leader, Councillor Colin Lambert, on Wednesday 21 December at 8pm – the same date and time the Rochdale Pioneers opened their co-op store on Toad Lane in 1844, which is recognised as being the catalyst for the global Co-operative Movement.
The announcement, which was made at Touchstones in Rochdale town centre, to an audience of over 60 including members of the Rochdale Tenants’ Panel, the borough’s two MPs, Simon Danczuk and Jim Dobbin, councillors and council officers was greeted with cheers and applause.
The vote will result in a £169 million improvement programme for homes and estates in the first five years – much more than would have been possible if the houses had stayed with the Council.
Councillor Lambert said: “I am delighted that, on this important date in Rochdale’s history, we have been able to announce that the borough is going to be home to the country’s largest housing mutual to be run along co-operative principles. This continues the ambitious, pioneering spirit of the 28 workers who set up the Toad Lane store and it’s an exciting development that will quite rightly take its place in our co-operative history.
“The Council has believed from day one that any decision to transfer the homes should rest entirely with residents and now that they have made their choice we’ll be working hard to ensure a smooth transfer to RBH.”
The ballot was carried out by the independent organisation Electoral Reform Services. Almost 9,000 residents voted – a turn-out of 56% with three to one in favour of the transfer.
Noel Chambers, Chair of the RBH Board, also welcomed the news: “Throughout this process we’ve worked hard to ensure that tenants were provided with all the information they needed to make an informed decision. I’d like to say a big thank you to tenants for voting and to staff and Council colleagues. The support of our two MPs, Simon Danczuk and Jim Dobbin, has been unstinting and both have worked hard behind the scenes.
“We’re delighted and proud that we are able to move towards creating the UK’s biggest housing mutual here in the birthplace of co-operation.”
Chair of Rochdale Tenants’ Panel, Lynne Brosnan, added: “Tenants should be congratulated for making such a momentous decision. Now it is up to RBH to deliver the brighter co-operative future we have voted for.
“The hard work begins now. The next few months will be spent preparing and making sure everything is in place for the transfer next year.”

CHEERING NEWS: Councillor Colin Lambert announces the result to a cheering audience
Tenants say Yes
IT’S A YES: Pictured with the Mayor Councillor Alan Godson and Council Leader Councillor Colin Lambert, is Lynne Brosnan, Chair of Rochdale Tenant’s Panel (front row, second right).
Also pictured are the Chair of the RBH Board Noel Chambers (third row on the far left), Rochdale Council’s Chief Executive Roger Ellis (next to Noel Chambers), the Cabinet Members for Performance and Partnerships and Health, Adult Care and Housing, Councillor Jacqueline Beswick (second left in front of Noel Chambers) and Councillor Linda Robinson (between Noel Chambers and Roger Ellis), RBH’s Chief Executive Gareth Swarbrick (far right, back row), and members of the Tenants’ Panel.
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Why not Green Vale. It is already a mutual (IPS)


Why not Green Vale. It is already a mutual (IPS)


Instead of being tenants we could all be shareholders including staff it could realy be OUR COMPANY giving us a real say with an properly elected board responsible to the shareholders not the excutives.





are you getting a better service now we are part of a merger?









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