Mr da Cunha,
Somer Community Housing Trust,
c/o THE CURO GROUP,
Dear Mr da Cunha,
We are writing to register tenants very serious concerns regarding the proposals contained in the recently delivered CURO GROUP propaganda booklet “Open” winter 2012 issue 2 regarding the 600 Bath Georgian properties, worth upwards of £120m on the open market, being the councils former assets transferred to the registered charity Somer Community Housing Trust in 1999 following the flawed ballot of 12000 secure council tenants.
The proposals to “rent these properties on the open market…to consider for use as holiday lets” etc., is not only scandalous but a clear misuse of the charitable assets of Somer Housing which was specifically set up by the Council to “provide affordable and decent housing for those in need” over its 30 year business plan (Articles of Association refers)
It is also in clear breach of the written undertakings given to tenants at the time of transfer by B&NES Council’s elected members and officers many of whom are still in situ.
According to the report of Graham Sabourn , B&NES Council’s Lead Officer Housing, to the Corporate Audit Committee 27th September 2012 a proposed subsidiary "CURO Enterprises" would be a “for profit” company which “would leverage the core skills of the CURO GROUP to provide financial services to small and medium size private sector developments, provide private market rentals & holiday lettings, sell its properties on the open market etc.,…”
This same report also confirms the Council has class voting rights which would enable it to block these proposals but CURO/SOMER intend removing them and, according to dubious legal advice to the Council, there is nothing it can do to stop them.
This is just not good enough Mr da Cunha there are 10000 individuals registered on the Council’s housing waiting list, an increase of 6500 in ten years, and yet CURO and senior Council Officers are proposing to hive off upwards of 600 properties into the private rented sector and for holiday lets to wealthy tourists. These manoeuvrings and double dealings behind the backs of tenants.
Fact: senior personnel at CURO and senior officers at B&NES Council are not going to, yet again, misuse our social housing in this way and they are not going to continue trampling over the rights of its tenants by issuing us with deliberately misleading and confusing propaganda about the future direction of our homes.