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HOUSING - FEARS OVER FORCED STOCK TRANSFERS

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Some councils in Scotland are being forced to transfer their housing stock unnecessarily, says Falkirk Council lead...
Some councils in Scotland are being forced to transfer their housing stock unnecessarily, says Falkirk Council leader John Connolly (Lab).
Mr Connolly says the Housing Bill progressing through the Scottish Parliament is too prescriptive and 'does not adequately reflect councils' individual local conditions and circumstances'.
Overwhelming need for investment, tenant demand, political will and debt are cited as the reasons for stock transfer.
The Executive insists the Bill is not too prescriptive. A spokeswoman said:
'There are some instances where wholesale transfer is necessary. But at other councils, there may be partial transfer and none at all where there are no debt
problems.'
Mr Connolly argues there is no indication of funding arrangements for councils which do not transfer their stock: 'Councils are constrained by existing arrangements in terms of spending consents and borrowing rules, and these constraints limit the scope for realistic alternatives.'
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