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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 215

Date:- 22 August 2005

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Transfer aims to breathe new life into old homes

LIVERPOOL could soon be sharing control of all its 19,000 council homes with tenants. In consultation with tenants, the city's housing chiefs have come up with pioneering plans which could see them taking an active role in all aspects of the management and maintenance of their homes. The ground-breaking scheme, which is unique for a city of this size, will see tenants trained to become board members of a new landlord organisation.

The new landlord would be registered as a housing association and would be able to raise the cash to modernise council homes. Thousands of tenants could have their windows replaced, kitchens replaced and modern central heating systems installed. Following months of high-level talks, government officials have agreed that Liverpool's planned 'mutual' housing organisation meets their stringent requirements and have given approval for further talks about funding.

Tenants will be asked next year to vote on whether to transfer their home to the new 'mutual' landlord. If a majority of those voting support the transfer, the new organisation will be able to borrow money to bring the homes up to scratch.

Councillor Flo Clucas, Liverpool's executive member for housing, said:- "Getting this idea approved is a fantastic achievement and testament to the hard work of the council officers and tenant representatives who've worked together to make this happen. We want to improve our tenants' homes and this gives us the opportunity to do so. At the same time it keeps tenants in control and it means that the rent they pay will be spent looking after their housing stock. We want to give control of our housing stock to the people best able to look after it - the tenants who have in many cases lived in their homes for years. But the final decision on whether or not to transfer will lie with tenants."

Government financial support and restrictions in setting council house rents, means the city is unable to afford the £182 million needed to bring its properties up to the government's Decent Homes Standard by 2010. Tenants are currently being recruited to train as board members so they can step into the role if the stock transfer goes ahead. The council is being asked to approve the appointment of consultants Price Waterhouse Coopers to assist with the transfer of council homes at a meeting of the city's executive board on Friday 19 August.

Independent Tenant Advisors DWA can give advice to council tenants on a free phone number:- 0800 0855 492.

Mo Mowlam

THE Mayor of Warrington, Cllr Hans Mundry, said:-  "Warrington has great affection for Mo Mowlam and we were very saddened to hear of her death. Our thoughts and prayers are with her husband Jon and family.

She was a great ambassador for peace and Warrington will always be indebted to her for her active support for the campaign for the town's peace centre.

Her energy and commitment were an enormous boost towards the ultimate success of the project. She has a special place in the hearts of the people of Warrington."

NESTLÉ CEREALS FEEDS HUNGER FOR KNOWLEDGE

AS 3,758,690 6 to 11 year olds in England prepare to head back to school, armed with their new school bag and an apple for their teacher, Mums can give them a head start to the year by creating their very own reference library, for free, courtesy of Nestlé Cereals. Until the end of September, mums and children will be able to choose from a collection of Dorling Kindersley encyclopedias and Explorer range CD ROMS (rrp £9.99) free in special packs of Shreddies and Cheerios packed full of facts - did you know we have eyebrows to stop sweat dripping into our eyes?

Not only will they create an ultimate source of knowledge that will be handy for home work all year round, but the interactive CD ROMS will keep them engaged and entertained during rainy days over the rest of the summer holidays. The 2 encyclopedia and 3 'Explorer' titles are all taken from the hugely popular Dorling Kindersley collection which support the national curriculum. The free on pack offer includes a range of CD ROMs from 'Become a human body explorer' to the 'Children's encyclopedia - the essential reference for home and school.'

The interactive 'Explorer' CD ROMS for kids aged 6 to 10 years old, are packed with information for young minds. They guide youngsters around topics such as the human body, and include games, did you know facts and play areas on the subjects. The 'Encylcopedia' titles, designed by educational experts for 7 to 11 year olds, stimulate a child's natural curiosity and create an impressive multimedia package making learning both interesting and fun.

Mums will be able to see the CD ROMS through a window on the front of special packs of Nestlé Cereals allowing them to pick and choose which titles they want to build their very own home reference library to help their little genius stay top of the class!

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