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Caithness News Bulletins August 2005
MEMBERSHIP OF NEW HIGHLAND LANDLORD
The Board of the new landlord will be made up of five Highland Councillors; five tenants; and five independent members. The five Highland Council Board members were confirmed by the Council on 23 June 2005 as Councillors Katrina MacNab, (Pulteneytown, Wick), Brian Murphy (Fort William North), Drew Miller, (Portree), Helen Carmichael, (Beauly and Strathglass) and Stuart Black, (Strathspey North-East).
Following an open recruitment process the remaining 10 Board member places have been filled. The five tenant members are George Henderson, Fort Augustus; Doreen Jones, Skye; Alan Kinghorn, Alness; Alec Macleod, Merkinch, Inverness; and Alan Spence, Hilton, Inverness.
The independent members of the Board are Dr Nigel Campbell, Muir of Ord; Colin Craig, Inverness; Angus Maclean, Drumnadrochit; Linda Munro, Bettyhill, and Andi Wakeman, Watten.
The Board will be responsible for developing constitutional and governance arrangements for the new organisation and ensuring that it is able to become a fully registered Housing Association.
The decision on whether to transfer or not will be decided by a ballot of all Highland Council tenants due to be held in October 2006. Before then the new landlord will have to develop a Business Plan to be put to tenants.
Davidson, Chairman of The Highland Council's Housing and Social Work
Chairman, said: "I am delighted to announce the membership of the Board of
this new Highland Landlord. We have appointed a group of committed
individuals who will form an effective Board. It was a pleasure to meet
them at interview and I know they will bring both experience and energy to
the new Board."
The Highland Council decided to apply to join the Scottish Executive Community Ownership Programme for housing stock transfer on 28 October 2004 and was accepted in December 2004.
As a result of joining the stock transfer programme additional investment of £50 million is already being spent in the Highlands through Community Ownership Grant allocated to existing Highland housing associations by Communities Scotland, the Scottish Executive housing and regeneration agency, working with the Council.
Glasgow, Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway Councils have previously transferred their housing stock. The Western Isles, Argyle and Bute, Inverclyde, Stirling, Renfrewshire and Edinburgh Councils are all currently progressing housing stock transfer proposals.
A ballot of Highland Council tenants is due to be held in October 2006.
Stock transfer would see the Council's housing debt of £175m written-off, allowing increased investment in improvements to the housing stock.
The new landlord will develop a Business Plan including guarantees on future rent levels, security of tenure, service levels and Right to Buy.
Tenants would have the same legal rights and security of tenure that they currently have with the Council, through the Scottish Secure Tenancy Agreement.