Gwynedd tenants' recent decision to vote for stock transfer has revealed the hidden dangers of such a move. In a great article in Golwg magazine, not yet online, it's revealed that more than 100 pieces of council-owned land are also being transferred free to the new private housing association along with the council's entire housing stock. It includes playing fields and car parking.
The new company will, of course, be free to build, develop or sell that land. It's unthinkable that any other organisation would simply hand over such valuable assets.
What's more disturbing is that councillors and tenants were not aware that this was part of the deal. But it's too late now - tenants cannot be re-balloted to transfer back to the council.
The same situation would have occurred in Wrecsam had we transferred the council housing stock to a similar organisation. Thankfully we did not and the council is now using those parcels of land to build 400 affordable homes in a joint venture with the Welsh Government.
PS One of the first moves by the new association was to spend tenants' rents to appoint two people on £300 a day to oversee job interviews. Despite Gwynedd being the most Welsh-speaking area of Wales, neither speaks Welsh and therefore could not assess competency in the language for staff who will be dealing with the public.