Public Sector: Caerphilly in hunt for housing vote help

Caerphilly County Borough Council is seeking a PR agency to help it handle a vote over council housing being handed to a social landlord.

Next year, council housing tenants in the borough will be given the chance to vote over whether they would like housing stock to be handed over to the housing association.

Comms manager Rosemary Mathews said: 'We're looking for an agency that's had some experience in delivering this kind of work for local authorities.'

The handover has been suggested because social housing in the borough needs to be brought up to date by 2012. The council argues that it cannot afford to do this, but that a private landlord would have the funds to carry out the improvements needed.

However, a transfer of the housing stock cannot take place without an independently run ballot of all tenants.

The PR brief includes interaction with council housing residents to ensure they are aware of the ballot, and preparation of a PR plan.

An agency will be appointed in early 2011 and will work until the ballot takes place in early 2012. The council has not yet drawn up a shortlist of agencies.

The news comes as Caerphilly goes through a process of streamlining its comms unit from 25 to 18 staff.

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