Caledonia and Bellsmyre partnership given boost from tenants
Talks between the two landlords began in July last year after Bellsmyre start looking for a partner with a clear view to increasing investment in the area, protecting rent levels, enhancing services and improving governance. Following a selection process, Bellsmyre decided to select Caledonia as its preferred partner for ongoing discussions.
In line with new Scottish Housing Regulator legislation, social landlords proposing to enter into a group structure, or constitutional partnership, are now required to conduct a tenant’s ballot. This means it is now necessary to gain a majority vote in favour, before moving to seek approval to accommodate any partnership.
The Electoral Reform Service, appointed to conduct the ballot, provided confirmation that 93 per cent of tenants voted in favour of the constitutional partnership, based on a turnout of 35 per cent of those eligible to vote.
Brenda Higgins, interim director at Bellsmyre, said: “Staff have worked really hard to consult tenants and ensure that their views are reflected in our proposals. I am delighted that tenants have voted positively for the partnership. This will allow us to realise the benefits this will bring for the community, tenants and owners in the area. This is a great endorsement of the changes we plan to deliver.”
As part of the new partnership, Caledonia has committed significant investment in the Bellsmyre area of Dumbarton with £5 million being earmarked in the first five years. The partnership will assist with improvements in local services through a strengthened local staff team and seek to generate efficiencies, so that future rent increases can be controlled.
Julie Cosgrove, chief executive of Caledonia, added: “This result is excellent news and supports our proposals to work in partnership with Bellsmyre to invest in people’s homes and community, whilst working to demonstrate value for money to tenants for the rent they pay.”