Milton has very few council homes, and not much more social housing – and this despite the ward having about 50% of its homes available for rent.

As a socialist I would expect to prefer council housing to be run in-house; this is the standard ideological position for someone with my beliefs. However, from what I hear from comrades who regularly deal with the ALMO, and who also dealt with council housing issues when it was run in-house, it would seem that dealing with Southend-on-Sea’s council homes at arm’s length is working.

Politics is the art of the possible. It is good politics to accept that the outcome for Southend-on-Sea’s council tenants is better with South Essex Homes than with what existed beforehand. It is therefore welcome news that the Council (is) set to extend South Essex Homes contract. Should I be told that council tenants are losing out because of the existence of SEH then I will gladly push for its termination.

It is public knowledge (declared as an interest at many council meetings) that I have a daughter who works for South Essex Homes. However, my support for SEH (always subject to scrutiny and revision) has nothing to do this, and her employment would likely persist if it ever came back in-house.