TENANTS in Redcar and Cleveland are being balloted on the future management of their homes.

It follows a proposal by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council to transfer the ownership and management of 12,000 council homes in the borough to Coast and Country Housing, a new independent not-for-profit housing organisation that can access money for repairs that is not open to the council.

A secret postal ballot began last Thursday for tenants to decide if they want to go ahead with the plans.

It follows a massive public consultation exercise by the council, from the urban Teesside conurbation throughout East Cleveland villages, to inform people and answer questions and concerns.

The council insists that the transfer will only go ahead if the majority of residents vote in favour of the scheme.

Iain Sim, director of housing at the council, said: "This is the most important decision tenants will ever make about the future of their homes and housing services.

"Tenants need to remember that every vote counts. My message is simple: Please do not waste your opportunity to have your say about the transfer proposal.

"Please don't waste your vote, use it."

The ballot ends on August 22 and the result will be announced shortly afterwards in a newsletter