THE way the largest social housing provider in Newport is run could be revamped, giving tenants more control.

Currently Newport City Council controls 33 per cent of all votes cast at shareholder meetings of Newport City Homes, giving it an effective veto over any major decisions. But, under new plans backed by the council’s Labour-run cabinet yesterday, Wednesday, the authority’s voting rights will be reduced to count for just one vote, equal to any other single board member or shareholder. Every tenant in a property managed by the organisation has a vote on decisions made by the board.

The board of the organisation will also be reduced from 15 to 12 if the new rules are approved by the full council later this month.

Speaking at a meeting yesterday the council’s leader Cllr Debbie Wilcox said the revamp had not been prompted by the Grenfell Tower disaster in June, but the tragedy had highlighted the need for change.

“Grenfell was a line in the sand for RSLs (registered social landlords),” she said.

“That tragedy is not related to this, but it is related in that Newport City Homes is held up nationally as an example of good practice for how they reacted to it.”

Cladding on the three tower blocks managed by Newport City Homes were among those which failed fire safety tests following the Grenfell fire. The cladding is now being removed and replaced.

Saying the change was “above moving with the times”, Cllr Wilcox added: “I genuine believe this is about making this better.”

Cabinet member for housing and regeneration Cllr Jane Mudd, who also currently serves on Newport City Homes’ board and will be the only one of the council’s three representatives to remain in place if the plans are approved, said all authorities would be required to take similar action around relationships with partner organisations in the future.

And the council’s deputy leader Cllr Mark Whitcutt said: “This will allow us to adopt a more constructive and, yes, you might say arms-length approach as a critical friend.

“I think this is a development that we should welcome.”

Newport City Homes was formed in 2009 to take control of the council’s housing stock and currently has more than 10,000 residents, leaseholders and joint owners. To view the full report presented to cabinet members visit