VALE council tenants have voted to reject a proposal that would have seen their homes transferred to a new local housing organisation, Heritage Coast Homes.

In a secret ballot of tenants, in which 68.4 per cent voted (3,245), 49.2 per cent supported the transfer and 50.8 per cent were opposed.

The council had argued that the proposals would have secured the investment needed to bring homes up to the full Welsh Housing Quality Standard as required by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Cllr Gordon Kemp, Leader of the Council, said: "We always wanted tenants to have the final say on the future ownership and management of their homes.

"We explained to tenants that, without transfer, we would not be able to reach the full Welsh Housing Quality Standard or have the resources needed to make much needed improvements to our estates.

"We have been honest with tenants throughout the consultation and we will now start work to improve their homes, working towards achieving the WHQS.

"We will continue to involve our tenants in exploring ways of taking the housing service forward in these challenging circumstances."