WORRIED tenants are urging civic chiefs to rule against dissolving Poole Housing Partnership (PHP), as part of a cost-cutting social housing shake-up.

Borough of Poole's (BOP) overview and scrutiny committee is set to debate the findings of a strategic review of housing management, carried out by consultant firm Campbell Tickell.

One of the choices identified in the review is to bring management of council housing stock back in-house, an option the report says would achieve savings of £313,000 a year.

However, a petition signed by 350 PHP tenants backs the current set up, and argues the council has failed to listen to residents' views.

The Poole People Party also says abolition of PHP will "severely impact" the council's ability to increase affordable housing stock. Members of the independent party, which has three elected councillors at BOP, are arguing against any move to break up PHP, the organisation currently responsible for managing the borough's social housing stock.

Poole People leader and ward councillor for Poole Town Cllr Mark Howell said: "We do not believe that the potential savings identified in relation to the abolition of PHP would materialise in practice because Poole council is fundamentally less efficient than PHP.

"The consultants' report makes it clear that PHP is a high performing organisation that is highly valued by tenants.

"This is a classic case of 'if it aint broke, don't fix it'."

Earlier this year worried residents demonstrated outside the civic centre.

Avril King, chairman of the tenant involvement and empowerment panel at Sterte Court, helped organised the petition calling for council bosses to reject any plans to close, or reduce services, provided by the partnership.

She said: "Residents felt this review wasn’t really looking at anything positive PHP does.

"I'm a tenant with PHP and the help they've given to our community has been beyond amazing. Whereas, BOP, you have to struggle to get anywhere with them.

"We feel some councillors are determined to take back the housing stock."

A statement released by the Poole People Party praised PHP as efficient operators, and argued its staff are better trained and more motivated.

"We also feel that the loss of momentum and focus that is likely to result from bringing the housing function in-house will severely impact on the council's ability to increase affordable housing stock in the coming years," they said.

"The government is likely to give local authorities more freedom to build council housing over the next few years and therefore we need to be ready to take advantage."

The scrutiny committee, set to debate the review on December 4, will then make recommendations to BOP's cabinet on the future delivery of housing management.