Council tenants remain firmly opposed to the sale of their homes to a housing association, according to a poll.

A telephone survey of 500 Crawley tenants showed only 13 per cent would be willing to vote in favour of a transfer if there was a ballot.

Almost half were against the move while 38 per cent remained uncertain when they were called between December 11 and 15.

Crawley Borough Council conducted the poll to gauge how it was faring in its campaign to promote the sale of its housing stock.

Leader Bob Lanzer said the council would be £60 million in the red if the homes were not sold because of a new Decent Homes Standard to be enforced by the Government.

But he pledged to go ahead with the ballot despite the negative response.

He said: "We could end the process now and say that tenants' views are clear but we must proceed to ballot. It is morally right for tenants to have the final say.

"I have no doubt that accusations of scaremongering will continue but I am determined that tenants vote knowing the facts.

"I urge all tenants to read materials they are sent because the future direction of social housing and the quality of services they receive lies squarely in their hands."