Monday, 2 June 2008

Busy Again

Last week was horrifically busy again, and the driving around was getting to be a pain. We had my committee on Thrursday and the agenda had several good news stories in it. For example we have identified council owned ground to use for affordable housing. We are demolishing a set of properties that have become an eyesore and were a magnet for drug users and anti social behaviour so that the area of the town can continue to be regenerated.

We also had on the agenda a report on 'tenant participation'. Effectively this means that we as a council, engage with our tenants and discuss the issues that are important to them. There were a fair few tenants in the public seating and the meeting was going well until the opposition spokesman stood up and moved that we adopt two tenants on to the Neighbourhood Services (NS) Committee along with the councillors. Now NS covers a whole range of topics, including housing, art galleries, museums, waste management/recycling, theatres and sports centres, and no-one has ever suggested that we also have athletes, bin men, and actors on the committee. The idea was voted down, and on the basis that I had spoken about how important it was to consult with our tenants earlier, the opposition spokesman then accused me of using "weasel words". Effectively, in one fell swoop tenant participation, for the first time ever has been used as a political football. I'm dissappointed.

The provost had been reported to the Standards Commissioner yet again, and yet again she has been cleared. Now I understand that one or possibly two administration members have also been reported to the Standards Commissioner by the opposition. This seems to be getting out of hand. Even the local paper has been complaining about it recently.

I'm not sure what any of us will be reported for next. Wearing a loud shirt in a built up area perhaps? Walking on the cracks in the pavement maybe? In my view, its getting ridiculous and tiresome.


BenefitScroungingScum said...

Wow, I'm very impressed at your plans for council housing-IMHO we are set to enter a housing crisis the likes of which hasn't been seen before.
Of course, there has already been a crisis in accessible housing for years, as in there is practically none. In many areas council's who have (after protacted efforts from the residents) fitted what are often incredibly expensive adaptations to properties simply rip them all out when the person they were fitted for no longer lives there. There have been moves in some places to stop this kind of waste by creating accessible housing registers, but it is still a massive problem.
I'd be really interested to know what proportion of the properties to be built will be accessible, and what kind of access that means in reality? After that, I'm moving to Arbroath ;)

Jim said...

Hi Bendy, I'm pleased to say that all the houses we will build are of the 'barrier free' type. This means they will be completely accessible to all.

They will be fitted with sprinkler systems and gas/CO2 alarms etc.

The standards of construction will be much higher than that of the private sector. Unfortunately, we are limited in the amount of houses we can build by the amount of land we own.

As for moving to'd be most welcome! :-)