Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Sheer Bloody Cheek: Where was the encouragement when you were counting out the money?

The Medway Standard reports that Medway Council are keen to bring vacant homes back into use (Tues, Oct 24th. Pg 16).

Currently there are 1000 homes across the Towns that have been empty for more than six months. To encourage the owners to bring their dis-used homes back into the market the council are offering renovation grants of up to £15,000.

Medway Labour Group have long been advocates of bringing empty properties back into use. If you take a look at their pledges, you'll find it alongside their promise for extra affordable housing.

It would appear our local Tories have finally caught up with their national party's approach to policy: pull a quick U-turn or pinch a good idea - even better if you can do both at the same time.

What I find particularly galling about this "stunt" is the way our caring Tories handled the sale of the land behind Compass Close.

Bob Marshall Andrews, in his letter to Rodney Chambers opposing the sale and supporting the residents, pointed out the abundance of empty housing:

"Rather than developing these green areas attention should be paid to reducing the excessive number of abandoned habitable homes in Medway and seeking the development of brownfield sites first, to which the Government has handed a considerable contribution."

Bringing empty homes back into use was the last thing on Alan Jarrett's mind as the pound signs sent his eyes spinning like the drums in a fruit machine. I'm surprised he could stop rubbing his greedy hands together long enough to sign the contract.

Off they skulked to their Civic Centre den thinking - 'let's ignore what the local residents want and sell the last peice of open land in Rochester East, build another 135 homes on the land, trouser £5.5m, and THEN start a campaign to bring 1000 un-used homes back into play.

'And just to be really cheeky, while we are shafting the residents we can put out a press release basically saying: government very bad demanding more homes and threatening to tax us for wanting to keep our green spaces free from developments.'

I'm sorry but this is all wrong. It is just another example of their arrogance and hypocrisy.

How can we allow them to stay in power?

Come on Medway, vote them out in 2007.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course Cllr. Jarrett would never have thought of selling the land at Compass Close if he had not got the idea from Labour secret list of land sales drawn up before the 2000 election.Dare you to publish that you bunch of hyprocrites

5:57 pm  
Blogger Tory Watcher said...

Thanks for leaving your comment. My first thought was: "Of course, Alan Jarrett could never have an original thought."
But that is just flippant.
Now, I'm not a Labour councillor but I am aware Labour councillors did earmark some land with the potential to sell. And I'd draw your attention to the word "potential" there...just before land sales.
For many years now, Labour councillors have been against the selling of Copperfield - because they bothered to consult with residents, listened to what they wanted and acted on it.
I've run out of space in the comments section so I'll reply in full in a blog later this week.

11:18 pm  

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