Not Local Not In Touch!
I was interested to read Councillor Quarnby trying to raise an attack on me in the Express and Star letters page on Saturday night. I am pleased that she signed her address as being in Pendeford.
It explodes the myth and the illusion that she is local to the Ward. With regard to the City Council it is a fact that the City is in the top twenty of the most improved councils in the country according to the Audit Commission’s latest findings.
The Audit Commission produces a yearly 'Direction of Travel' report, in this report the council ranks 17 out of 388 authorities across the UK for its improvements over the last three years. The report, rates the council as three out of four stars and ‘improving well’. Even Chief Executive Richard Carr has been quoted as saying : “This is a great endorsement of the hard work of staff across the council and an encouragement to us to maintain the momentum of our transformation programme.“We are tackling the issues which our residents have told us are most important to them and our good progress in these areas means we have made real improvements to the quality of life of our citizens.”Some of the areas which are most improved include: Housing – Wolverhampton Homes has moved from a rating of ‘fair’ to ‘good’ that has led to the Government announcing £188 million pounds of investment for Council tenants.
It is true I do rate the services of the Local Authority highly. I do think that local government social housing is a very good deal. The number of local young people who visit my surgery in Wednesfield North are telling me that they are paying anything up to £500 a month for renting inferior homes in the private sector, homes that are not just inferior but vastly inferior to Local Government homes in cost and value. That is why there is such a pressure on homes in Ashmore Park and other areas of my Ward. Whilst never ever being complacent about any charge that is raised, the fact is that there is a growing number of people that recognise that we have to invest heavily in better housing for our tenants. That is what I was discussing directly with Communities and Local Government Minister Ian Williams on Ashmore Park on Monday 18th February in the heart of Wednesfield North in Ashmore Park. Perhaps she can tell me what she has done for my neighbours in this Ward?
Councillor Phil Bateman
Author: Phil Bateman
Article Date: 25th February 2008