Re the letter from Mr John White (April 6) about rethinking housing – several things came to my mind.
I completely agree housing needs to be looked at. How about scrapping the right-to-buy scheme? This allows people to buy their council home with discount.
More people are visiting foodbanks, prices are going up while salaries do not keep up or are even frozen. People are losing jobs and many are on zero hours contracts, struggling to make ends meet.
There are many people living in a grey area of poverty who do not qualify for many social benefits (including social housing) who do not have a chance to buy their property, with or without a discount, and who are constantly living in fear of eviction.
They are simply destined to rent ’til the end of their days, at the market price. Where is the equality here?
The lucky folks, often ‘single’ mothers who sometimes are even co-habiting unofficially with the father of their child/ren or other working partner bringing money in, occupy council premises for the fraction of the price other people pay on the market.
More needs to be done to prevent fraudulent social claims so the affordable living place is available to people who really need it.
If the council wants to sell a house, it should be for the market price publicly (maybe even by bidding) to generate income for new homes and to maintain the existing ones, or keep renting to genuine social cases. Full stop.
Society cannot afford to lose such amount of resources for people who officially have an income just a few pounds less than others who do not qualify for social houses but often need them more than the former.
The number of struggling individuals or families is rising, so this should be the priority over somebody’s right to buy the house they have lived in for a number of years.
councillor’s busy month
Potholes and devolution
I’ve a had a pretty busy month or so, potholes again – an ongoing thing that will continue for quite a while, like trying to empty the Atlantic with a teaspoon.
At Shire Hall we had a vote about amalgamating Cambs, Suffolk and Norfolk into a single entity. In other words “a region” which was no doubt another wish from Brussels if the truth be known.
I voted against it along with others in the group. Labour, LibDems and Independents also opposed it. The Conservatives looked like they capitulated and did a U-turn, after hearing all the reasons why we in the other parties opposed it.
I wasn’t surprised as this proposal seemed to come out of the blue, with no consultation with anyone other than the leaders of every District and County Council in East Anglia. I think nearly all of the signatories were Conservatives voting as Downing Street ordered.
So, it’s gone back to the drawing board and no doubt will be re-presented to us with us having a say first, as it should have been.
Also in the meeting we had quite a discussion about March and Wisbech – and rightly so. That’s what your councillors should do and are doing. The railway connection is causing the most concerns I reckon. Let’s hope it happens at some point. I keep popping out with bits about my home town as it seems that Chatteris and Whittlesey (in particular) never seem to get a mention, and we must remind everyone that those two towns are also in Cambridgeshire.
A country park will soon be cropping up on my to do list, as we haven’t got one in a town of ten to twelve thousand people – while all the other towns in Fenland do have.
Cambridgeshire County Councillor, Chatteris.
horsefair fun day
Thank you, Kevin
I would like to congratulate Kevin Smith on arranging the Easter Fun Day in Wisbech’s Horsefair. I went with my three grandchildren and they all had a lovely morning. They enjoyed rides, had their faces painted and a balloon model each. The face painters were brilliant, the best I have ever seen, and the balloon modelling guy was so clever, and kept the children amused while they were waiting patiently for their turn. A lovely morning – so big thanks to Kevin.
plea to readers
Would the person who found a pair of spectacles in City Road car park, March, on Saturday, April 9, please hand them in to March Police Station or inform this newspaper. They are prescription lenses and would be of no use to anyone else.
Miss G Smith,