Wednesday, 16 October 2013


I had the very real pleasure to talk to the Somerton and Frome Labour Party tonight about my role in the Mendip District Council.

It was a pleasure to follow the report from the Labour Conference. The representative gave an excellent report.

It is so obvious that housing is a key priority for local people, I outlined the changes in government policy and the housing strategy adopted by Mendip Council.

I really struggle to understand how this government's policy on housing is anything other than short-sighted ill thought out policy.

The affordability of housing is a key issue.

It is clear that housing is a key policy in family life, a public health policy and for safe secure communities.

So how can setting rates of social housing at 80% of market rents couple his with short term tenancies and with very few new new social homes being built, couple this with a housing boom that affects affordability then far from a rebalanced housing sector the government has failed to make housing affordable, a key cost of living cost.

There is a definite requirement to licence and has an accreditation scheme for private landlords.

Also councils should borrow money to build council houses once again, direct action to tackle the housing shortage.

I also detailed the social problems that the governments welfare reforms? I am seeing many issues presenting themselves to me as a councillor from the Bedroom tax through to indebtedness from increased costs of council tax increases.

Nationally we are seeing increasing numbers of people turning to food banks with 356,000 people receiving emergency food. Labour members are looking into he local situation.

It is good to see the Labour Party is looking at policies to tackle payday lenders and promoting credit unions.

I also advised the Labour Party that I have questioned the Conservative leader of Mendip Council about the lack of gender balance of the cabinet, can it be justifiable that in 2013 no female councillor is represented at the key board of he Council?

Also I told Labour Party members of my opinion that is was unacceptable to raise councillor allowances at a time of a cost of living crisis, I am even opposed to reviewing allowances. I personally give 14% of my allowance to community groups. I cannot think it acceptable not to do so.

I have agreed to visit the Somerton and Frome Labour Party at each of heir meeting to report MDC matters.