Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A little bird tells me........

........that it was announced at a meeting of the Alpha Road Residents' Association last week that boarded up windows on the estate are to be replaced with glass.

No great shakes, you might think, except that we have been trying to get similar windows in School Lane replaced for the last two years and have been told there isn't money to do it. The Lib Dem councillor (elected last May, only Lib Dem gain in Kingston - VERY marginal - smallest majority 6) who give out this info was apparently very embarrassed at having blurted it out. 'I wasn't supposed to have said that was I?' was a fairly accurate quote. Why ever not, pray, if it's all open and above board and all estates are to be treated alike?

Which might lead a person of a suspicious cast of mind to speculate on whether it was a pure coincidence that the Neighbourhood Committee was not given any breakdown of how it was proposed to allocate the sums on repairs and maintenance for next year in the Report to the Neighbourhood Committee on Housing the day after the residents' meeting.

Spooky?............Perish the thought!


Kate said...

It unfortunately doesn't surprise me in the least that the Lib Dems are trying to consolidate their toe hold in Berrylands through throwing money at the estate. I'm sure it'll come out in a Focus leaflet soon that the Lib Dems have had success where the Conservatives failed.

What does worry me is, if it is the case that they never previously had money for these types of basic repairs, then where has this money come from now? Is there a hidden pot of cash somewhere that they have tapped or have they removed funding from somewhere else?

It's also got to be said that the Lib Dems have done nothing for the housing in this Borough since losing the ALMO vote several years ago - they seem to have been satisfied to sit on their behinds blaming their lack on the residents for voting no. Such small and random investments may be good for getting a few votes in crucial areas but do nothing towards sorting out the general housing problems in this Borough.

Paul Johnston said...

It wasn't an ALMO vote, Kate. It was a vote on large scale stock transfer. After they'd lost that they refused point blank to even consider the lesser option of an ALMO, regardless of what the Residents' Associations thought about it.
I have, of course, raised the question of where the cash is coming from with the Housing Dept and claimed equal treatment for my own constituents in School Lane and have been advised to await the publication of the Budget proposals for next year. I am on tenterhooks to see what they might contain.