ARTICLE (January 6) regarding housing consultation. The best thing that can be said about this article, I suppose, is better late than never and that sums it up. The rest is simply that it is astounding, existential hypocrisy from Labour, but not unsurprising, it sums them up entirely.
While the first bullet points suggested by Cllr Amy Brookes are important, the last bullet:-
Making sure Rotherham’s communities benefit from housing developments.
This statement is simply unbelievable; just where has Cllr Brookes been the past few years when communities have been crying out for support and help to ensure that the necessary infrastructure will be put in place prior to the developments taking place to ensure their communities remain sustainable and liveable?
Thus far, the planning function and the leader of the planning committee have paid lip service only to the needs and concerns of communities. Let’s be totally clear, so far housing developments have been about raising council tax to replenish the finances that have been depleted by the disastrous actions of this Labour authority.
The council prepared a core plan, covering housing among other things, totally supported by the Labour group. The planning committee has supported the proposals of the planning department; in fact, I do not think the leader has ever gone against a single recommendation regardless of the concerns raised by local people and probably never will in future.
For years it has been clear we need more social housing to support the needs of the local people of Rotherham, naturally good quality housing, thermally efficient and pleasant to live in. Not more square boxes, in blocks of flats. Some people would like a garden, not necessarily a large garden, just somewhere when the weather is decent that is a private place to sit outside. But this has not been happening, not any of it. What has changed councillor?
What has happened is that your party has built and continues to build housing developments that no one wants and in many cases are simply not needed. People are not totally opposed to housing, most recognise that houses have to be built, but they must be sympathetically built taking into account the required infrastructure needs and the views of the community to ensure their lives are not made much worse.
It is not acceptable to build developments that do not take into account the surroundings, road networks, schools, doctors… and simply ignore them because you wish to raise council tax. And it is sheer existential hypocrisy to oppose the developments in your local area because residents oppose it and you may lose your seat, because your party voted for this plan right from the outset and at every opportunity since.
Therefore Cllr Brookes, stop wasting time, get on and deliver the social housing needed, and stop kidding people you care about their views. If you did, you would have consulted them much earlier.
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