Frustrated by Tory and Lib Dem inaction on delays and living conditions at Wilmcote House, Stephen Morgan, standing in Charles Dickens ward for the local elections next Thursday, called a meeting for residents this week.
Wilmcote House in north Somerstown is currently undergoing major refurbishment to communal areas and individual flats to tackle fuel poverty. The scheme started back in December 2013, and has been hit by a series of problems, delays and dissatisfaction by residents.
So concerned by the council’s inaction, Stephen arranged for a question to be asked to the Cabinet for Housing, Cllr Steve Wemyss at Full Council in March.
At the meeting, the Cabinet Member said that the council would not undertake public meetings with residents as they would end up being “raucous and uncontrollable”. Cllr Wemyss also confirmed the scheme was suffering from further delays.
At risk of leaving residents in the dark and uninformed about the delays in the scheme, problems with work already undertaken and compensation available for disruption, Stephen took action with residents to set up a forum for neighbours to meet and to have their say. The meeting took place on Thursday night at the Omega Centre, a short walk from Wilmcote House.
“I have been working with residents for several months now, regularly visiting people to listen to their concerns, taking photos of the works undertaken to date and supporting people. Residents have been let down by some current councillors and wanted answers. When it was discussed in the Council Chamber in March the current Lib Dem councillor stayed silent on this important issue for residents.
Improving the council’s housing for local people will always be a top priority for me. The meeting gave us the chance to meet to share issues, agree a way forward and seek better engagement with the council”.
The council claim it is robustly managing its contract with construction company Keepmoat and that the scheme will be completed by January 2017.