Candidate takes action on Wilmcote House

IMG_0633Frustrated by Tory and Lib Dem inaction over their appalling living conditions, residents have turned to Stephen Morgan,
Labour candidate for Charles Dickens ward in next Thursday’s local elections. Stephen held a meeting for residents this week to investigate what could be done to help.

Wilmcote House in north Somerstown is currently undergoing major refurbishment to communal areas and individual flats. The scheme started back in December 2013, but has been hit by a series of problems and delays which have led to mounting dissatisfaction among residents.
Worried by the council’s inaction, Stephen arranged for a question to be asked to the Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Steve Wemyss, at the March council meeting. 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 would be hit by further delays.

Concerned that residents were being left in the dark and uninformed about these delays, problems with work already undertaken and the possibility of compensation for the disruption, Stephen has worked with residents to set up a forum for neighbours to meet and have their say. The first meeting took place on Thursday night at the Omega Centre, a short walk from Wilmcote House.

Stephen said:

“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 council 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 claims it is robustly managing its contract with construction company Keepmoat, and that the scheme will be completed by January 2017.

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