Sunday, 15 August 2010

Ancrum Place - dire roadway and car park

Residents from the Ancrum Place/Morven Terrace sheltered housing last week highlighted in the Evening Telegraph the absolutely shocking state of the road and car park to the rear of the complex - at the back of Ancrum Place. I completely share their concerns.

As reported in Friday's Tele, following residents' complaints to me about the state of the car park and road, I contacted the Area Housing Manager in June 2009 about it (the Housing Department own the ground). He advised that costings had been requested for repair. Fourteen months later and we appear to be no further forward.

I have now received this e-mail from a senior member of Housing Management :

"... the land is held on the HRA since it is unadopted. The Department owns considerable areas of such unadopted land. There are no resources identified for the maintenance of such areas.

Funding within the HRA is extremely pressured with around £130M required to 2015 to meet SHQS standards on the housing stock alone. Meeting SHQS by 2015 is a legal requirement and so we must concentrate resources accordingly.

Given the state of these areas I have contacted the Council's risk management department for funding but have been unable to secure any such funding.

... the Council is looking corporately at how best to deal with addressing these issues more effectively going forward."

I have responded to him as follows :

"Thank you for this. Of course I appreciate the pressures on the HRA but can I remind you that on 23rd June 2009 I was advised :

“costings have been requested for these works meantime”

and I hadn’t heard anything further whatsoever since.

Were these costings obtained and what were they?

Also can you advise what is actually being done “corporately” to find a solution and the timescale for feedback on any possible results of this? Thanks."

I am meeting the officer concerned and the Director of Housing about another matter this week and will be discussing the matter further with them then. The bottom line for me is that it is not acceptable that this area is left in this extremely poor state.