Wycombe Labour today demanded to know what�s happened to the priorities announced by Cllr Katrina Wood when she became Leader last May.
Her priorities in May 2015 were:
- To fight homelessness and find new homes for young people
- To engage the youth of the district to become more active in politics,
- To protect the green belt and stop the sprawl of urban mass, and
- To regenerate areas like Frogmoor.
Her priorities announced on 25 January 2016 are:
- safe and acceptable standards of private rented housing and
- a vibrant High Wycombe town centre
Councillor Rafiq Raja, Labour�s Leader on WDC, said �WDC�s planning, as outlined in the new corporate plan, lacks any consistency and accountability.
Last year the new Tory Leader put fighting homelessness and finding new homes for young people at the top of her list of priorities. I welcomed this priority saying it was good to see the Tories at last recognising the plight of the homeless and young people in Wycombe struggling to find somewhere decent to live at a price they can afford.
But now, fighting homelessness and finding homes for young people isn�t a priority any more. All the new corporate plan says is that WDC will provide the services it is required to do by law.
The Leader has had nine months to work on the priority for fighting homelessness and finding new homes for young people. Perhaps she could tell us what she has achieved in that nine months. And perhaps she could tell us why she has dropped the priority.
We all know the situation is going to get worse and worse over the next two years. Has she simply given up on the homeless and the young?
In the meantime, we have a new top priority � safe and acceptable standards of private rented housing.
Under this heading in the corporate plan, there are two work streams - considering an additional licensing scheme for houses in multiple occupation and assessing options for Saunderton Lodge.
The additional licensing scheme was proposed by Labour Councillors two years ago and voted down by the Tories. Why didn�t the Tories support the scheme when we proposed it? It would have been up and running by now.
Options for Saunderton Lodge were promised for April 2014 but Labour Councillors are still waiting for them to appear.
At a time when many people in Wycombe are struggling to find a home and to make ends meet, what they what is a Council that delivers not a Council that keeps making promises.