Thursday, 9 January 2014

Council Meeting - Communication and Affordable Housing

Hay Council is considering the idea of getting in touch with local residents via email, and would like anyone who is interested in getting email updates of what they're up to to contact them.
An email list would have been useful recently, when Ellie Spencer got an email from Kirsty Williams and wanted to share it as widely as possible. This was on the subject of the public toilets. She wanted to get the message out via the Hay Together email list, but this was felt to be inappropriate by other councillors - which led to another bad tempered exchange. Ellie couldn't attend the meeting on Monday, so was unable to answer any of the criticism.

But let's end on a positive note! At the beginning of the council meeting a group from the Affordable Housing group, led by Ros Garratt, came to give a presentation, showing where they have got to in their plans.
They had a chap called David Palmer with them, from the Wales Co-operative Centre, too. The Co-operative Centre was set up originally by the TUC, and their ambition is to support the building of affordable homes across Wales. They prefer to do this in partnership with Councils, because a Council is a properly constituted body, and they have some experience in running things. One suggestion was to get together with Clyro and Llanigon for a project, to take advantage of economies of scale. Felindre also wants to have some affordable housing, and at the moment there is no provision in the LDP (Local Development Plan) for any new housing there.
They think that the best way to go forward is to set up a CIC, a Community Interest Company, like the one that is organising the renovation of the Cheesemarket at the moment. This would mean that any involvement that the Council itself has in the project would be protected legally, so the Council would not have to bear costs if the CIC got into difficulties. As well as building some new houses, or supporting people who wish to self-build, there would be scope for them to branch out later to cover car parks, and playgrounds and woodland walks - and even toilets (and they would be able to put a turnstile in!). CICs can access funds that the Council doesn't have access to (there seem to be pots of money out there for all sorts of things, if you know where to look, and how to apply). They could also act as a Registered Social Landlord, or co-mortgage properties with the tenants. They were thinking of inviting two councillors to be on the board.
This ties in with the school - young families are needed to stay in the area to help the local economy, and as smaller schools are closing in the more remote villages, there needs to be housing in Hay for families to move where the school is.
The Estates Sub-committee of the Council will be working with the Affordable Housing group to take things forward.


Anonymous said...

I would have thought that the Hay Together mailing list was extremely appropriate for Ellie Spencer's proposal. That's why it's called Hay Together, for heaven's sake. It's just those thick blinkered councillors who think, for some strange reason known only to themselves, that Hay Together and Plan B are one and the same. How dim-witted and stupid can you get? Well, extremely stupid it would appear. It beggars belief. It really does.

Anonymous said...

Lots of the same people who now are Hay Together were plan B. It is plan B to blame for no school, no much needed supermarket and no community facilities.

Incomer 429 said...

Anonymous, you forgot to mention you were here long before us and that Hay was better before all those bookshops and the festival and all those arty farty types moved here!

Warm Blooded Mammal said...

I expect that the dinosaurs moaned on about incomers in much the same way, as they slowly became extinct....

Still, never mind eh?