21st Nov, 2018

LETTERS: Your discussion from around the city in this week's Observer

I enjoyed reading about the ‘City’s newest liquid asset’ (your paper August 16 2018).

I am as excited about, and as enthusiastic about, the new Water Park as the next person, but the current Sports Centre in Fairfax Street is not just a swimming pool. Lots of other activities go on there too, e.g. badminton, table tennis, fitness classes.

Whenever the new Water Park is mentioned nothing is said about, and no one seems to be aware of, the provisions being made for these other activities to continue. I would be interested to hear what the city council has in mind, as the new building does not seem to be able to cater for these activities which are much used, and a great benefit to the health and well being of old and young alike.

Ann Russell

Howes Lane

Finham

Coventry

If ever there was an example of a pointless tired out government then the last couple of weeks graphically demonstrates exactly that.

Everybody knows we have a housing crisis in our country. We can see the impact it is having on our streets, in our communities and within families.

Overcrowding, homelessness on the rise and young people unable to get a place of their own.

And what is the Conservative government’s answer?

A homelessness strategy with no new money to tackle a problem their polices have created and a green paper on social housing that helps people to complain but again offers no money with not a single proposal on how to tackle the crisis.

I hear a lot from people saying councils should build more council housing.

How I agree. Unfortunately the government will not allow it to happen. Right wing ideology prevents them from freeing councils to do exactly that, instead preferring to demonise the homeless and promise regulation in the private sector.

Regulation is not what is needed here. New homes are. It is as simple as that.

If we could start building them here in Coventry it would really tackle the issue of some 14,000 people seeking accommodation in the city and give them decent homes and security of tenure.

Why though don’t councils build council houses?

1. We don’t have the money. Government will not allow councils to borrow to build them. It’s that simple. Borrowing against the income rent would bring in over the years seems sensible which we could then reinvest in more housing.

2. Even if we had some money, all council houses are subject to the right to buy legislation which means any council house can be bought with the money going back to the treasury leaving local tax payers out of pocket unable to reinvest the sale dividend in further housing.

We are in the absurd situation where taxpayers often subsidise rents going into to private hands instead of being reinvested in public housing stock.

Our country should be scared and ashamed of such a discredited and divided government which knows what the solution is but refuses point blank to act, thus enriching the few at the expense of the many who just want decent housing.

Councillor Jim O’Boyle

Coventry City Council

I wish some people had more pride about where they live whether they rent or are home owners. I was really disappointed to see tons of rubbish being dumped around the private entries between the Cotes area of Westwood Ward.

People really need to consider what they are doing. This is not council land so the council will not collect it. This type of activity can and will have an adverse effect on the environment and local community.

Potential chemicals in such waste can contaminate soil, for example, there is the potential risk of a secondary fire being started close to fences, sheds and people’s property etc.. Disease transmission is also a real problem when it comes to rubbish like this being dumped. If the waste contains anything a rodent might eat for lunch, it will cause real problems with pest control and mouse or rat infestations.

If you know who dumped this or know the homeowners/landlords responsible for the properties feel free to give them a nudge encourage them to get a skip etc. If you are thinking about dumping rubbish please re think. Cllr’s Marcus Lapsa, David Skinner and myself will be pushing (the council’s) environmental services to contact the home owners if they are responsible or the landlords, Hopefully we will then be able to issue an enforcement notice and help those responsible see the error of their ways.

Councillor Tim Mayer

Westwood Ward

Coventry City Council

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