Welcome to the latest monthly update. This month the focus is on housing renewal, fuel poverty and, of course, the usual round-up of street issues.
It seems no aspect of our lives is immune from the savage cuts agenda. Recently the government announced that it would no longer fund the Pathfinder housing renewal programme. The shocking implications of this were exposed in a Channel 4 report.
The Green Party in Wirral has been very critical of certain aspects of housing renewal. In particular, many homes which should have been refurbished were needlessly demolished with all too predictable consequences as anyone who takes a walk around Tranmere can see.
However, to cut funding off at the knees is clearly senseless at a time when unemployment is rising. This has plunged housing renewal into chaos and the panic it has generated is clear for all to see in this report from the Wirral Globe.
Housing is just one example but anger generally is rising rapidly against the cuts. To find out more about what is happening locally you are invited to a Green Party meeting at the Stork Hotel on Price Street on December 8. Clara Paillard who is branch secretary of the PCS union will be speaking on the rising tide of opposition to government cuts. The meeting starts at 7.30pm.
Also, as the only party with a coherent and comprehensive anti-cuts message, the Green Party is supporting the Merseyside march against the cuts in Liverpool on December 11. Full details here.
Instead of slashing funding for vital public works like social housing, the government could instead look to the extortionate profits being earned by UK energy companies. Even though fuel poverty has doubled over the past five years energy prices are soaring again this winter. It is simply unacceptable that energy companies making billions in profits are allowed to add to fuel poverty at a time of austerity.
For a long time, the Green Party has been pushing for a massive roll out in home insulation. The failure to do this has led to increased distress for many on low incomes. Thankfully, Wirral Council is now following our advice and extending its free insulation scheme.
With energy prices soaring it is essential that householders take advantage of any grants available, especially given the current government’s aggressive cuts programme. To find out if you qualify for free insulation under Wirral’s “Cosy Homes” scheme, call 0800 512 012.
Below you will find the usual round-up of actions taken by the Green Party team over the past month. As usual, if there are any issues affecting your area please get in touch:
- Recently, I did a check on numerous broken street lights that were reported over recent months. I was pleased to see that repairs have been carried out to lights on Maybank Road, Craven Street, Paterson Street and in Victoria Park. I was less pleased that several lights on Bentinck Street are still out so I have sent a reminder to Streetscene. I have also reported broken lights on Birchwood Avenue and Cleveland Street.
- During a recent residents survey we were alerted to persistent fly-tipping by a specific household in the Chester Street area. I immediately wrote to Wirral Methodist Housing who own the relevant property. I received a very positive response and have been impressed by their proactive approach. I am therefore hopeful of a positive outcome.
- Other issues reported this month include graffiti on Hollybank Road and fly-tipping on Florence Street (opposite Europa Pools).
And finally, our latest ward newsletter will be delivered across Birkenhead and Tranmere this month. You can read the on-line version here.
If you would like to help by delivering 100 copies where you live, please get in touch.