Christmas Capers.

On 16th December, we took a break from budgets problems, scrutiny committees and single status debates to enjoy carols and music courtesy of Flintshire Youth Group in the Council Chamber. We then processed to an excellent traditional turkey and Christmas pudding lunch specially served to cllrs and guests in a committee rooms. (Guests had to pay but why not)! I had to forgo pud to attend a 2.30pm meeting in Chester with my favourite local charity, Save the Family. We had important business to discuss with the new and very impressive Chief Executive as STF is on the threshold of doubling its much needed accommodation and all sorts of detail had to be explored. With repossessions rising and homelessness seriously on the increase, the demands on this charity by destitute, homeless families is just going to go though the roof. My last council engagement before the Recess was a meeting with Mark Isherwood and Brynle Williams, our Welsh Conservative AM’s. Over sandwiches, Mark gave a very illuminating brief on housing transfer strategy. I might have got the wrong end of the stick but he was not aware that there had been any agreement with FCC and the Deputy housing minister that would allow this Authority to pick and chose what council property the Authority might wish to keep or reject. He told us that as many as 8 other Authorities had explored all the options and had (reluctantly) decided that transferring all the housing stock to other agents/landlords/associations was really the only option. No Council can afford to bring all its properties up to the Welsh Housing Standard and therefore, get rid or hand on to ever deteriorating stock to bodies that will provide the cash and do the job instead. Wrexham had changed its mind when that Authority had been hotly against getting rid of anything. Sadly, the former Labour administration saw.(& still does) its aging and run down houses as an asset; not to be given away at any price! Yet again, the too difficult decision will fall to the Coalition to resolve. WATCH OUT FOR FLY TIPPING TYRANTS. With Recycling Parks closed for Christmas Day, doubtless fly tipping will be an attractive alternative. Keep eyes peeled as this is a nasty offence and costs us all to clear up other peoples’ mess. Environmental Services 01352 703350 will be happy to hear from you and don’t touch the garbage, it could jeopardise any future prosecution. May I wish all my Ewloe constituents a peaceful Christmas and New Year. There are so many challenges facing the Authority but enough of that for the time being. Festive Greetings to you all and I look forward to representing you in 2009 to the best of my ability. Keep in touch. Alison.

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