SINGLETON councillors have agreed to take part in a Fylde Borough Council survey which examines housing needs in the parish.
Our decision followed the visit of two FBC officers to our last meeting, on Thursday, 16th December 2010, when we able to consider the implications of the survey in more detail. The officers were Paul Drinnan, Head of Regeneration and Tourism, and David Gillett, Interim Housing Manager.
Our initial concerns were that this survey might be trying to enforce ‘affordable’ homes onto the parish, and that such homes might be used to house people from outside the parish. Optional financial information requested might have been used to identify individuals, despite the fact the survey is meant to be anonymous. And during the last national Government there had also been fears that agricultural land might be hijacked to satisfy Government housing targets.
The officers showed us an example of another survey, together with the documentation involved in organising it, and assured us that our survey would be anonymous. Survey packs are posted, to ensure everyone gets one, and replies are collated by staff at FBC, not an outside firm – another of our fears.
We were reassured by the discussion with the officers at our meeting and have since received digital copies of the relevant letters so that they can be localised in time for a survey early in the New Year.
We were particularly interested in the survey’s potential to reveal real needs for rentable ‘affordable’ housing. A survey elsewhere showed actual needs to be considerably lower than locally-perceived needs, and we suspect that might be the case in Singleton.
Our next meeting will be 20th January 2011, starting at 7.30pm as usual, and in the Church Vestry, as usual. All our welcome.
Happy Christmas & New Year!