26 January, 2007

Empty homes

This week has been one of those weeks when things just don't seem to add up. I have been to different parts of the country interviewing people for BBC radio four, trying to find out why so many properties have been either left to rot or empty, who owns them and why the hell are the government and local authorities are saying build more houses. Were these cases of just bad management or building just for the sake of it or just a waste. I spoken to people from wells next the sea in Norfolk about a police station and a couple of houses that were no longer in use and why nothing was being done. I also interviewed the Norfolk police administrator about them. He was saying they were still in use and they were not a housing concern but they were in the business of policing. The fact that initially the police receive their monies from the tax payer is of little concern to the police and if you look at it logically the tax payer actually owns the property. If they did say alright we will build 20 houses here but two must be for our officers wouldn't that be bridging the widening gap between the police and the public. My second stop was in a town called Goole near Doncaster it was a small industrial town that has grown in the last few years and now faces a housing shortage like as lot of places in this country. When I stood looking at these perfectly good houses I was left speechless as these where perfectly good homes that just needed to be refurbished. When I asked locals about these properties I was told that the local east riding council had made this plan for demolishion some years ago and things have dramatically changed in the area. Developer from the area said he could refurbish these properties and turn them into two and three bedroomed houses and have double glazing, central heating and he would be able to sell them for a small profit. So what's the problem the problem is that the authority is not listening to the people of Goole

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