Ill-informed remarks need to be avoided
10:01am Thursday 10th October 2013 in Letters
I READ with interest Dennis Harkus's article in last week's edition of your paper concerning a recent meeting that I attended at Brecon Court, headed 'Lacking in balance?' (Barry and District News, September 26).
I find it incredulous that Mr Harkus should seek to gain capital on such an important matter to the residents of Brecon Court and this council, particularly when he provides comments about a meeting that he did not attend.
Mr Harkus's article is full of the ill-informed remarks that we wished to avoid when we met the residents of Brecon Court on September 17. The majority of these residents are elderly and vulnerable and are clearly concerned with the structural problems with their properties, and the council's plans to address them. We do not need individuals who are not involved in this process providing their two-penneth, this only seeks to raise the concerns of our residents to a greater extent.
To be clear, the meeting was the first part in a consultation process where the council will consider a range of options to address the structural problems at this site. The options paper provided to the residents was a discussion document, and considerable further detail on the points within this document was provided verbally at the meeting. Mr Harkus clearly did not have the benefit of this information.
Part of our consultation arrangements will involve one to one meetings with each of the residents concerned to seek their views on which option would be best for them. As part of this process they will also have the opportunity to discuss their housing needs in detail, including details such as parking provision and their requirements to keep pets etc.
To assist us in this regard we have appointed a tenant liaison officer whose direct contact details have been provided to each resident and the residents’ board chairman. The council has as yet made no decision on the way forward and we will not do so until we have the benefit of the views of every single resident within this development.
What is evident from our survey work is that, due to the affects of subsidence on the building, “doing nothing” is no longer an option. This is not an approach we have taken previously as underpinning works were undertaken some time ago. We had hoped at the time that this would address the subsidence problem but unfortunately this is not the case as the building has continued to move.
Mr Harkus is clearly getting ahead of himself citing questions about developers and land values etc. If I was him I would stick to the facts and not seek to sensationalise matters. If his concerns are for the residents, he must accept that such an approach is unhelpful.
Our officers are likely to have further meetings with the residents where local Members such as myself will be invited. I would be happy to extend an invitation to any further meeting to Mr Harkus, so that perhaps before he considers writing in your newspaper again on this matter he has the benefit of the full facts.
Any resident of Brecon Court with any concerns can contact the Tenant Liaison Officer, Lois Guthrie, on 01446 709 814 or 07739 192 140.