Service provided by the council's housing department

I'M WRITING as I am concerned about Cllr Nigel Ashton's ability to lead North Somerset Council when he seems unable to grasp any concept

I'M WRITING as I am concerned about Cllr Nigel Ashton's ability to lead North Somerset Council when he seems unable to grasp any concept of the service provided by the council's housing department.For the past 18 months, Cllr Ashton has been chairman of the scrutiny panel responsible for investigating the housing service provided by the council. If anyone should know what the department does it should be him. Cllr Ashton is quoted as saying he doesn't know what the 46 members of housing staff do following the transfer of the council's housing stock to a housing association in February 2006.In the transfer, voted for by council tenants, the authority handed over 6,000 properties to be managed by North Somerset Housing. Does Cllr Ashton think that the remaining 79,000 households of North Somerset have no need for any form of housing services? Who does he think deals with all the enquiries relating to people in privately-rented accommodation, or who own their own homes, plus many other issues?Who undertakes all of these statutory duties that Government says must be provided by each and every local authority in the country?It's the 46 overstretched and undervalued members of housing staff who provide these services, the staff of whom Cllr Ashton by his own admission has no awareness.I'm sure staff don't expect thanks from elected representatives for doing their jobs. However, I'm sure they do expect them to check their facts before making the kind of comments that can result in a demoralised workforce and resentment towards councillors for being so out of touch with the communities they are supposed to serve.HANNAH JONES - South Road, WestonEDITOR'S NOTE: We feel it is only fair to point out that Cllr Ashton said: "I don't know what these employees do, it is not a reflection on how they are working. We are not in the business of making people redundant.


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