SIR – Tory leader Councillor Simon Geraghty describes Labour’s longstanding attempts to do something about the plight of homelessness and overcrowded housing as “years of belly-aching from Labour” (Worcester News, August 14).

Nothing could show better the contempt in which people struggling for decent housing were held by the former Tory city council led by Simon Geraghty.

Decent housing is fundamental to good health, children being able to thrive and do well at school and building strong communities.

The shortage of decent, affordable housing in Worcester is a blight on the lives of thousands of our residents who have to live in overcrowded conditions, often in cramped and poorly maintained private rented accommodation.

Worcester’s Tory councillors were forced to acknowledge the need for more affordable housing by Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors who kept on speaking out.

But now they are suggesting that “priorities”

should be reconsidered after a review of the council’s housing waiting list reduced the number of applicants to 2,300 households.

Coun Jabba Riaz (who should know better as the former cabinet member with responsibility for housing) has even suggested that 30 to 40 per cent less money should be allocated for affordable housing.

I have a better idea. Why not try to get these families adequately housed while we have the chance?

Worcester is a great city, but to be truly great it must look to the needs of all its residents, including the poorest whose only hope of being adequately housed is through the provision of more affordable housing.


Labour parliamentary candidate for Worcester