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Home ­discomforts

Friday, 10 October 2014

Cllr Stephen Smith, of Britannia Avenue, Dartmouth, writes: Comments made in last week’s letters page with reference to Millionaires Row may seem harsh, but to me perfectly understandable, and as I am guilty of proposing the name at Dartmouth Town Council I make no apologies for doing so, as I am also guilty of highlighting the need for affordable housing in our community. Many in our community who have managed to have a ­permanent roof over their heads may not be aware of the social housing and job needs in this community, but now they are, and I have simply lit the embers of the fire to the affordable housing debate. Those who have told me that perhaps I could have raised this concern in a more appropriate and professional manner may be right, but that is open for debate too. Also, a reader has suggested that town councillors should have their IQs tested before they stand: I am very happy for that to happen too, although in my case for many years people have questioned my sanity and whether I should be sectioned under the Mental Health Act. I cannot accept that, when in our homes, simply pulling up the drawbridge will hide the reality of many who are ­struggling within our own community – tomorrow, and the day after, it is still there, and are we content to sit back and let things get worse. Our wonderful town has a small population with a very high number of second homes and an even higher number of the public on the housing ­waiting list. Is this fair and just? I think not and will not sit back and watch this escalate to such a state that it will impact on our community infrastructure of the future. The West Dart development sadly looks like only delivering 14 per cent affordable houseing, and that is an insult to this community. And what a slight on ­modern-day living that one of the biggest growth industries in our nation is the provision of food banks. How many more of us can’t see the wood for the trees?

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