Ian Shires

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Willenhall North Ward, Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Walsall MBC Learn more

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Tonight’s Planning meeting: Three new homes in Short Heath look set to become care homes?

by Ian Shires on 12 July, 2018

Three recently built family size semi detached homes next to the former Brown Jug site in High Rd, Lane Head look set to becoming  care homes for six children (two in each property) if planners have their way a tonight’s Planning Committee when they meet in the Council Chamber at Walsall’s Council House at 5.30 pm.

On the face of it it could seem to an outsider a reasonable use for these much sort after properties. After all, as anyone connected with children’s services would point out, these young people between the ages of 8 and 17 have not had a good start in life and local authorities are struggling to find suitable places for them. Similar proposals as this are popping up all over the place. There’s a reason for this, it’s becoming a good business proposition.

When you start digging a bit deeper there are other alarm bells which start ringing. There is nothing in what is being proposed to say that the places in these care homes would benefit young people in care right here in Willenhall. in fact they could be from anywhere in England.

The report says that the children would attend local schools. Anyone who knows anything about schools in the local area will tell you that they already have a problem with over subscription. They would be displacing kids who live locally.

So not only are local families being deprived of much needed housing, but more pressure is being brought to bear on Walsall’s Care Services and local schools which are already stretched to the limits.

When the Conservative Government set about attacking the chronic shortage of house it came at it purely from the point of numbers. No thought was given to how local need would be taken into account. They (the Tories) don’t understand that much of what gets build ends up as either buy to let, with all the problems that brings for those living in the private rented sector, or a business venture into the care home market.

Either way it is doing nothing to ease the problems in the local housing market. Those that need housing are being priced out of owning their own home and even if they could they are faced with cuts across the public sector  brought about by continuing austerity measures by a Government totally obsessed with one subject; self preservation.

As for the fate of these three semi detached houses? You are going to have to wait till after tonight’s meeting to find out what the planners decide.

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