A wasted quarter of a century
September 7, 2013 1 Comment
I was telephoned by an Eastwood resident to tell me about this place – she had read of my empty homes campaign in the local press. She was as concerned as I am about this issue, and I am grateful to her for pointing this place out to me. I am determined to raise awareness of this issue, particularly pertinent in a town with people in desperate need of accommodation. Those exasperated by development issues will wonder why we are building when so many empty properties could be utilised before a new brick is laid.
In the twenty-five years (or possibly more) that this place has been empty – a whole generation – one can only speculate about the family that could have enjoyed a home of their own here.
I am in no doubt that new homes are needed in the borough. I understand that there will always be a number of places that will be empty at any one time. What I do not understand is why Southend-on-Sea is so far above county, regional and national averages in this regard. Something is going wrong, and I am not prepared to be complacent or accepting of this.
The Council has known about this for years – Labour colleagues before me have brought this to their attention. The last Labour Government gave them powers to do something about it, powers that were woefully underused (I understand that only two EDMOs were enforced).
When your green fields and wondrous vistas disappear you will now know why.