This evening we had a Launceston community network meeting in South Petherwin. This was the best attended meeting of the network so far with ten different parishes represented.
The subject of the meeting was housing, and in particular affordable housing. As ever with these meetings, we wanted the top people at the Council to answer questions and hear the views of local people and so we had Housing Cabinet Member Mark Kaczmarek and Affordable Housing Manager Louise Dwelly present.
Mark explained the approach being taken by the Council and, in particular, the affordable housing policy which is currently out for consultation. The key message is that the Council needs to find places for more affordable homes but is keen to work closely with parishes and town councils to find the places that are right for local communities rather than imposing anything on them.
One of the other proposals that Mark announced was for a housing stock transfer for North Cornwall's council housing. NCDC, together with Caradon, did not transfer its housing stock before it was abolished. Mark is now seeking to do so in order to save the Council money. Clearly this will be an issue which needs proper consultation with tenants who will want to know what this will mean for rents, repairs and their other rights.
It was very good of Mark and Louise to come to the meeting and to answer all the questions as they did.
The next network meeting will be at Launceston Town Hall on 20th January and will be a 'State of Launceston' meeting when every subject is up for discussion.