7 August 2008

See additamentum at end

ORIGINAL POST 21 July 2008
I have pointed out in previous posts that localism, devolving power to localities, can raise difficulties.

Two recent unconnected stories from Cornwall make the point.

In Illogan the local council has objected to new houses.

In Penzance some people have objected to a housing program for vulnerable people. The website of Providers of Accommodation and Services (PAS), the organisation involved with the Penzance story, explains that it has twenty two properties in Penwith district, housing almost one hundred vulnerable people. In the rest of Cornwall it has nine properties housing fifty nine people. Let me be clear: I think the work done by PAS (and its fellow, CTE) should be wholeheartedly supported. Penwith district council seems to have gone into constructive partnership with these organisations as a result of central government policy.

You can read more details of the Illogan story here Time has come to say ‘No more homes’ and the Penzance story here Dismay at council programme for alcoholics.

Of course new houses in numbers should be accompanied by improvements in infrastructure (and ideally amenities and more jobs) and housing for vulnerable people should be located carefully. However, with those provisos, both stories of opposition are depressing. This is what localism, empowering communities, can mean. Those who cheerily advocate more local powers, more decision making locally, should discuss the possibility that neighbourhood values might jar.

Additamentum 7 August 2008:
See this account of 6 August of a public meeting in Penzance about the scheme: Uproar at housing meeting.

See here for details of the organisations involved with the housing for vulnerable people

See here for the account by Penwith district council of its partnership with Charles Terence Estates (CTE) and Providers of Accommodation and Support (PAS) in housing vulnerable single people.