“The Leader of Plaid needs to get his own house in order” as Lead Member fires back over council housing criticism
The Deputy Leader of Wrexham Council has hit back at the Leader of Plaid Cymru who claims Wrexham are doing nothing to address the housing crisis locally.
Yesterday Llyr Gruffydd MS said: “It’s clear that there isn’t anywhere near enough council homes in the county and the Council does really need to get its act together quickly to address this issue. It needs to bring back houses into use for council homes, as well as invest sufficiently to build new affordable council houses. Unfortunately instead of getting to grips with the issue, the Council’s leadership has been sitting on its hands.
Councillor David A Bithell, Lead Member for Housing at Wrexham Council, fired back at those comments, saying “We recently reported to the homes and environment scrutiny committee our current waiting list and issues we face as a Council together with all other 22 Councils across Wales. We have achieved so much in the last few years work continues to address the housing crises.”
“We also are putting £9 million of our own money into developing the Rhosddu Site which was reported to the Executive board last month for Council housing”.
“I would suggest the leader of Plaid needs to get his own house in order.”
“As a member of the Senedd I would expect better, we have our hands tied behind our backs due to the phosphorus issue. There are over 3,500 planning applications waiting to be heard and surely as a member of the Senedd and MS for North Wales he would be better directing his time addressing this issue with Welsh Government and NRW.”
A meeting of the council’s homes and environment committee was told last week that there was also an increase in people wanting to live in Wrexham due to its recent publicity and job opportunities, leading the housing team to receive enquiries from “all over”.
Housing officer Tracy Hague said demand had “risen more than we could have anticipated” and gave figures for the last six months.
In that time 1,320 application forms had been received, and 14,702 phone calls answered by the 10-strong team receiving an average of about 80 calls a day.
The waiting list has increased from 1,800 in 2019, to 4,528 in 2023. The council currently has a stock of 11,055 properties on its books.
Spotted something? Got a story? Email News@Wrexham.com