Shelter claims that the council is delivering just 4% of the affordable homes needed in Thanet and ranks the council 309 out of 323 local authorities.
It's reasonable to take a view on the report but it's equally reasonable to judge the facts and the circumstances that shape the problem in Thanet. You may have noticed that other councils across England, have, over the term of this government, been tempted to give many of their problem residents a one-way ticket to the seaside, leaving us with an unusual and unwelcome form of inflation which adds to the stresses on our housing situation, month-in and month-out.
Shelter points out that there are 4,697 households on the waiting list for affordable housing and independent experts say we need to build 1,544 new homes per year.
Since then, the council's performance in this area has seen a huge improvement, with the figures almost doubling in just one year. In 2009/10, 176 affordable homes have been delivered in Thanet, well above the target set for the council of just 70 homes. (Please see the LGA response here)
Cllr. Zita Wiltshire who is Cabinet Member for Community Services, has tried to paint a clearer picture when she comments: "We're aware that we've not delivered as many affordable homes as we'd like to, but sadly this survey isn't giving the true picture of the work we're doing. Understandably, they've based their research on experts' assessment of how many affordable homes are needed in an area. That automatically favours areas with less housing need and that's exactly what these league tables have shown. In somewhere like Thanet, which has a huge housing need, it's almost impossible to deliver all the houses needed, especially in just one year. For those authorities at the top of the table, the experts estimate that only a few hundred, or in some cases, as few as 24 new affordable homes were needed in those areas. Here in Thanet we'd love to be in that enviable position. To meet all the need here, we'd need to come up with around 1,500 new homes. That's a huge challenge for anyone and something we're never going to achieve in one year alone."
So quite what this Shelter Report has to do with Cllr Nottingham's next set of remarks which then move on towards the subject of anti-social behavior when he writes:
"On housing Cllr. Zita Wiltshire has held the Cabinet portfolio for three years and her performance leaves a lot to be desired.
One aspect of the housing portfolio is tackling issues of anti-social behaviour. On this like her fellow Thanet Cabinet members Martin Wise and Simon Moores she has a very poor record, readily tolerating and defending anti-social behaviour when carried out by Conservative colleagues"
The answer appears to be a cynical game of politicising and poisoning the Google search engine with statements which simply aren't true. In this case, it's one more poor excuse to bring me into the picture; suggesting that I'm somehow tolerant of anti-social behavior in any form.
This is almost as risible as Lord Matt's earlier blog allegation that I'm involved in shady internet activities, sex sites and gambling! Readers, we are never going to have a future for 'grown-up' politics here in Thanet, while unpleasant character smears in the best traditions of 'Labour List' and No10's Damian McBride, keep dripping out of Cllr Nottingham's 'stately home' on Ramsgate seafront.
And to manipulate the Shelter report to do so, is rather ironic; it's rather like Tony Blair chairing Poverty in Action!