Sunday, February 04, 2007

On Dr Landons comments on Rhyl

In his recent comments about the problems in Rhyl West Dr Richard Landon used language I found unpalatable and made some rather sweeping generalizations that inevitably offended some residents.

However in many respects he is right. A combination of uninterested absentee landlords, badly flawed social polices from out of touch Westminster governments and a lack of political will to confront many of the problems have combined to create the “perfect storm” of problems in the West End.

On a positive note there are of course many individuals, families and organizations committed to making the West End of Rhyl a desirable place to live and work. They need a change in legislation to allow local authorities to challenge the actions of absentee landlords compelling them to take greater responsibility for their tenants. There is also a point at which communities like Rhyl can no longer accommodate people from other areas with significant social problems. Again it should be possible to legislate to ensure local authorities and other social housing providers prioritise local families in need and refuse to house people from other communities with significant, identified, problems in areas such as Rhyl West .

Political leadership is needed to push various agencies to work together more effectively, to fight for more money for the local police force and better use of existing police resources, for more effective sentencing in courts and a whole host of measures to improve child care, create more jobs and bring further investment into Wales generally and the coastal towns in particular. Greater priority has to be given to effective youth work and out of school activities for young people.

All of these things are achievable but we will need fresh political leadership to make them happen.

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