Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Housing fit for heroes but put young mums first pleads former mayor

A FORMER mayor has made a plea for social housing to fulfil the needs of everyone in the borough.

In the first ever housing committee meeting, the question of allocation of social housing came up for discussion.

Belhus councillor Charlie Curtis said: “In my ward, I have young mums with two kids who would love a house with a little green space.

The question came up whether war veterans should be prioritised as part of the War Veterans charter.

Cllr Curtis said: “I’m not sure if prioritising is the right method. I served in the army myself. You know what you are signing up for.”

13 COMMENTS

  1. I would favour an ex serviceman/woman getting council housing considering they have put themselves in great danger for us all. The least they should be entitled to is a home of their own along with help adapting back to normal life.

    I don’t mind young mums getting larger housing provided they or their partner works and can pay for it themselves without the need to various benefits which we can no longer afford.

  2. Great words from former mayor Charlie Curtis, its nice to see he is up and about again, and jumping on the ex serviceman/servicewomen band wagon, he must have read about it somewhere, I should think that he as plenty of other things he could be doing, such as visit some of the older people, in his own Belhus Ward.
    Its a lovely thought that we provide housing to homeless mothers with two children, with a garden where they could play in, are we talking about married women or single mothers?, will these mothers be paying there own rent and council taxes, or will they be on every benefit they can find, there are also people out there who go to work and pay there way in life, dont they deserve a bigger and better home to live, perhaps if you got onto Morrison’s and asked them why they are taking nearly three months to check out empty properties, and why it takes three different private companies to go in and check up on what work Morrison’s have done to these empty properties, what the Labour group in Thurrock should be doing is, investing in new affordable housing stock with gardens within the Thurrock area.
    I feel that the ex service personnel should be given a large money grant when they leave the services by the Crown, so that they can manage their own affairs for a few months after leaving the services, the disabled servicemen and women should also be welcomed into council housing, but not before all the local people who are waiting for houses, are housed in suitable properties.

  3. The impression this article creates is that Cllr Charles Curtis champions the cause of ex- service personnel which, in reality, is a travesty of his true attitude toward them. I was present at the Council meeting and saw for myself his demeanour on the issue of “special treatment and priority” for ex-service personnel . He said “I do not believe they [ex-service personnel] should be given any special treatment they should be treated the same as everybody else. They volunteer to join the Army, they know what they are letting themselves in for, that is what they are paid to do. I do not understand what the fuss is about. What about the young mum with 3 children living in a top floor flat who has no hope of being moved? That is my concern”. Unlike you Cllr Curtis some of us are concerned about the plight and needs of BOTH the “young mum” and the “ex-soldier” and do not exclude one or the other. “Your Thurrock” obviously interviewed Cllr Curtis the day after he made his comments and it is clear that he was careful not to repeat them verbatim. Stating that he is an ex-soldier, as if somehow that gave him some special understanding and authority and to link his time as a soldier to the role of the present day soldier in a war zone is adding insult to injury. The hypocrisy exhibited by Cllr Charles Curtis is made more galling when it was he, as Mayor along with the attendant publicity, signed into being the Council’s “Veterans Charter”.

  4. It’s a shame that cllr Curtis comments should over shadow the important work that was carried out at this meeting. Deputy leader Rob Gledhill also chair of this new committee led this meeting with vigor with the contribution from the Director of Housing Barbara Brownlee and Les Clark Housing Manager. The meeting was positive and constructive. Con leader Phil Anderson’s presentation was very encouraging for all our Thurrock vetrans, to know whilst protecting our country from terrorism their place on the housing list was secure. It is sad to hear the comment of Cllr Curtis say it is their choice to enroll in the armed forces, and gives them little rights to expect special treatment over a family already housed. Maybe mike casey you should attend these meetings and hear it first hand rather than writing the comments that Cllr Curtis gave you.

  5. Wow! why post if it is only more negatives, no infighting please.

    Think about it, Thurrock is increasingly becoming third world, with TBC distancing themselves from reality.

    I believe the ‘locals’ yes thoses born locally have been treated unfairly as the dedicated do gooders lose the plot, the asylem which is TBC, now has little or no chance of righting the plight set upon us by previous and current governments.

    So instead of making adverse comments, shouldn’t we the people of Thurrock stand up for themsselves, we need to be seen and heard in a positive way, together we can make Thurrock the place we would like it to be, divided we fall.

    My beliefs are that ‘social housing’ is needed NOW, special cases there will be, but from all walks of life, I agree that there are many who need to be supported in upgrading to better accomodation, there are those that don’t deserve but need ‘social housing’, so we need the committee to be constructive rather than pointing fingers at one or another in our community.

    GET IT RIGHT FROM THE START and THUROOCK will can recover from the downward spiral we have winessed over the last few years asnd what is obvious TBC now have a system in place that doesn’t protect or support the local community, have they have joined the bandwagon of ‘RIP OFF BRITAIN’ ?

  6. Poverty is the only priority. The only way out of poverty is employment but if the type and nature of the employment is not available then poverty continues.

    India / China / Far East have long taken our manual jobs and this is the crux of our dilemma – low wages but work but large profits for employers who will just want more. ( Quantitative Easing now at £350 billion and proposals are being discussed to write off the Banker’s debt of nearly a trillion)

    We seriously need to look at our value system as well. Britain has had it good and the benefits of the last 30 years of Economic management and then mis management by the Conservative / New Labour Self Self Self models needs to be analysed for the good bits – if there are really any?

    Quality Housing / Full Employment and a good Health / Education / Welfare System is not impossible. Cradle to the Grave responsibility and help for neighbour / community has been squandered through personal greed and we are all guilty of this.

    New Start – As much as I detest Tories Mr Major’s theme note “Back to Basics”, it is a very real rallying cry. One Nation Paternal Conservatism married with Socialist Labour “Everyone pays and we get support Cradle to Grave…”. A reality and challenge in 1948 – a reality and challenge in 2012!

  7. What a bloody mess cllr Charlie Curtis as walked into again, if only he could jump onto a band wagon, he really knows something about, everybody his age knows something about being in the armed services, as national service was still active in there age band, but two years square bashing doesnt really qualify somebody to make remarks about, service personnel who are still fighting on active service, and when they get injured, they should be allowed to rejoin their own communities they left, to fight for there country on foreign fields, even the soldiers not injured in active service should have the same rights, as people who live on the dole and get every benefit going, that includes housing, I am sure there are genuine people out there, that go to work to keep there families and pay there way, but there are more people who dont do anything for themselves or anybody else, and these people should be put at the bottom of the list, to allow returning service personnel to rejoin the housing list again, and start where they left off, after all Charlie Curtis they didnt ask to go to war for this country, no more than you wanted to be called up for National service, so grow up to the fact that these people exist and are in need of housing as a basic right, your ramblings about that they knew what they were signing up for, must leave a bitter taste in the council’s leader Mr.J.Kent, why dont you just retire and leave the housing problems to somebody who knows what he or she is talking about, I have watched with interest your misquotes and mistakes for years, I know you cant go just yet, because if you do, the Labour party will lose power because all votes count at the moment, all I ans others ask, stop embarrassing the Labour party now.

  8. The bloke is a buffoon and should start thinking before he opens his mouth, he is an antiquated political wannabe who is trying to score more political points at the cost of our brave service personnel, maybe Mr Curtis should take a trip to Helmand and explain his reasoning to the men and women of our armed forces and see what a reception he gets.

  9. There are many descriptions people use when commenting on MPs and Councillors, alongside “being economical with the truth” possibly the most used is “hypocrites”, you only have to read comments posted on “Your Thurrock” to confirm this. Some may say that we should not be surprised that politicians are perceived as hypocrites, after all they are well known for “preaching one thing and practicing another” on the other hand some people may be inclined to the opinion that it is an unfair and cynical view of politicians. However, allowing for both points of view, I was shocked and angered by the sheer hypocrisy of the comments made by Cllr Charles Curtis to a proposal that the Council should give ex-service personnel, residing in the Borough and applying for accommodation, priority status and treat them as “special cases”. He said “I do not believe they [ex-service personnel] should be given any special treatment they should be treated the same as everybody else. They volunteer to join the Army, they know what they are letting themselves in for, that is what they are paid to do. I do not understand what the fuss is about. What about the young mum with 3 children living in a top floor flat who has no hope of being moved? That is my main concern”. If Cllr Curtis had confined his comments to the fact that he did not think it was right to give these soldiers special treatment, whilst I would have disagreed with him, I would have respected his right to express his opinion. What particularly angered me was his inference that these soldiers, some suffering from terrible injuries and all of them traumatised by their experiences, were somehow receiving special treatment at the expense of others. He cited the plight of a “young mum with 3 children” living in a top floor flat creating the impression that giving an ex-soldier priority status was depriving this “young mum” of the chance of being moved to more suitable accommodation. He appears to ignore the fact that these are two entirely different cases with different needs and circumstances. On the one hand the “young mum” already has a roof over her head, albeit unsuitable” and is looking to “upgrade” to meet her changed circumstances whilst on the other hand the ex-soldier is “homeless” and in urgent need of a roof over his/her head. The type of accommodation required by the “young mum” [2/3 bedroom] is not likely to be the same as that required by the ex-soldier [1 bedroom] therefore one case does not impinge on the other and, contrary to what Cllr Curtis would have us believe, no deprivation or lessening of the “young mum’s” chances of being re-housed would be occasioned. I find the recent expression of concern Cllr Curtis has for the “young mum with 3 children living in a top floor flat” at odds with his opinions expressed to me on the subject and another example of his hypocrisy. About 2 years ago I raised this exact same issue, with the then Leader of the Council Cllr Gary Hague, especially with regard to the safety of very young children living in flats both low rise [3 floors] and high rise [3 floors and more}with an open balcony. During a subsequent private discussion I had with Cllr Curtis he said 40 years ago he had lived with his wife and children on the top floor of a 3 story block of flats in Broxburn Drive and that he was grateful just to have a roof over his head and that tenants of today expected too much from the Council. Tenants should count themselves fortunate to have a property to live in and stop complaining and anyway there was nothing the Council could do about it. Whilst I welcome his “road to Damascus” conversion and that he has at last seen the “light” I question his sincerity, I suspect that his concern has more to do with Party politics than genuine concern for the “young mum and her 3 children”. The number of ex-service personnel seeking Council accommodation in Thurrock would probably be 1 or 2 a year at most, surely even Mr Curtis would not claim that is putting a strain on the housing stock and depriving others of being housed. Cllr Curtis, it is possible to care about BOTH the “young mum” and the ex-soldier without excluding one or the other. The hypocrisy of his comments regarding ex-service personnel is made even more galling by the fact that it was just over a year ago that Cllr Curtis, then Mayor, with attendant publicity signed into being the Council’s “Veterans Charter”. Cllr Curtis then makes matters worse by stating “I served in the Army myself. You know what you are signing up for”. The audacity of his implication that his experience as a soldier gives his opinions more weight and gravitas beggars belief. It is also an affront to suggest his military “career” is in any way comparable to that of those who have served or are currently serving in war zones. What dangers did he sign up for? What injury and trauma did he experience? Did he risk his life serving his country? If I remember correctly the highlight of his military “career” was his absence [AWOL} and time in detention. During his time as Mayor Cllr Curtis was described as “affable” and “cool”, the “people’s mayor”. It is sad that many will now regard him not as “affable” but “laffable” not a figure of “cool” but one of “ridicool”.

  10. Never a truer word spoken Lambo, it does look as if Mr Perrin has got Cllr Curtis measure. It would not surprise me if Curtis has taken a trip to Romford to get himself some campaign medals off the second hand stall, would he hesitate before buying a medal of service considering The residents of Thurrock could always present him with a medal for his EGO on his retirement whenever that would be, Come on Kent get rid of this individual he is as much use as a broken light bulb.

  11. Its about time our Belhus ward councillor, was outed, for his true colours, the only medals he ever received would be, the first in the Naffi queue for two years, the other being how to Bull Sh#t your way through life.
    He stopped being of use years ago, one person said to me when he was mayor, so thats what he looks like, she didnt know what he looked like, she only knew what he was, somebody who promised everything, and did nothing, but very good at hijacking other peoples ideas as his own, as Peter Perrin said he is not fit for purpose, and should retire, then perhaps become the leader of the SORA group, and be with the other as beens of the Labour party.

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