MIXED views have greeted a Wrexham Council decision to roll out kitchen and bathroom upgrades to its housing stock alphabetically by community council.
A £23.5 million capital programme to bring the local authority’s housing stock up to scratch was given the go-ahead at an executive board meeting on Tuesday.
The cash will include funding for new kitchens and bathrooms for 2,100 council homes at a cost of more than £10m.
But a row broke out over proposals to roll out the bathroom and kitchen upgrades alphabetically by community council, with it being described as an “alphabet lottery” by Cllr Carol O’Toole
In Acton, which falls second alphabetically on the list of community councils, the announcement was welcomed by some, although not all, members of the community.
Steven Richards, 56, said: “I think it’s good news for us here in Acton and it’s about time they spent some money on the council houses.”
Nicola Jones, 42, said: “It’s okay for us, but it seems a bit harsh on people in other parts of Wrexham. They could’ve thought of a better way.”
Little Acton County Cllr William Baldwin, who also sits on Acton Community Council, said: “If you’re going to go alphabetical then it will be good for Acton but you’ve got to feel for the rest of the people.
“I don’t think it’s fair because not everyone will definitely get it. We’ve got to guarantee everyone’s going to get it.”
Meanwhile in Ruabon, which falls third to last alphabetically on the list of community councils, the move was not well received.
Sheila Thomas, 63, said: “I think it’s shocking that they’ve decided to do it in this way. We pay our taxes the same as everyone else.
“Why should any community get this earlier than the rest? It should be done at the same time everywhere.”
Roy Williams, 59, said: “It doesn’t really affect me, but for those it does it doesn’t seem quite right to me.
“Money is tight at the moment and I just hope they have enough when it’s Ruabon’s turn.”
Bronington Cllr Rodney Skelland sits on the Willington-Worthenbury Community Council, which falls last on the list to receive the upgrades.
He said: “As a county councillor I’ve got Bangor-on-Dee and Bronington which are going to be some of the first to receive it and Worthenbury which will be last.
“They were going on a lot about Worthenbury being the last a lot in the meeting, but there are not a lot of council houses in the ward and a lot of those are well maintained.
“There’s never a fair way to do it and this way does have a degree of order to it and it can be subjective if you base it on factors such as need.
“It takes the politics out of it and they will all get done eventually.”