Making mountains out of strategies

The latest document for consultation from Swindon Borough Council is their Swindon Houses in Multiple Occupancy Strategy — bedsits in common parlance. (In passing, I find it strange how selective the council is about which consultations actually get listed on their Have Your Say page.) The document is a masterpiece of padding. It runs to thirty five pages but the strategy itself appears in a table that is contained within a table that occupies just a little over two pages. It’s very informative about what the council does to try and regulate houses in multiple occupation but, except for those two pages, ’tis not a strategy. The most interesting parts are the maps showing the concentration of these properties in the Radnor Street, Tennyson Street and Broadgreen areas. Given how weak the council’s powers are (licensing only becomes necessary for houses with more than five unrelated occupants and of three or more storeys; planning controls only apply for houses with more than six unrelated occupants) and the brevity of the actual strategy and the verbosity of the document, it’s not worth the read for much else.

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