History is important and it’s worth remembering! Looking back at one of the significant events that took place here in Wednesfield North was the visit I arranged for the then Government Minister Nick Raynsford MP.
Here is a photograph of that visit and I do believe that Nick was one of the first Government Ministers to ever visit Ashmore Park. It was Nick that pushed through the decent homes legislation that so affected thousands of homes here and across the country. He was very gracious on his visit meeting and chatting to everyone both in the New Community Centre and later on the Ashmore Park Shopping Parade where he spoke to residents doing their shopping run!
Here visiting the former Ashmore Park Community Centre, after being invited by myself.
In the photograph is Former Wednesfield North Councillor Gwen Stafford Good, Former Councillor Dave Jones and other Ashmore Park stalwarts! Can you name them? The visit was in 2003/04.
Nick was a powerful politician in his day, and I always felt honoured that he visited Ashmore Park and Wednesfield North.
Nick Raynsford joined the Government in 1997 and held responsibility for housing, planning and construction. During this time he was responsible for the implementation of the Decent Homes Standard. In 1997, there were 2.1m houses owned by local authorities and housing associations that didn’t meet the Decent Homes Standard. By the end of 2010, 92% of social housing met the standard of being warm and weatherproof with reasonably modern facilities.
As Construction Minister Nick was credited with introducing building regulations which significantly improved standards, including making mandatory disabled access in new builds, increasing energy efficiency standards and fire safety. His position also included responsibility for the Fire Service and the creation of the London Resilience Forum to oversee London’s preparedness for dealing with emergencies (see Operation Sassoon). As Local Government Minister he led the Local Government Act 2000 through Parliament, which repealed the controversial Section 28.
As Minister for London, Raynsford was responsible for restoring democratic city-wide government to London, and the creation of the Greater London Authority and the commission of its home at City Hall. After the 2005 general election he returned to the backbenches.