Saturday, 7 August 2010

Council asks poor residents to "move out"

Next door K&C wants poor people gone according to the BBC. In actions that seem to confirm to the warnings Labour have been making in the run up to the last elections, and which were flatly denied by our own council and that of next door K&C, council officers have begun advising council housing tenants to move out. Our own Council are close allies of K&C, to the point of merging their education systems. The two Tory authorities are seen as policy trailblazers for David Cameron, testing radical Tory solutions ready for the rest of the country.

Prime Minister David Cameron meanwhile seems to be taking our own Council Leader Stephen Greenhalgh's advice on council housing to heart and now says council housing should not be granted "for life". LibDem grass roots seem happy with this policy too, so its ominous for the many council housing tenants already apparently under threat from our own Council.

More on this to follow no doubt .. but some predictions so vigorously denied just weeks ago appear to be coming true in West London at the moment.

1 comment:

  1. I can't say that the government has got it right. I understand that in any case the policy will only apply to future tenancies, so no current council tenants should have to worry. But more importantly, how should social housing work in future? It seems right that some fundamental thinking should go on. Some questions occur to me:
    a) What should the responsbilities and rights of local authorities be?
    b) Should the right to buy be retained?
    c) Should it be extended to e.g. housing associations?
    d) What is an appropriate level of rent for social housing?
    e) What priority should be given to different needs or attachments, sentimental or otherwise?
    f) How is a limited budget best used to provide the best or most housing?
    g) What is the interaction between the provision of social housing and the award of housing benefit?
    h) To what extent should housing associations and local authorities be free of central government control or guidance?

    At the heart of all this is the difficulty in fitting a quart into a pint pot. All the outcomes are going to be the result of unpalatable compromises. But it seems to me wrong to state categorically that the present set-up represents the best possible compromise. Does it really make sense to have people who can afford to rent or buy privately in social housing, on the one hand, or to have people who are unlikely ever to be economically active living in subsidised accommodation in Central London, on the other? Equally, of course, what kind of incentive would there be to find work if the consequence was loss of the home? Not forgetting people's natural desire to live where they want.

    All far too tricky and emotive to be tackled rationally in our political climate, I fear, and the coming cuts will not help.