Labour run Bridgwater Town Council and Labour candidate for the General election, Leigh Redman have both backed Trades Unionists calls for a return to council house building and affordable housing. Parliamentary Candidate Leigh Redman said ‘Council housing changed my life’ and Town Housing spokesman Mick Lerry said ‘We need to start building houses again’. The  Trades Unionists campaign was launched  at the Somerset & North Devon Unite the Union Community Branch this week. Secretary Dave Chapple said “There are so many issues on which general election candidates need to be held to account, but affordable housing is one of the most vital basic needs for the people we represent.For many years, due to reduction in government funding of local authorities and Thatcher’s introduction in 1980 of “the right to buy” for council house tenants, the supply of affordable social housing has dwindled to almost nothing. The refusal to cap private rents means profiteering landlords are allowed to increase rents, and evict existing tenants who cannot afford the increase.”

Dave Chapple calls for “Community led building plans”

At the meeting Unite the Union Community members in Somerset and North Devon called upon the next government to end the housing crisis in Britain, and for trades unions, local councils and tenants to unite in campaigning for this aim.

Dave Chapple , who is also the secretary of Bridgwater & District Trades Union Council, added “We need housing which will be affordable and will provide families with homes of good quality. This will be done not by wasteful investment projects or private firms, but with community – led building plans, so that what gets developed in a community is what the
community want, not what multi-national corporations want.”

Unite the Union community members say they will campaign against high rents, encouraging
councils to build more social housing. They will also offer advice and support for homeless
people and those facing eviction.

Dave Chapple continued  “Britain’s housing crisis is not new, but it’s getting much worse. As the cost of living rises, people are increasingly unable to meet their housing costs, and this often
leads to eviction. Secure and affordable housing should be a human right in one of the
world’s richest countries, not a luxury for those who can afford it. This is one of the most important crises facing our community. Rough sleepers often become targets of abuse and hate crime. Many people in secure homes lack understanding of the dramatic changes that can make someone homeless. Let’s direct our anger against the exploiters, not the exploited.”

Bridgwater Labour calls for ‘Freeing up Local Authorities to build’

mick lerry
Cllr Mick Lerry -Labours spokesman on Housing

Responding for Labour controlled BridgwaterTown Council,Housing Spokesman Cllr Mick Lerry (Victoria) said “Labour understands that more Houses are needed, and they are prepared to make sure that the annual targets are met. Labour also wants Local Authorities to make sure that the necessary infrastructure is in place, such as surgeries, shops, public transport and schools are delivered as part of the housing development. The appropriate houses should be based on the needs of the community in terms of affordability and size. Labour will assist Local Authorities to start building houses again and see this as public investment in the community. There is a business case for building, such as borrowing finance over 30 years and using rent to pay back the borrowing and maintenance of the properties, this will free up Local Authorities to build”.

Labour Candidate for Bridgwater Gives Backing

Leigh Redman ‘Council house changed my families life”

Leigh Redman, Labour candidate for Bridgwater, was also supportive saying “I will, if elected, be able to work as part of the next Labour government to deliver the biggest boost in affordable and social housing for a generation putting council housing back in the picture! It is true that the Tories look down on people living in social housing. I remind people that it was a council house that changed my families life!”

Leigh continued “I will work to unlock government grants to deliver the right new homes in the right place for the people that need them, making developers responsible for building affordable homes rather than line the pockets of their shareholders! More important to me is how, the next Labour government will work with local leaders, like us in Somerset, who know their areas best and can use funds more effectively. Working with local leaders to strengthen the planning rules to prevent Developers from wriggling out of their responsibilities and speed up the building of new social and affordable housing. Reforming the planning system.”

Leigh added “For Somerset this will provide stability and certainty for the affordable and social housing market so there is confidence to invest. Affordable, social and council houses aren’t just a nice add on. They’re fundamental to securing decent homes for all. I can’t wait, if elected as Labours first MP for Bridgwater to work with Somerset Council to Build Britain’s future for all Somerset residents. At last building the right sort of houses, in the right places, for those that need them most.”

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1 month ago

Please make this happen, but make it good quality housing, a good size house on a good size plot. Just as it was done in the past.

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