LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 08/02/2018: Housing Policy Ideas
With councils finding themselves putting up the council tax at the same time cutting even more services, may I invite you to look at a solution to the problem by visiting my website and see care & pensions presentation? Let’s look at food security, housing, care & pensions.
District councils are putting together local plans, have they considered the consequences from Brexit? Imports of food will be much more than at present, so the answer is to grow more at home; be more self-sufficient. With climate change, there could be an advantage in the South East of the United Kingdom, yet we are allowing more houses to take up our food growing fields; and local councils don`t seem to have the vision that is needed to think beyond the present time. We could, with reasonable intelligence re-create farming, and have self-sufficient gardens on new developments, build communities, not just estates.While there is a shortage of housing through population growth, one could ask every parish council to find a place for about 20 houses in each village, and from there create food growing enterprises. In towns leave space for a community garden that would feed that estate; it would need to be well managed but could be done. Some older people would enjoy helping with such a plan whilst at the same time creating a healthier lifestyle with better home grown fresh food.
We are seeing more people eating out as often both partners in one house are having to work to pay an outrageous rent or mortgage. Why not have a house restaurant on each new large site? Doesn’t anyone on local councils, officers or elected councillors, have any vision, because they can`t see beyond a market economy. We need to stop thinking we must have continuous growth. Take the advantage of the technology we now have, have less time working not more, and not work to 70. Have time to look after people not dump our older people to a care home, allow children to be children , start working earlier, not spend your good fit young lives in college or university getting into debt and having no job or maybe getting one they could have had without the so-called higher education, This all means changing the way we house and educate ourselves.
- I have visited some of the new estates which are being built in the South East, and I can well understand why we are seeing an increase in mental illness, self- harming and depression; there is no real open space or community feeling, and people consider their neighbours with suspicion. A lot of our broken society is because we are building what developers want to sell, and not what is needed.
- The average household debt is £13,900. If we had different ways to house ourselves this would not be the case; too much of one`s income is going on rents or mortgages.
We have a report that children can`t play in the street as there are too many cars. The answer is to have a large area in the centre of a development for open space and activities; we need a developing contractor, not a developer.
- Interest rates have been kept deliberately low to keep the housing market vibrant and to keep raising values, thus conning the people that they are getting better off; what a con that is! If one is to save for older age, one needs a reasonable return, at least 6%. Once interest rates go up, repossessions will be rife, so who is holding the safety net? There should be a running track, an indoor cricket and football pitch on all new large developments for all ages to use.
A self – sufficient garden for residents would be a health and well-being benefit to residents.
We are spending £24 billion a year on housing benefits and £34 billion a year on helping first-time buyers to get on to the housing ladder.This capital could build all the houses we need by having a building contractor, and not a developer who is out for his own gains. Using the Community Land Trust as enclosed would answer many of the nation`s problems.
At the same time, we are paying £34 million a day net into the European Union; That money would be better spent at home.for example, on transport, NHS, care and housing.
We are seeing technology replacing the need to employ people. The railways, for example, are wanting to get rid of the guards on the trains, the railway managers won`t be putting the fares down, instead, the savings will go to the top managers to give themselves a bonus for saving the company money. Those savings should go into an unemployment pot, or still, pay the staff who have been taken off the payroll.
Natwest bank is closing their branches, is this progress? The saving should be put by for those being put out of a job.
Let`s look at Education,
.● We have students going to university coming out with debt. We could save millions of pounds by having a practical school locally where one could from age 14, be taught tradesmen’s skills for different levels.
Create a hub for employment on new developments to save the traffic gridlock on our roads.
Different housing, care and pension plans are required. Land costs nothing to make. If you go back far enough the land was given by kings and queens to their friends; no one had to sweat for it, but many bled for it.
See community land trust vision, and a separate presentation on care and pensions, unspent funds could be transferred to other family pension schemes.