Saturday, 27 March 2010
Bridgwater Labour candidate Kathy Pearce has welcomed the Labour Governments new initiative on Council housing as "A great move which could provide a new way forward to deliver decent homes and New Council build."
"Housing Minister John Healey has announced a radical new deal to offer councils more freedom to fund and run their council homes, with more autonomy to self-finance" said Kathy "This is something the Labour Group on Sedgemoor has long been calling for. "
In announcing the deal, Mr Healey set out plans to dismantle the current (HRA subsidy) system of funding council housing in 177 local authority areas.
The deal will release at least ten per cent more money in every council for maintaining and managing their homes. And it will create the funding capacity to build over 10,000 new council homes a year.
"Above all it will mean 4 million people living in 1.8 million homes will get better homes and better housing services from their council."
"Tenants whose homes have been upgraded through the Government’s Decent Homes programme will have the guarantee that their homes will be funded and maintained to this standard for the future, backed by the new national regulator – the Tenant Services Authority."
"Under this new self-financing system councils will keep all the rent they collect from their homes and all the receipts from any sales of houses or land. Not a single penny will go to Whitehall and not a single penny will subsidise other councils as the current system dictates. In return councils will accept a share of an additional £3.65bn debt. No council will take on a level of debt that is not sustainable for the long term."
"This is also a good deal for central government by removing the complex annual round of cross-subsidy decisions, making the funding system clearer and fairer. It also devolves from Whitehall the funding, management and standards of council housing in future to elected local councils."
John Healey said: “This is a once and for all settlement between central and local government. It will bring council house funding up to date – replacing a system which was introduced before the Second World War. Councils will get the freedom to fund and run their council homes, without central Government subsidy. Not a single penny from rents or sales will go to Whitehall and not a single penny will subsidise other councils as the current system dictates.
“The deal will release at least ten per cent more money in every council for maintaining and managing their homes. And it will create the funding capacity to build over 10,000 new council homes a year. Above all it will mean 4 million people living in 1.8 million homes will get better homes and better housing services from their council.
“This is a change which councils have been calling for and is an opportunity for radical change which will allow councils to do much more to provide better services and better meet the needs of local people.”
Cllr Tony Newman, LGA Labour Group’s lead on housing, said: "Today's announcement shows that only Labour is taking the initiative on housing and making sure extra money goes into building much needed homes for the future. This deal lets councils get on with the job by providing more freedom and capacity to deliver.
“Councils are well placed to respond to the needs of their communities and Labour Groups across the country are committed to providing more homes, which are affordable and of a high quality. The LGA Labour Group has long argued for greater flexibility and autonomy for local government, and we applaud John Healey for rolling up his sleeves and initiating radical reform that enables councils to deliver for their communities.
“This approach is in stark contrast to the lacklustre Tory proposals on housing which offer weak incentives for councils to build homes and undermine the principles of social housing.”
In light of these announcements, Kathy Pearce has posed four key questions for the Tories:
1. Are the Tories now committed to the Decent Homes programme?
2. Do Sedgemoor Tories agree with the Tory frontbench proposals to remove security of tenure for social housing tenants?
3. Do the Tories now agree that the proceeds of sales of council housing stock should go back into building new council housing, in contrast to the previous Tory Government’s refusal to allow councils to use receipts to replenish stock?
4. What is Tory policy on rents from council housing?
Kathy said " We have seen Labour take the initiative on housing, in partnership locally and nationally. It would seem appropriate that the Tories now respond by clarifying how they propose to meet the demand for increased affordable and high quality housing, and what role councils will play within that. The public deserve to know.”
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
The Far Right BNP have announced that they will stand a candidate in Bridgwater at the forthcoming General Election and have immediatly run into a storm of condemnation. The BNP candidate-Donna Treanor (Far Right) a Scottish woman who lives in Croydon, has admitted she has never been to Bridgwater, knows nothing about the Sedgemoor Splash and didn't realise Admiral Blake was from the town.
Labour candidate Kathy Pearce (left)- born and bred in the town, currently in second place in the campaign and hot on the heels of unpopular Tory MP Ian Liddle Grainger, has condemned the BNP and their contempt for her home town "By cynically standing a candidate who knows nothing about Bridgwater and has never even been here, the BNP are showing themselves up for what they really are - a party with no concept of democracy or engagement in local communities other than to stir up hatred and division. They are beyond contempt, are a racist party as constantly proved through the courts and their roots can be traced back through all the twists and turns of the British neo-Fascist movement and it's offshoots since the 1930s.The people of Bridgwater should reject them out of hand and I call on other candidates to show their disgust by refusing to share a platform with them ."
Brian Smedley, who organised Bridgwater Against the BNP when they stood at the County Council elections last year also condemned them " Last year people were dissilusioned with mainstream politics and many people didn't bother voting. The result was that the BNP won 2 seats in Europe on the low turnout and a number of seats on local Councils. Now they are trying to get their first seats in the British parliament. Last year in Bridgwater people came together and leafletted, organised, demonstrated, held meetings and events and raised awareness of the truth about the BNP. The result was they were smashed. They are now trying to stand again but from the safe distance of Croydon. They are a despicable bunch and the people of Bridgwater now see them for what they really are and we call on everybody to be aware of what they really stand for and to get out and vote against them at this election"
WHAT THE BNP REALLY STAND FOR;-
* The BNP would kick out all those people who were not born in Britain. What if every other country in the world kicked out the Brits? A staggering 5.5 million people would be sent back here – far more than would leave our shores. This includes 800,000 from Spain, most of whom are pensioners.
* What if ... In a BNP BritainIf non-white people were ordered out of Britain then the NHS would collapse overnight. 16% of nurses are from minority ethnic communities, as are 40% of new dentists and 58% of new doctors!
* The BNP would introduce apartheid into Britain. The BNP call for whites to be given first preference in housing, education and jobs. This is no different from apartheid South Africa, a racist regime which the BNP supported.
* Mixed-race relationships would be outlawed. The BNP constitution opposes any racial integration. Articles in BNP journals condemn mixed-race relationships as “mongrelising the white race”.
* The BNP’s answer to violent crime is to allow every household to have a gun. We kid you not. This barmy idea was in the BNP’s 2005 general election manifesto.
To find the truth about the BNP go to the HOPE NOT HATE website;-
Tuesday, 9 March 2010
Labour and the Conservatives are neck and neck in the marginal seats that will determine the outcome of the general election, raising doubts over David Cameron’s ability to win a clear overall majority, according to a special poll for The Times.
The survey was carried out in 100 key seats currently held by Labour and targeted by the Conservatives. Although more voters are switching to the Tories in these areas than in the country as a whole, the results suggest that the shift is well below the hopes and expectations of Mr Cameron’s strategists.
Bridgwater Labour Candidate Kathy Pearce said "Clearly many voters still have doubts about the Tories. This latest Poll puts the two main parties on about 38 per cent in the marginal seats and Labour is still just ahead, on 38.2 per cent to the Tories 37.6 per cent-which is a remarkable backtracking from any predicted Tory landslide!"
Kathy is pictured calling in at the Hamp Knit and Natter Group, which meets every Monday afternoon at the Hamp Information Office at 1 Edinburgh Road. Whilst learning how to 'cast on' Kathy had an opportunity to talk to local residents.
Kathy said "The Hamp Information Office was funded by the Government's Single Regeneration Budget (SRB) funding and is the venue for many of the groups on Hamp, including the Organic Veg and Fruit Scheme, Healthy Cooking and the weekly Citizens Advice Drop In."