Local Labour party members have chosen Jonathan Pryor as candidate to fight Headingley and Hyde Park ward, partly in Leeds NW, at the Leeds City Council elections in May 2018. Jonathan has been councillor for Headingley since 2014. On Leeds City Council, Jonathan is currently Deputy Executive Member for Children and Families. This is a … Continue reading Jonathan Pryor chosen for Headingley and Hyde Park in Leeds Council elections – May 2018
Local Labour Party members have chosen Neil Walshaw to stand in the new Headingley and Hyde Park Ward in Leeds City Council elections on May 3. Neil has been a Councillor for Headingley since 2011. Neil is a tireless campaigner on local issues, known for his warm personality and boundless energy. Neil is passionate about … Continue reading Neil Walshaw chosen as candidate for Headingley and Hyde Park in Leeds Council elections, May 2018
Join Otley and Yeadon Labour Party for their regular Pizza and Politics Cafe on Monday 19 March Topic - 'Affordable and sustainable community housing for local people' Where - Philip Coyne Labour Rooms When - 7.30 p.m. 19 March £2 entry includes slice of pizza Pay bar available RSVP email@example.com See you there.
In November and December 2017 Weetwood Labour Party surveyed residents in the West Park area. The aim was to find out about their views and opinions regarding the proposed housing development on the old West Park Centre site. A number of residents expressed concern that the redevelopment could lead to traffic congestion in the area. … Continue reading Labour, working with and for Weetwood: West Park site housing development
The Labour Party is conducting a review of its policy for social housing, and has put out a call for evidence. The deadline for responses is 31st January, and responses must be sent to socialhousingreview@labour .org.uk We are suggesting that as many people as possible who care about social housing respond to this either individually … Continue reading Have your say: respond to Labour’s policy review on social housing
Leeds is a member of the Core Cities group. Today they have launched a Green paper. Cities are capable, ready and willing to help the UK become a fairer and stronger place. The Green paper sets out how – and calls on government to help and support their efforts. You can read more about it … Continue reading Leeds Council Leader Judith Blake – how cities can make UK fairer & stronger
The news has been dominated over these last weeks by the Grenfell Tower tragedy – and rightly so. The dreadful fire itself and its causes, the care and treatment of survivors, the responses of government and of Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council – all these raise questions which are of urgent and wider public concern. … Continue reading Why Leeds is not Kensington – Headingley’s Neil Walshaw on Council response to tragedy
This blog, from Labour Housing Group, which is affiliated to the Labour Party, is an important read.
Its last paragraphs make clear the potential knock on effect on housing need of government response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
“The numbers matter. Unless extra social housing is provided in total then the people who will actually pay for this crisis will be those homeless families or people on the housing waiting list who will not be rehoused as a consequence. One way round this would be government to fund the purchase of an equivalent number of homes on the open market – as happened in the early 1990s to mitigate the housing market slump.
Theresa May was as slippery as can be when challenged about how the works to blocks like Grenfell will be paid for. It could be hundreds of millions. This should be a central government commitment, a new fund provided by the whole country to avoid another tragedy. May wouldn’t commit, just saying it will be done. What is most likely is that government will allow councils to borrow more to pay for the works, with the cost falling to the housing revenue account. And there’s the rub: unless there is specific subsidy or grant, extra borrowing on the HRA will be funded in the long term by tenants through their rents. Tenants will pay for a fire safety crisis that is not of their making.
It is absolutely right that the victims of the fire should have top priority and should be rehoused as quickly as possible. No-one will disagree that similar panels should be stripped from other blocks. No-one will object to an extensive programme of fire safety improvements, including for example sprinklers, in all towers currently without them. But, whoever is found to be responsible, it is not right that the actual burden of putting things right should fall on existing tenants and homeless people waiting for a home. Central government should foot the bill, sharing the load. That’s why we all pay taxes.”
I have found it hard to comment on the Grenfell Tower disaster. Words cannot convey the horror of it, and everything I tried to write felt hopelessly inadequate. Others succeeded where I failed, and I would recommend thoughtful pieces penned by Chris Creegan, Municipal Dreams, and Giles Peaker amongst others.
I was so angry at the ineptitude of the council’s and the government’s response and so in awe of the magnificent response of the emergency services and the local community. They are in total contrast to each other.
pic: Metropolitan Police
I was also stunned that within hours some people started to use the fire to attack social housing. One tweeter said: ‘The nature + quality of social housing is probably the single biggest post-war British policy failure’ and there were plenty of a similar ilk. Others reverted to well-worn dystopian myths and Clockwork Orange imagery about council…
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Today Alex Sobel was out with his team to visit the Hi-Rise Block in the constituency, and to speak to residents about any concerns they had. Alex says: "I have spoken to Leeds City Council and they reassured me of the seriousness with which fire safety in our blocks is treated. A daily inspection is … Continue reading New Leeds NW MP Alex Sobel today met residents of Hi-Rise block
The devastating fire at Grenfell highrise flats in London earlier this week has shocked the country. A recent refurbishment – with flammable cladding – has been implicated in the disaster. Inevitably, fears have arisen about similar blocks, and similar refurbishments elsewhere. Leeds City Council has reassured its tenants that the cladding used here is fire … Continue reading Council reassures tenants of Leeds’ highrise blocks – cladding used is fire-retardant