I have lived in Bromborough for nearly 7 years now and have seen the Archers Pub decline over that time. Most of the time I’ve been here, it has been closed and abandoned, left to ruin. It has been subject to quite some attention, but not of the positive variety. Windows have been smashed, boards have been put up, graffiti has been painted over and the while site has been just generally forgotten about.
This week though, I was pleased to see some railings up and what looks like, upon approach, the start of development of the site. As you get closer this becomes fact. There are developers names up, demolition signs, adverts for dwellings and an architects drawing of the future prospects for the site. All quite exciting especially since the site has become very unsightly in recent years.
As a resident I am relived and excited to see the development progress and as much as I think the existing building is quite nice, it will be a welcome sight to see it gone and something useful in its place. As the eternal sceptic in me, I can’t help thinking will these dwellings be rental or private? If they are rental will they be private or social housing? If they are for sale will they be affordable? What will the increase in people do to the infrastructure of the area? Will there be adequate parking on the site? Etc etc. So many questions arriving from something that is so positive for the area.
One month on from this tragedy, there is no less pain for the victims and their families, no less fear, and no less anger over the failings of the political system.
The disaster at Grenfell Tower has left a huge scar, not just in the local community of Kensington, but across Britain. It has moved people deeply, whether they have local connections or not, and that has been reflected in the generosity shown by public donations. It has also exposed deep divisions and inequalities in our society which we have ignored for far too long. This disaster should have been avoided. How is it possible that, in a very wealthy borough like Kensington and Chelsea, dozens of people can burn to death in their own homes?
We now need to find out from the public inquiry exactly what happened and what mistakes were made, but reports that unsafe building materials were used, that the need to cut costs was put above tenants’ safety, and that concerns raised by the residents were repeatedly ignored paint a picture that goes much deeper than this disaster. It goes to the heart of our political system and its failures. Trust between our local communities and the political system has been seriously eroded, and must be restored.
Trust is a very precious thing which takes a long time to build. It is an essential part of a healthy democracy and a functioning society. It is vital that, in the work to restore lives affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, everything possible is done to rebuild that trust, which means genuinely listening to victims’ families and the local community, involving residents in the decisions that affect their lives and their future, and taking all possible action to put things right. That action must include an urgent increase in social housing provision throughout our country. The Grenfell Tower disaster was the result of a long-term failure of successive Governments to invest in social housing, in terms of both the quality and the number of homes. Leaving house building to the private sector has utterly failed. It has led to a housing crisis that has driven vast inequality and pushed many families into poverty and homelessness, and until we take radical action that crisis will continue to spiral out of control.
Furthermore, we need widespread reform of systems and structures. We need an immediate review of the building regulations to ensure that they are up to date and appropriate. We cannot wait for the results of the public inquiry. We cannot have a repeat of what happened after the Lakanal House fire, when a review of regulations was promised but never delivered. This time, lessons must be learned and implemented fast.
Given that the fire started in a fridge, there must also be reform of electrical safety. My colleagues in both Houses have been fighting for a long time for the introduction of compulsory electrical safety checks in rented homes. So far the Government have seen that as an unnecessary regulation, but now it is surely inexcusable not to make a simple change that has the potential to save lives.
All residents in Britain, whatever type of housing they live in, have the right to live in homes that are safe, warm, and set in well-run, safe, green and clean neighbourhoods. This disaster has exposed huge weaknesses in the housing provision of our country, and has undermined people’s trust. We all have a responsibility to rebuild trust between the public and their elected representatives, but the Government have the power to take radical steps to fix the system, and they must do that now.
By Liberal Democrats Apr 27, 2017 3:04
The Liberal Democrats have committed to ending the scandal of rough sleeping in Britain, as the Homelessness Reduction Bill enters into force today.
Following a campaign visit to the Hundred Houses Society, a charitable housing association in Cambridge, Tim Farron announced a series of measures the party would put in place to help end rough sleeping.
These include introducing a Housing First provider in each local authority, to put long-term homeless people straight into independent homes rather than emergency shelters. Other policies include increasing funding for local councils for homelessness prevention, reinstating housing benefit for under-21s and reversing planned cuts to Local Housing Allowance rates.
The number of people sleeping rough rose to 4,134 in 2016, up 16% on the previous year. The Government has estimated that homelessness costs the state up to £1 billion a year.
The news comes as a coalition of charities, including Centrepoint, Crisis, Homeless Link, Shelter and St Mungo’s, have called on political parties to commit to end rough sleeping in Britain.
Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron said: “It is a national scandal that so many people are sleeping on the streets in 21st century Britain.
“By increasing support for homelessness prevention and properly funding emergency accommodation, we can end rough sleeping across the country.
“We will also ensure each local authority has at least one provider of Housing First services, to allow long-term homeless people to live independently in their own homes.
“The evidence suggests that supporting people and giving them long-term, stable places to stay is far more successful in tackling homelessness than constantly moving them to different temporary accommodation.
“Under this government, homelessness has soared and the stripping of young people of housing benefit threatens to make matters even worse.
“This election is a chance to change the direction of this country and stand up for a Britain that is open, tolerant and united.”
By Liberal Democrats Feb 07, 2017 10
The Government has shown how “out of touch” it is by declaring today that those in need of affordable homes are on incomes of up to £80,000.
Commenting on the government’s housing proposals today, including defining those in need of affordable homes as being on an income of up to £80,000 across the UK and £90,000 in London, Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron said: “A government that thinks affordable homes can be worth £450k and should be available to those on £80k frankly doesn’t have a clue.
“Millions of people across the country are struggling to make ends meet, with many paying over half their income on rent.
“This Conservative government is letting them down by failing to build the genuinely affordable homes they need and to replace homes sold off under Right to Buy.”
In January the Government broadened the definition of affordable housing to include ‘starter homes’ costing up to £450,000 in Greater London and £250,000 outside the capital.
Of the 12,829 council homes sold under Right to Buy in England in the 12 month period to June 2016, only 2,240 or around one in six were replaced.
One of the main concerns residents have continually voiced is the congestion of parked vehicles along the village road. This is exacerbated at week ends which coincide with increased parking from residents attending church services. Understandably residents have asked for action and this plan provides for 150 off road spaces which will tackle this.
The Anselmians would like to create their new facilities behind Carlett Service Station. Access to this and the car park will be from Eastham Village Road. Dave, Phil & Chris have asked the club to design their new building so that it can be used by the wider community. They’ve had a discussion with Council officers on how this might work and provide a new home for the Youth Hub, which may be moving from Lyndale Avenue due to the new facility being built in Birkenhead.
To raise the money for this they are seeking planning permission to have eighteen houses built on the northern part of their land.
my last conversation with a senior manager was on Monday 21st Sept in the Executive corridors of Wallasey Town Hall.
He informed me that a period of another twelve weeks had been agreed so that the developers could carry out their due diligence and land searches etc. The Asbestos had now been completely removed and there was still the issue of the bats to consider.
All of this I have explained to several interested residents who came to see me at my surgery in Eastham library on the following day( Tuesday ).
On Wednesday we have had enquiries as to this residents-letter delivered to the periphery of the site of which, as your Councillors, we had no prior knowledge.
A Special Report Focus has been produced and will be delivered to the surrounding area.