Tuesday, 17 January 2012

More 'Government' control/social engineering

The Daily Telegraph reports here and the BBC here on Grant Schapps' idea to ease the housing shortage, a plan that has already had a trial in the London borough of Redbridge. Weirdly, there is no information about this scheme available on the Redbridge council website and on telephoning their press office on 020 8708 3755 I was informed that as it is a pilot scheme they had not produced any information. When querying why a pdf of a press release about the scheme had been found but was, again, not mentioned on their website, I was informed it had been deleted although no reason was given when queried. Reverting to Redbridge council's press office, when pointing out that it seem odd that the DCLG was promoting the scheme on their website, Grant Schapps was plastered over the pages of some newspapers, promoting the scheme, that it seemed odd Redbridge was omitting to mention a scheme being trialled with public money, the press officer to whom I spoke remained silent.

The press release mentioned above can be found by typing freespace redbridge into Google and a link to the pdf will be found. More information on 'Freespace' can be found in a report commissioned by Elderly Accommodation Counsel (EAC) as part of its Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) – funded FirstStop Advice programme. The Elderly Accommodation Counsel (EAC) website also refers to an analysis carried out by the Centre for Housing and Planning Research, at the University of Cambridge.

That the 'Freespace' idea can even be considered as worthy of merit is not one with which Shapps would agree because it is yet another idea to 'order' peoples lives through 'friendly persuasion' and another method to solve a problem that 'government' has - one of their own making. It has to be said that one, if not prime, reason for our housing shortage is due to our country being open to Europe, together with his wives and children to walk in and in the process virtually demand to be housed because of their human rights.

It also has to be said that where the 'government' offers to help it is well known that 'help' is the last thing that will be on offer. The 'Freespace' pilot scheme raises other questions such as if 'improvements' are needed to a property which has been 'leased' to the local authority, does the owner have the right to agree to said 'improvements' which the local authority deem necessary? The scheme allows local authorities to carry out maintenance, but who has the right to select those will provide that maintenance, will the most cost-effective quotation be chosen - in fact will estimates for the work be requested? Grant Schapps is quoted as saying "The Government is determined to pull out all the stops to help those who aspire to buy their first home. This includes social housing tenants and we will continue to look at ways to support everyone who wants to get on the property ladder". And the exact definition of 'social housing' is? Will those tenants of the 'Freespace' scheme be considered as 'social housing tenants? Will they be allowed to purchase at a discounted price and if so, will the local authority make up the shortfall twixt that price and the 'market price'? Anna Raccoon has what some may term a slightly cynical view of this scheme.

As with most government schemes, especially any involving Grant Schapps, this is another example of a half-arsed idea which does not appear to have been 'thought through' - but hey, the Lib/Lab/Con are all socialists now.

Afterthought: Some Sheltered Housing complexes are being changed to allow for 'Extra Care' - which provides the facilities and care that is provided by/in Care Homes - so it is reasonable to assume this is being done to alleviate the shortage of Care Homes. If this supposition is correct then we have another half-arsed scheme because unless more Sheltered Housing is built logically there will be a shortfall there.


Anonymous said...

This story is extremely interesting

A few months ago the left wing Intergenerational foundation ( stuffed full of marxists) published a report which I remember commenting on , on your excellent blog.

Well split me nose open with a boathook, what was deemed to be in left wing fruitcake territory is now dignified with an offical government pilot scheme.

This whole 3 main party democracy thing is complete and total bollo**s. The marxist agenda is consistently pushed through the government machine regardless of whoever claims to be in office!!

This scheme is all about getting indigenous Britons to clear off and make way for foreigners. They can dress it up any way they like, but that is what it all boils down too.

Twig said...

"The scheme allows local authorities to carry out maintenance, but who has the right to select those will provide that maintenance, will the most cost-effective quotation be chosen - in fact will estimates for the work be requested?"

Have no fear, because, as you know, local authorities and government have a legendary reputation for getting value for money when it comes to awarding public works contracts.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

Anon: Succinctly summarised......

T: Agreed, we should indeed fear!

Woman on a Raft said...

In the Redbridge scheme the successful case study was the one example which might be justified: that is, council housing.

This housing is not owned by the occupier; the moral ground here is the provision of housing on the basis of need (and originally on the assumption that these were citizens owed a duty of care by the state).

WitteringsfromWitney said...

Woar: Accepted it was a council house, but unless the law is changed your point is not a legal reason to coerce/ask/suggest/ that she has to move.

Can any clause be inserted into a lease about failure to use all rooms? If someone can afford a rent, which provides them with their home, are you seriously suggesting the state is able to put constraints on how that home is inhabited?

Are those from the EU on arrival owed a duty of care when they have contributed nowt ? If so, on what basis?

I for one am not content funding those who have paid nothing into the system (how ever little that payment may be).

Ian Hills said...

An alternative scheme might be to deport all the bloody foreigners taking up social housing. Unfortunately this would mean leaving the we'd-lose-10-million-jobs-if-we-left EU. Swings and roundabouts.

TomTom said...

Empty Dwellings Management Order is the model

Council Control of Private Property

WitteringsfromWitney said...

IH: Maybe soon........?

TT: thanks for the link.