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The Housing Crisis in Rural Areas

Most people have heard about, and been upset by the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire in London, but to many, living in rural Devon, it may have seemed remote. Local MPs have been silent on the issue; yet, the failures that led to this terrible event are relevant to everyone. We are in the midst of a housing crisis that is not just urban; rural social housing provision is just as vital - if not more so. Social housing, in particular, has come to be seen negatively, as a problem! We need to change this; social housing that we are proud of, should be available for all in our community – it should be seen to be a real asset, not a burden on the community.

Research published in July this year (Right to home? Rethinking homelessness in rural communities IPPR) exposes a hidden crisis of rural homelessness, which is getting worse. Over 6,000 rural households became homeless last year and record numbers of rural families are in B & Bs. Between 2010 and 2016 there was a 42% increase in rough sleeping in predominantly rural local authorities and people have been experiencing difficulties in accessing the services and the support they need. These figures hide personal tragedies that do not make headlines.

The failures of provision of good affordable housing in our own communities will be the same or similar to those that contributed to the Grenfell tragedy. They exist, not just in relation to cladding and insulation, but also to the wider issues of stigmatisation, under-investment, lack of quality control and technical checks - failures of regulation, accountability and oversight, and cuts to technical expertise within social housing organisations. The government has starved local authorities and housing providers of the resources to do a safe, proper job and has left the building of houses largely to profit-driven developers.

Building homes should not be driven by profit. We need policy and resources to be directed at supporting a range of organisations including local authorities, not-for-profit housing associations and housing co-operatives that can build houses appropriate to their communities and localities. We need a commitment to the building good, safe, warm, dry homes that are fit for purpose and built to high ecological standards. This also requires clear accountability with housing organisations that have access to the technical expertise that can ensure and monitor quality control.

Land in the hands of District or County Councils should be made available for small scale rural housing projects where deemed appropriate. Funds for purchase of land and for capital investment in housing should be made available by the government’s Homes and Communities Agency and all such provision should be tied to local systems of control - through Community Land Trusts, Co-operative initiatives or similar arrangements.

Above all the government should be listening to people, including local communities and most especially residents and tenants and those in housing need.

Central Devon Labour Party – Ruth Dixon & Lisa Robillard Webb (centraldevonlabour@gmail.com)

The Housing Crisis in Rural Areas

The Housing Crisis in Rural Areas

The Mid Devon Labour Chatterbox evening was well attended - we received a warm welcome from Lucy Betts who runs the East Street community cafe. At least 12 people attended - quite a few newly attending members eager to exchange political views on current affairs as well as get to know each other. A great success I'd say. I'm looking forward to more events like this as well as an opportunity to meet even more of our 400+ members within the Branch region. Spread the word

Grazyna Baran

Watch this site for future Chatterbox events

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Mid Devon Chatterbox evening a great success

The Mid Devon Labour Chatterbox evening was well attended - we received a warm welcome from Lucy Betts who runs the East Street community cafe. At least 12 people attended...

General Election 2017 

Dear Members

We made considerable gains across Central Devon, nationally the vote increased by 10.1% however in Central Devon the increase was 14.1%. In 2015, we polled 6,985 votes, now in General Election 2017, 15,598 votes. 

While the national picture remains unclear Central Devon Labour will hold Mel Stride and the Central Devon Conservatives to account and we will be more prominent across the constituency engaging to improve the lives of all Central Devon constituents. 

I believe that we have a chance to topple Mel Stride at the next election which may be before the end of this calendar year.  So, I ask you wherever you sit along the Labour Party political line to come and express your opinions and ideas. 

For those who volunteered in Mid Devon, Okehampton and East Dartmoor my sincere thanks, you made this result happen. I would like to give a few people a special mention:

John, my sincere thanks for running the Social Media Campaign and Mid Devon’s presence during the campaign. 

Paula, thank you all you do for Central Devon Labour around your spare time. 

Ray Aplin, for his and Okehampton's approach during this campaign. 

Jinni King, for her tireless work throughout the campaign even when on holiday. 

Janette, for being Lisa's handbag holder and email replies

Ruth Dixon, the Vice Chair, she kept the campaign meeting to the itinerary (no mean feat!) and was a sounding board. 

Graz, for helping with the voluminous email correspondence

Chris Robillard, for being the agent, always being positive and his infectious personality. 

Finally, our candidate, Lisa Robillard Webb, she has sacrificed so much for Central Devon not just during this campaign but for years, for things to build you need a solid foundation and she provided that and laid the platform for success. My sincere thanks to her family, Paul, Elliot and Finn who gave her the support at home and allowed their house to be a campaign hub, a huge debt of gratitude is owed to them.

Central Devon, Rome was not built in a day, we may not have reached our ultimate goal and there is work to be done, however Central Devon I am more confident than ever we will send a Labour Candidate to Westminster as your Member of Parliament. 

My Sincere Thanks. 

Stephen Kamalarajan 

Central Devon Labour Campaign Manager

 

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The inaugural campaign meeting

 

 

 

Published by: John Ross; 3 Victoria Place, Pounds Hill, Crediton, Devon EX17 1DS. Published on behalf of Central Devon CLP campaign agent: Christopher Robillard, 8 St Pauls Close, Bovey Tracey, Devon, TQ13 9JD

Stephen Kamalarajan thanks everyone

General Election 2017  Dear Members We made considerable gains across Central Devon, nationally the vote increased by 10.1% however in Central Devon the increase was 14.1%. In 2015, we polled...

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