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On Monday, Brighton and Hove Labour launched its five action pledges to tackle the critical housing situation in Brighton and Hove. Emma Reynolds MP, the Shadow Housing Minister, accompanied Councillor Warren Morgan and Labour parliamentary candidates Purna Sen and Nancy Platts to the launch.

Labour Leader Cllr Warren Morgan said:

Delivering a secure and affordable place to live for our residents is one of the big challenges we face in May if elected to run the city. It’s a challenge we are up for; delivering more new homes, making the private rented sector work for tenants, delivering real affordability to those who need it.

Purna Sen, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Brighton Pavilion, said:

Having met so many private tenants living in appalling conditions and financial hardship in our City, I am clear that Labour plans for more secure tenancies, predictable rents and an end to up-front fees are vital. And Labour is already in discussion at the national level with professional associations to make sure those proposals become practical policies. Locally, during the four years they have been running the City, the Greens have not helped private tenants. That’s why Labour’s plans for a landlords register, a Tenant’s Charter and for more affordable housing are so important.

Nancy Platts, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Brighton Kemptown, said:

Many people living in rented accommodation are fed up with the poor standards of maintenance and insecure rental agreements. I have been inside some properties where there is mould growing on the ceiling and badly fitting windows but people are worried about asking for repairs for fear of being evicted. Everyone is entitled to a warm and secure home and that is what I will campaign for if I am elected as the MP for Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven.

A FIVE POINT PLAN OF ACTION

  1. We will prioritise building new, affordable housing and stimulate building of new affordable homes.

  2. We aim to directly provide more council housing by building at least 500 council houses.

  3. We want to secure 40% affordable homes in new housing developments and deliver family housing as part of the affordable housing requirement.

  4. We will consult on introducing a register of landlords to protect tenants and raise standards in the private rented sector. A license will be used, where needed, to tackle anti social behaviour in areas of HMOs.

  5. We will support the national Labour Party’s promise to promote secure, three-year tenancies and eradicate rip-off letting agent fees.

 

 

Labour pledges action on housing in Brighton and Hove

Greens promised a thousand new homes back in 2011. The reality: 147. 

In April 2011, the Brighton and Hove Green Party’s manifesto promised:

'...to begin at least a thousand new affordable homes during the next four years.'

As recently as November 2014, the Greens claimed 751 affordable homes were programmed.

The Brighton and Hove Labour Party today issued a challenge to the Green Party by inviting the Green Housing spokesperson to join them on a tour of all the newly constructed affordable homes so that the promise could be checked against delivery.

Councillor Warren Morgan, Leader of the Labour and Co-operative Group, said:

We have an audited record supplied by council officers of all the housing starts and completions since 2011. These figures show that just 147 new homes have received planning permission and been completed under their watch. Yet as recently as November last year they claimed in an article in the New Statesman that they were set to meet their target of 1,000 homes.

I will happily take a tour around Brighton and Hove with the Leader of the Greens or their chair of the Housing Committee to see where these phantom homes and missing estates are supposed to be.

Even if you take into account homes that have been started but will not be completed until after May, the figure is only 287 new homes. This is less than 30% of the Greens’ manifesto promise.

Rather like the Green Party promise to increase recycling to 70%, which has now fallen to 26%, they have failed to deliver. We have committed to tackling the city’s housing crisis by building at least 500 council houses by 2019, and we stand by this commitment.

Councillor Gill Mitchell, Deputy Leader of the Labour and Co-operative Group, added:

The Green Party said we would have politics without spin. What we have found is desperate over claiming on promises made. Of the 17 construction sites developed since May 2011 just five are as a result of Green Party initiatives. All the others date back to the previous Tory administration.

This represents a massive failure of political will by the Green Party that leaves Brighton and Hove short of essential affordable housing that hard pressed local people need.

Attached is the raw data on affordable housing in Brighton and Hove since 2010. This includes details on all the sites, the date planning permission was received, when construction started and when it completed. It also indicates whether the decisions took place under the current or the previous administration.

 

Green Party's 1,000 'Phantom Homes and missing estates'

Greens promised a thousand new homes back in 2011. The reality: 147.  In April 2011, the Brighton and Hove Green Party’s manifesto promised: '...to begin at least a thousand new...

Councillor-Warren-Morgan-1_1_.jpgLabour in Brighton and Hove is today launching a five point contract with residents and neighbourhoods aimed at giving people across the city a better service and a better deal from the council if Labour are elected in May.

Councillor Warren Morgan, Leader of the Labour and Co-operative Group, said:

We want to put power in the hands of residents and neighbourhoods, to ensure people can access services simply and easily, tackle problems early and at a local level, and make sure reports are followed up. Residents can expect better from their city council under Labour. 

Labour are pledging to:

  • Devolve power to local neighbourhoods via “local service centres”: town halls, children’s centres, libraries and community centres, where residents can access council services at a venue local to them.

  • Set up integrated teams of council staff in every neighbourhood who will work on the streets to tackle fly-tipping, missed collections, litter and dog mess, housing issues, broken street lights, licensing, planning enforcement and more.

  • Introduce better online and mobile app reporting so that residents can send in a report or complaint and follow how it is being dealt with and by whom. Implement a ‘My Account’ online service where residents can access their council services online, e.g. to pay their council tax and parking permits.

  • Set up a single call centre to deal with all council issues and signpost residents to other local services.

  • Ensure every neighbourhood has a representative local body that can identify local issues and speak for the community, headed by and working with local councillors as community champions.

Labour’s proposals are modelled on work done by Oldham Council: http://www.oldham.gov.uk/. Funding would come from the merging of existing budgets.

Putting power in the hands of local people: Labour’s Contract with Residents and Neighbourhoods

Labour in Brighton and Hove is today launching a five point contract with residents and neighbourhoods aimed at giving people across the city a better service and a better deal...

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