Autumn time is when most political parties hold their main conference to debate what their views are on some of the major areas that effect of our lives. Housing and education made a lot of coverage during the week, as did Tim Farron - in his new role as Leader of the Liberal Democrats.
This comes as the new government is about to make further cuts to many of the services we need.
An example of this which will affect many in Ealing is where the Conservatives look likely to cut free meals for infant school pupils. This policy was introduced by Nick Clegg in 2014. If free hot school meals for schoolchildren are taken away, then it is very likely that the health of our children will worsen.
|Tim Farron, Lib Dem Leader|
One policy area that is talked about in many social settings is housing. Locally it is absolutely crucial that Ealing Council is more proactive in bringing back more empty homes into use. Each time we walk to the tube station or to work, we see homes that are empty. Not only is this a blot on the landscape but it is easier (and cheaper) to repair an unused home than build a new one from scratch!
Ealing Council needs to be tougher to prevent developers from getting out of providing the affordable housing that they're supposed to. It is Ealing's young people who suffer the most from Labour’s ‘Any development is probably okay’ approach. Most large redevelopments in Ealing seem to have few affordable or social homes that younger members of society can rent or buy.
It is not just the Labour party who are failing to do their part on housing but the Conservatives are now allowing housing associations to flog off their homes. What will happen will be simple – homes will be sold to third party companies, taking a large fee, leaving the Council will fewer and fewer homes to house our most vulnerable residents.
Liberal Democrats in Ealing have a clear three point plan to improve the housing situation in Ealing and across London.
- Introduce a “rent to own” scheme to help first time buyers into home ownership.
- Double the delivery of affordable homes through increased City Hall investment and use of publicly owned brownfield land.
- Bring 20,000 long term empty homes back into use as family homes.
|More Liberal Democrats|
Housing is such an important factor as poor housing often leads to less fruitful outcomes in our lives affecting our health, job security and general well-being.
The Liberal Democrats are a party that believes that the role of Government is to help us to be the best that we can be, no matter who we are or what our background. We believe that being proactive in consulting residents generates a better relationship. When Labour chose not to consult on whether we should have wheelie bins, this is a mistake. It will lead people to mistrust Ealing Council.
On a positive note since May’s General Election, nearly 20,000 people have joined the Liberal Democrats and hopefully Ealing will become more liberal as a consequence.