Sunday, 16 September 2012

Tim Farron in the Telegraph today

In today's Telegraph, libdem president Tim Farron had his words slightly twisted and misquoted but what he said was very valid.

Firstly, affordable housing is much needed. This isn't just for the hundreds of thousands of young people who cannot afford to even take the first step onto the property ladder and lost into the black-hole of renting or those who, like me, had to tragically wait for a relative to die to be able to afford it.

It would also be invaluable for encouraging the growth and work of the lagging construction companies, more so than the puny measures at the moment which relies on homeowners having enough money to improve their houses. Lets face it, that's only going to be in affluent areas and Medway and other large urban areas are not going to be able to afford it.

We need to build 250,000 social and affordable houses by 2015. - Fact

I would also argue that we need to continue the Coalition's work in bringing "Abandoned" and unused houses back and refurbish them for new owners and tenants.

Tim goes on to suggest that funding could be found by Quantitative easing from the bank of England with Social housing bonds being handed straight to local councils and housing Associations.

Suddenly out there alot of people are worrying about the rise in council housing across the nation. Why shouldn't there be? Here in Medway it has been revealed that 17% of house residents having no bread winners and the CAB suggests that the average debt of someone who has come to them is £40k!
On top of that the average price of a house, like mine, in Gillingham with three bedrooms in a terrace is somewhere between £100-150k to buy and to rent a 4 bedroom house very similar to me its £1400 pcm! With jobs so scarce that 174 people applied for 22 places at the new Strood Tesco you can see that housing is something that people need help with.

I also think that Tim is right that the South east is where it is going to have to fall. Now I can hear other parties scoffing etc but lets be honest; the south east is beautiful, I love the Weald and rural Kent but unfortunately we do have a huge population density and something needs to be done otherwise urban centres like Medway, like Maidstone - will have slums in them and we're straight back to the Victorian era.

I did find the articles "concern" at Tim's statement about coalition with Labour interesting too. Its as if they're are trying to paint the party as another leftist threat. What was said on the topic was;

I don't see why not - of course we can work with either party, it's up to the British electorate - whoever is the most popular party has the right to form a government and we won't hinder that.

Which is what Nick said after 2010 election. If either party approaches to form a coalition we're listening, surely that's a given? Doesn't mean that we are pro Labour any more than we are Pro Tory.

There is also the criticism of the Coalition and the Conservatives. Now, I don't think that it is an attack, nor is it Tim flag waving in an attempt to attract votes for the up coming presidential election or even dare I say it(?) future leadership prospects, (I'll discuss this in another blogpost soon!) but indeed just a Libdem standing up for Libdem values. After all - we aren't the Conservative party and we have an opinion - Tim is just voicing it.

It may well be that the Prime Minister is trying to move in that direction (right) He can pick and chose his ministers but he cannot pick and choose what is in the Coalition Agreement. So that means Heathrow ain't happening. Neither is any edging away from our commitment to be the greenest Government ever.

If this is a shift right, it really is just a bit silly

Its not an attack just a statement of fact from the Libdem perspective.

So lets put down the faux right wing anger and stirring that, personally I thought, ran in the under current.

I for one, back Tim on this, for what it is worth, and agree that we are a Coalition of two different parties, with different views and its good - no wait it is better than good, lets say FANTASTIC to hear a vocal Libdem on the subject and outline differences and future policies.

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