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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 April 2019

Activists rally in fight for more council housing and against high rents

Bracknell housing campaign meeting, 8.4.19, photo by Ed Glasson

Bracknell housing campaign meeting, 8.4.19, photo by Ed Glasson   (Click to enlarge)

Terry Pearce, Defend Our Community Services

At a well-attended public meeting in Bracknell on 8 April local activists, including Socialist Party members, met to discuss building a campaign against homelessness, high rents and the lack of council housing in the area.

Patrick Young from Unison union gave a good presentation with many useful statistics. For example, in Bracknell the average first-time buyer's house price in 2017 was 285,828, requiring a 15% deposit of 42,874. In the case of an NHS cleaner this would be 13.9 times their salary.

Clearly, house purchases are out of the question for many young people living in our area. A similar situation applies to renting. Very few council/affordable dwellings are available, but all around our area luxury houses and flats are being built.

Niall Mulholland, Chair of the Social Housing Action Campaign (SHAC) spoke about its work in London. SHAC links the housing associations, housing co-operatives and Unite the Union activists, to help in fighting the problems faced by tenants and residents.

Niall talked about the changing role of some housing associations who now sell properties and have highly paid chief executives.

As chair of Bracknell Defend Our Community Services I outlined the aims of the East Berkshire and Reading housing campaign.

More meetings were planned around the area, and people were urged to sign our petition and join our campaign.

Speakers from the floor highlighted the problems many local people face with unaffordable rents and mortgages.

With local elections looming local council candidates should be quizzed about their policies to increase council housing, as very few are being built.

A collection of 50 was raised for future activities and room costs and it was agreed to continue and develop the campaign, building on this successful meeting.

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In The Socialist 17 April 2019:


What we think

Tories facing electoral meltdown - but only a socialist alternative to austerity can finish them off


News

100 billion for bosses - cuts for us.

Assange arrest: US and allied governments seeking revenge for exposing dirty wars

Labour looks to Bank of England to stall house prices

No-fault evictions ban, but cuts leave tenants vulnerable

Cuts drive council tax debt

Labour needs socialist policies to solve "climate emergency"


Minimum wage

20 years of the minimum wage: Fight for a real living wage for every worker


Workplace news

Newham bin workers ballot for strikes

Arriva Rail North cleaners fight bosses' punitive pay arrears

School staff demand action on pay and testing at NEU conference

Deliveroo workers protest at firm's Nottingham roadshow

PCS union: vital local strikes and a national pay ballot - vote for a fighting leadership

Unison union: right wing tries to block campaigning - elect a socialist leadership


International socialist news and analysis

Sudan: No to rule of the generals!


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Labour councils must act now to save our schools!

Council elections - an opportunity to present a socialist alternative to cuts

Activists rally in fight for more council housing and against high rents

Alternative housing awards

'Reforms' hollow out the NUS

Youth climate strikes: Democratic organisation and socialist policies needed


Opinion

Engels' classic essential for understanding socialist ideas old and 'new'

Real life on Universal Credit: "As soon as I get billed for my electric, I'm finished"

The Socialist Inbox


 

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