Select Committee on Office of the Deputy Prime Minister: Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions Written Evidence

Memorandum by Peter Nolan (AH 11)

  In Middlesbrough the council are planning to demolish 1,500 homes in the town centre by suggesting that there is market failure.

  Which was disproved by The Royal Bank of Scotland.

  The council have spent £300,000 pounds on a survey which points to an entirely different area, which seems to suggest it's about a land grab by big business. They even commissioned a MORI poll and asked questions with flash cards suggesting that if these homes were to be demolished people could have grants for kitchens, bathrooms, new roofs and other general improvements. This seems to smack of a bribe to get the result they required and they asked very few people in the affected area.

  The councillor who is expressing our views has been suspended by the ruling labour group so democracy and free speech is against policy of the party all we need now is the strong arm boys who displayed their talents at the Labour Party conference as viewed on the TV, then we will know where we stand.

  If you want some ideas, just stop knocking down the only affordable houses in a price range of £56,000 to £75,000 where young people can afford to buy.

  The nearest priced new house in our area is a one bed flat or apartment at £127,000 which makes them unaffordable as our area had most of its industry closed down in the Thatcher years and we now survive in a low economy area.

  If large landlords like (ERIMUS ex-council houses) were forced to sell at prices like the sell off by the council with discounts time spent renting. (By just using the same amount of benefit money with a fixed low government mortgage. These people would become home owners and possibly take more care of their homes and then the area because they would have a stake in it). It may even give them more pride as they would then have to replace any thing that was broken.

  Some of the rents are quite high (over £80.00 per week) and people on benefit have to make up the difference to stop them being made homeless and dumped on the bad ex-council estates in our town. This practise should stop (remember Rachman this could be spelt wrong it was a long time ago) they should only allowed to charge what the DSS allow for rent.

  All rented property should be at the Government's latest standards to stop speculators from out of town and have yearly certificates for fire, gas, and electric.

  If you knock houses down in the centre of town people on low incomes may find it unproductive to travel into part time work as it may not be worth the effort.

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