Councillors Truelove and Whelan
Local Labour Councillors have been doing so for some time but the public also need to protest if they genuinely want affordable housing – an article by Kay Murphy
Swale News Extra has reported more than once on developers reducing the number of affordable houses they build. They can do this using a legal loophole after planning permission has been granted. Based on the number of affordable houses they’ve given in the planning application, developers can later submit a viability assessment that argues it’s no longer financially viable to build that number and arguing for a reduction. Consultants are willing to help developers, advertising for example, ‘a good track record for securing reductions’ (in the number of affordable homes to be built) ‘including removing the requirement altogether’. The financial figures ‘proving’ the developers’ case are covered by commercial confidentiality so can’t usually be made public.
The battle for affordable housing isn’t being fought on an even playing field when developers are able to use viability assessments to maximise their profits by reducing the number of homes they build.
With so many developers wanting to build in Swale’ the public needs to be aware of what’s happening and start protesting. Viability assessments should be open to public scrutiny. The tide is turning, communities are beginning to take action – and some are winning.
Tony out canvassing with team members yesterday
Tony Winckless has been elected as Councillor to the Milton Regis ward of Swale Borough Council. Tony took 54% of the vote on a 23.4% turnout to leave his nearest rival, Kane Blackwell, 318 votes behind. The full result was:
Milton Regis by-election result:
Tony Winckless (Lab) 573 (53.8%)
Kane Roy Blackwell (Con) 255 (23.9%)
Richard Palmer (UKIP) 151 (14.2%)
Tony Clark (Lib Dem) 86 (8.1%)
Labour gain from UKIP
Congratulations, Tony, and a huge thanks to all who helped in making this campaign such a huge success!
Labour have selected MIKE ROLFE, a member of the local party who lives on the Isle of Sheppey, to contest the Sittingbourne and Sheppey constituency on June 8th.
Mr Rolfe is National Chair of the Prison Officers association and has experience of speaking on behalf of Prison Officers on television.
The local party Chairman, Simon Clark was informed of the NEC decision on Sunday evening. He says ” It is good news that we have a local candidate who knows our local issues. The whole party will be getting behind him.”
Labour General Election Candidate Mike Rolfe
The Kent Labour Forum, which represents Labour Kent-wide, has published its manifesto for the upcoming KCC elections on May 4th. You can read the manifesto here
Our own Candidates are:
- Sittingbourne South Roger Truelove
- Sittingbourne North Ghlin Whelan
- Sittingbourne West Tony Winkless
- Sittingbourne East Frances Rehal
- Sheppey Angela Harrison and Gill Smith.
Please contact us if you want to help in any way over the coming campaign.
Labour Activists were out in force on Saturday to ask for signatures on the ‘Think Again’ petition. This is asking Tory-Led Swale Borough Council to think again about their decision to borrow £28 Million ( now increased to £60 Million) to fund the building of a Cinema, shops, restaurants and a Multi-Story Car Park (didn’t we used to have one of those?) that they are calling ‘regeneration’.
Now you can sign the petition online at http://services.swale.gov.uk/meetings/mgEPetitionListDisplay.aspx?bcr=1 . Please do and help us reach the target which will trigger a Council debate on this subject.