Sunday, December 20, 2015

My Sunday News

Some random bits and pieces I found interesting this Sunday morning.

Corbyn against illegal budget setting
Some Labour-led councils are reportedly considering drawing up budgets based on people’s needs, as opposed to council finances. In a letter to councillors, sent jointly with John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, and Jon Trickett, the shadow communities secretary, Jeremy Corbyn points out that councils must set a balanced budget under the 1992 Local Government Act. Failure to set a balanced budget can lead to action against councillors under the code of conduct, a judicial review and intervention by the secretary of state. The letter continues: “It would mean either council officers or, worse still, Tory ministers deciding council spending priorities.”
The Guardian, Page: 4

Pensioners to be charged "falling fee"
Pensioners who need help being helped back to their feet after a fall at home are to be charged £26 by Tendring DC. A council spokesman confirmed the annual charge will be added to the overall cost of its Careline service for elderly package, adding the charge is required to pay for one member of staff to provide the cover.
The Sun, Page: 35   Daily Mirror, Page: 7

Clampdown on rogue landlords
Landlords who let out filthy or unsafe homes will face fines of up to £30,000 under new laws to be unveiled by housing Minister Brandon Lewis. Council chiefs will be able to slap a new civil penalty notice on offenders to provide an instant deterrent for criminal operators. Fines will be upped for failing to take action on issues such as overcrowding and poor sanitation. Measures to be introduced in the Housing and Planning Bill will go further to ensure landlords and agents who repeatedly break the rules will be banned for at least 12 months. A database of rogue landlords and letting agents will also be available for council staff to access.
The Sun, Page: 24

Millions give up on home ownership
Bank of England research reveals middle class families are turning away from home ownership as soaring costs and a lack of supply price millions out of the property market. The Bank's annual survey of household finances revealed that just under half of all families who don't already own their own home believe they will never get on the housing ladder. For the poorest fifth of households, the prospect of home ownership was even more remote, with more than half of non-homeowners stating that they were unlikely to ever buy.

Hat tip LGA daily news
Kill the Housing Bill - protest 5 January parliament
A protest lobby and meeting in parliament on 5 January will mark the next stage of the fight against the Housing Bill.
A campaign to Kill the Housing Bill - secure homes for all launched last weekend at a packed meeting of tenants, trade unions, councillors, traveller organisation and a representative from the office of John McDonnell MP, called the protest to mark opposition to the Bill, as MPs discuss amendments during the first report stage in the House of Commons.
For more details contact info@defendcouncilhousing.org.uk Download for more.Protesters will rally outside Parliament at Old Palace Yard SW1A 0AA from 2pm, joined by MPs and other speakers against the Government' s latest onslaught on truly affordable and secure homes.
A protest meeting inside Parliament 5-7pm will hear tenants, trade unions, councillors and MPs explain the case against the Housing Bill and for investment in council housing. Last week, ministers managed to sneak in last minute amendments to the Bill to remove secure lifetime council tenancies.
 Support this campaign
* Join the protest at Parliament 5 January2pm Old Palace Yard and 5pm inside Parliament (allow 30 minutes to get in due to security checks)
* Come to the next organising meeting 16 January 11am at Unite offices, 128 Theobalds Rd London WC1X 8TN
* Organise a local meeting against the Housing Bill - contact tenants groups, trade unions, councillors, MPs and housing campaigners and lobby local MPs
* Contact info@defendcouncilhousing.org.uk or 07432 098440 for leaflets and to add your support.

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