Wednesday, March 28, 2007

“Give us a sign” – in Lobley Hill

LIBERAL Democrat campaigners in Lobley Hill, Gateshead, have written to the Highways Agency – the government body responsible for main roads – to ask for signs to be installed showing the route to Lobley Hill.

The suburb, which sits next to the A1 and straddles the main road to Whickham, Sunniside and Consett, has no signs to tell people they are in Lobely Hill.

Campaigner Susan Craig is hoping that Highways bosses will give a sign and put Lobley Hill on the map.

“There are no signs on the A1 to show where Lobley Hill is,” said Susan. “Many people visiting friends and relatives in Lobley Hill often end up in Swalwell, Team Valley or even Gateshead.

“Having a sign at the Lobley Hill turnoff from the A1 would solve many of the problems.”
Photo: the sign at Lobley Hill makes no mention of Lobley Hill


George Dutton said...

Gateshead council allow sub standard badly planned houses. Allow roads that are to narrow to be built. They are busy creating urban ghettos when you look around parts of Dunston/Gateshead you realize there is no hope left. That is ONE of the MAIN causes/reasons so many take drugs/alcohol abuse/mental illness and so many other social problems. WE must believe that there is a God for that is the only hope left.

George Dutton said...

Report backs end to secure council tenancies

Matt Weaver
Tuesday February 20, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

Council tenants could be forced to prove they still need their homes in regular means-tested reviews, it emerged today.
The proposal, part of a radical shake-up of housing outlined in a government-commissioned report, would end the right to a home for life by giving people fixed-term tenancies of between one and five years.

Under the plan - which the document admits could "sound outlandish", tenants would be forced to pay more for their home be asked to buy a stake in the value of the property if their circumstances improved.

If children left home, their parents would be forced to move to smaller properties.

The report, written for the government by Professor John Hills, of the London School of Economics, says such system would help free up homes to those who most need them.

"The ability to move 'empty nest' couples or single people might be a way of reducing overcrowding," it says.

It concedes that the possible loss of a secure tenancy would be "controversial", but adds that such a move could be needed in order to "make better use of very scarce and pressured resources".

The communities secretary, Ruth Kelly, who commissioned the report, wrote in a foreword that it was "not the last word" on issues but would open up debate.

"We have got no plans to change existing tenancy rights," a spokeswoman for her department added.

The document also examines ways of breaking up large sink estates, which it says have become concentrations of poverty.

In recommendations likely to be more acceptable to ministers, it suggests that council and housing association homes should be sold off to higher income groups or let out at market rents as they become vacant in order to create more economically mixed areas.

Cash raised from the scheme would be used to build replacement affordable homes elsewhere, it said.

Ms Kelly has in the past backed the idea of more "mixed communities".

The report recommends that the various right to buy schemes should be simplified into a single system that applies to both council and housing association tenants.

It says such a move would be likely to involve less generous discounts than those currently available to council tenants, but would give all social tenants a right to buy at least a share in the value of their homes.

The group Defend Council Housing, which campaigns for direct investment in council-run housing, reacted to the report with alarm.

"The government cannot create sustainable communities if they force tenants to move on and out against their will by imposing a time limit or introducing a means test on their tenancy," it said.

"It would turn our estates into massive hostels with a transient, not sustainable, community."

The Liberal Democrat housing spokesman, Dan Rogerson, said: "Forcing people out of their homes won't solve the crisis in social housing, but it will divide neighbourhoods. Our housing estates need a mix of backgrounds and incomes if we're to build and preserve genuine communities."

Mr Rogerson criticised Labour for its "failure to build enough social houses", which he said had "left a legacy of long waiting lists which are at the root of this problem".

Sarah Webb, the deputy chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing, said sink estates were the "concentrated areas of deprivation that we really need to tackle".

George Dutton said...

The above two posts are off topic but somehow "Give us a sign" seemed such a good title for the above posts.

George Dutton said...

Taken from the Respect web site...

Labour 'MP hopeful' quits race to join Galloway's Respect Party

"Labour has been hijacked by a bunch of ultra-conservatives. It's bad for democracy."

A WOMAN in the race to be Labour's next candidate to take on rebel MP George Galloway's Respect Party in London's East End has quit the selection process and changed sides.

Johanna Kaschke has defected to Respect after reading the East London Advertiser's March 28 edition about the Labour Government trying to change the law to defeat a campaigner in the High Court over public housing.

She went straight to her computer and fired off a resignation letter to Labour, then joined Galloway's party.

"I find there is a bad atmosphere in the (Labour) party, driving out council tenants and disrespecting leaseholders alike.

"It is totally disgusting that the Labour Party acts against its own members, dismantles the National Health Service, a tendency to stop free health treatment.

"Our local authority has become an oppressive force, forcing residents out of their dwellings by making it too expensive for leaseholders to afford the upkeep or forcing tenants to be with private housing associations.

"The Labour Party has become an oppressive organisation, nothing more to do with the democratic people's party it once used to be."

It is a blow to the bitterly-divided local Labour party, whose morale sank in Galloway's Bethnal Green constituency after he ousted their MP Oona King in the 2005 General Election.

Joanna told the Advertiser: "Labour has been hijacked by a bunch of ultra-conservatives. It's bad for democracy."