Save Sheltered Housing

 

Democracy takes a battering in  Tory County council Academy Consultation fiasco - while over the road at the Borough Council  Lib-unDems abolish elections for consultative committees

 Northampton Borough Council, that bastion of Lib Dem innovative thinking is witnessing all sorts of twisting and turning as these politicians of little principle face up to the realities of power.  As they try to balance their thirst for the corrupting glory of office with the lack of any ideas of what to do with the little power they have we are presented with a sorry spectacle.

On their supposed new thinking for the economy and finance of the town they echo only those sad parties of New Labour and the thatcherite Conservatives in thinking that only the private market has the answers to the cutbacks and privatisations that this same market has forced upon us.  Never do they think that more democratic services, where employees and people who use the facilities might have good ideas to improve things, might be part of a solution.

Caught between making draconian cuts and keeping a lid on public disquiet, they try to solve the dilemna by pretending services will get better and then attacking those affected who have the nerve to protest.    They are now the latest advocates of rip-off Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes in council housing and of cutbacks in public welfare on a scale unheard of in a century of local government. Meanwhile they attack democratic accountability, elections and public participation in their already outdated procedures of government in order to keep the lid on any opposition.

Sheltered Housing and Wardens.  

The campaign against the Lib Dem cuts in warden numbers for sheltered housing continues, locally and nationally.  The campaign, which was started by Northampton residents in sheltered housing who were concerned at their loss of wardens on their complexes, goes from strength to strength.  They gained the support of local trade unions like Amicus/Unite, Save Our Services and community groups and their fight spread nationally as it was realised these cuts were happening elsewhere too.  The local campaign is called Residents4Residents and you can get in touch via 07804310194.

Recent legal challenges by local solicitor Yvonne Hossack against other councils have severely limited their power to force these cost cutting measures on vulnerable people.  NBC will now soon find itself in the firing line for imposing floating wardens to cover multiple complexes to the worry and pain of sheltered housing residents.

Mother of all Service Cuts and Privatisation of Street Cleaning etc.  

The Lib Dems now threaten wholesale privatisation of council cleaning services and waste disposal alongside many other cuts to services.  Lib Dem leader Brian Hoare boasts that all will be well in the town under his benign rule and that privatisation will in fact mean better extended services for less money!  Funny that never happened in the past, before we had public services and is not apparent in the privatised transport, power supply and other industries where massive price rises and  depleted services are the norm, as their shareholders get massive bonuses and handouts from government to keep them afloat.


PFI of Council Housing.

Not content with wasting £500 million, yes that's right, £500,000,000, by voting for the PFI schools scandal on the NCC the NBC controlling councillors now wants to waste more millions on lining the pockets of private financial banks and builders to repair some of Northampton's council housing.  With tenants having subsidised council services for decades through the housing sales programme and having nothing spent on building any new council housing over the last decades, we are now going to see these social assets and peoples homes fall under PFI control for 30 years or more and for the council to pay 2-3 times over the odds for the pleasure.  What madness is it that inhabits councillors' brains to tell them this all makes sense when past history tells us the opposite.

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