Meeting with James Duddridge MP

Many months after the letters our supporters wrote to askĀ for this and a lot of follow-up from us, James Duddridge MP had room in his diary for a meeting with our Campaign Secretary, Martin Berry, on 10th February. The hope was that Mr Duddridge might support FFTP’s campaign to build council homes on public land, to help the 1500 local families currently on Southend’s housing waiting list. Sadly Mr Duddridge does not support FFTP’s aims and despite Martin’s best efforts would not be drawn on any provision of truly affordable homes. Indeed, he sees no reason for any provision higher than the woefully inadequate and wrongly-defined ‘affordable’ minimum legal level that allows private developers to make a masive profit and benefits his constituents not a jot.
Ā 
Last Tuesday (19th February) Hanna Wheatley, Senior Researcher at New Economics Foundation, issued a report highlighting the true scandal of housing policy in the UK. We will be using facts from that report in our campaign work, but take this point for starters: ‘While the government has sold enough public land for developers to build 131,000 homes, only 2.6% of those homes will be council homes’. Percentages are easy to drift past, so to be clear in actual numbers: that’s 131,000 houses ON PUBLIC LAND with 126,600 of them for private developers’ profits and just 3,400 for council homes.
Our campaign doesn’t actually need the support of our local MP – the decision on the fate of this land is not his to make – but we think it would have been nice if he’d told us he’d stick up for his constituents in parliament rather than stick to the party line.

James Duddridge MP meets Martin Berry 10 February 2020

Our Secretary, Martin Berry, finally met James Duddridge after many weeks of waiting for a suitable date when the MP was available. The hope was that Mr Duddridge might support FFTP's campaign to build council homes on public land, to help reduce the 1500 families currently on Southend's housing waiting list. Sadly Mr Duddridge does not support FFTP's aims.This week Hanna Wheatley, Senior Researcher at New Economics Foundation, issued a report highlighting the true scandal of housing policy in the UK. FFTP will be using facts from this report in our campaign work, but take this point for starters: 'While the government has sold enough public land for developers to build 131,000 homes, only 2.6% of those homes will be council homes'.

Posted by Fossetts For The People on Friday, February 21, 2020

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