CROYDON COMMENTARY: Not everyone is convinced by planning chair Paul Scott’s reasoning for his develop-at-all-costs approach. Among them is GEORGE WRIGHT
I have just read Councillor Paul Scott’s justifications on why he can ignore public opinion. It hasn’t done my blood pressure much good.
His arguments might have a little validity if the direction he is heading the council towards met with his autocratic methods, but that is not the case. The stock response of “well, we are providing ‘affordable housing’ for local residents”, does not wash from a council who want who want to banish homeless men and women from Queen’s Gardens, in an outbreak of social cleansing.
None of the high-density developments being imposed on Croydon cater for much more than one-third of local people, under the rubric of “affordable housing”. The remainder seems to be for rich people who can’t quite manage central London prices, but who want a good view.
If we examine what “affordable housing” means in pounds and pence terms, The Bureau For Investigative Journalism provided the following data less than three years ago (May 2015) , and there hasn’t been an economic renaissance since then: “The average UK wage is £2,200 a month, and ‘affordable’ rent in London (definition 80 per cent of market value) is £2,400 a month.” The Future For London Policy Network found that tenants in ‘affordable’ rented property were living in greater poverty than those living in social rented accommodation.
There is a crying need for council and housing association developments to help the very people Councillor Scott describes.
So can we have a genuine debate – and not disingenuous waffle – about really meeting housing need? Are there any Croydon councillors out there who could do this job, without sending delegations off to Cannes on the rates?
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