Not a thing of beauty, but Lucy Faithfull House in Oxford has been a home for the homeless for many years. Now the City Council is demolishing it to build private housing. Half the new housing is to be “affordable”. Odd, though, that ‘affordable’ so often means anything but, or never materialises. The homeless are to be dispersed to “a number of sites across Oxford.”
Green Councillor David Thomas protests:
“It is simply outrageous to suggest that Lucy Faithfull House is not needed. We have seen a quadrupling of rough sleeping numbers in Oxford since 2010; three times the increase seen elsewhere. … Riverside, the previous operators, were very happy to continue to operate the building as a homeless shelter. … What they need is better support services and a warm and safe space to sleep at night.”
Oxford needs more accommodation – but for ALL its people.
West Oxfordshire District Council elections are on 3 May 2018. Many people think they are registered to vote and are not. Check it out. Voting is not compulsory, but it’s ever so easy and surprisingly satisfying.
Avoid being turned away at the polling booth by registering to vote on 3 May and all future elections. Just go to http://www.westoxon.gov.uk/register# and do it online. The deadline for new registrations is Tuesday 17 April.
The message is that even a single Green councilor makes a real difference to the performance of a council. Our Jonathan Bartley says:
“One more Labour or Tory councillor won’t make a difference. But one Green could change everything.”
Try voting Green on 3 May and see.
Our co-leader makes a decent Brexit point: people voted against something rather than for something – and are only now beginning to appreciate the consequences of voting in ignorance. Mind you, are people generally well informed when they vote? Many people are now bored witless by Brexit and are in no mood to wish they had known more before the referendum.
There are signs that our passionate MP is trying the patience of the Commons. Yesterday’s debate on secure tenancies saw him praising the right to buy scheme and exhorting councils to build more council houses. Not much point, he was told (far too gently), if tenants can buy their council houses after just three years. On house prices, he seemed to baffle everyone:
“In somewhere like West Oxfordshire, land value and prices are at the heart of the affordability issue.
Got it in one, Robert, got it in one.
Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group(OCCG) has plans to close all nine of Oxfordshire’s Community Hospitals. The plans were originally released in the papers for its meeting on 29 September. Discussions with people in the know indicate that these are firm proposals and likely to ahead. The proposal discusses replacing the nine hospitals with a vague and untested idea of 4 hubs to focus on rehabilitation. These would be located at the Horton, the John Radcliffe, and two more somewhere in West and North Oxfordshire. The underlying context is the requirement on the OCCG to find £200 million savings by 2020-21. To meet that goal there will have to be massive cuts at every level.
The UK spends about 30% less on Health Care than comparable European countries. This enormous shortfall has been created as part of the austerity project which has shifted tens of billions of pounds from the general population to the very rich. The Green Party proposes to add £20 billion to the NHS budget over the next four years which will do away with the need for any cuts. The Conservatives are driving them and large-scale privatisation. The Labour Party created the structure for privatisation and has committed itself to maintaining the current level of funding, which would mean enormous cuts. Jeremy Corbyn has supported the Green Party Bill to end privatisation, but is backed by only a few of his MPs. The Lib Dems have begun discussion of increased taxation to do away with a good deal of the cuts. We hope they adopt that policy.
At this time only a vote for the Greens is a vote to save our Community Hospitals, our GP surgeries and the rest of our struggling Oxfordshire NHS.
A large vote for Larry Sanders would be a political bombshell and would make people aware of what is at stake. An awakened populace would save the NHS, Social Care and create a fairer Britain.