Housing

How Labour should end austerity

Published on: Wed, 11/09/2019 - 07:31
Author

Chris Reynolds

Since 2010 austerity has ground down working-class living standards for the benefit of the ultra-rich. Life has been made meaner and more insecure.

Boris Johnson now says he will end austerity. But that is all a matter of previously-budgeted money being “recycled” and called expansion, and random promises to try to win a general election after which he will be free to do his right-wing worst for five years.

The NHS and social care have been squeezed so that waiting lists expand and A&E wait times explode. Hospitals routinely run at the upper limit of capacity, so that an epidemic, or an

Lambeth fight continues after budget vote

Published on: Wed, 20/02/2019 - 12:50
Author

Katy Dollar

On Wednesday 13 February, Lambeth Council voted through another cuts budget. The document included a line in a table cutting £500,000 from Children’s Services. Five children’s centres are to be closed, seven more will have their service provision cut, and staff across the borough will lose their jobs.

Outside the Town Hall, Labour members, trade unionists and families sung and chanted in protest. A deputation of mums addressed the Council meeting to explain how much the Centres mean and to propose an alternative. They distributed a counter-proposal, A Better Plan, written by the Lambeth

Universal Credit: still hurting

Published on: Wed, 16/01/2019 - 12:52
Author

Luke Hardy

This article is the final of five in a debate in Solidarity on Universal Credit between Luke Hardy and Will Sefton. See, in order: Luke Hardy's initial article (482); Will Sefton's first reply (486), Luke Hardy's reply to Will's first reply, i.e. Luke's second article (488); Will Sefton's second reply, a response the the previous article (489); and the article below - a final article by Luke Hardy (491).

Amber Rudd, the new Tory Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, has scrapped the plans to extend the two-child limit on Universal Credit for those with children born before April 2017. She

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 12/12/2018 - 12:28
Author

Ann Field and Ollie Moore

Station staff on London Underground’s Bakerloo Line South Group, which includes Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Charing Cross, Lambeth North, and Elephant and Castle, have voted by 88% for strikes against short-staffing. Tube union RMT has announced strikes for 26 December and 14 January.

RMT has also declared victory in the “battle of Baker Street”, after London Underground reinstated an unjustly sacked station worker, and trumped-up disciplinary charges against another were dropped. Tube bosses were forced to back down after 41 out of 61 workers balloted at the station voted for strikes

Labour and housing markets breed insecurity

Published on: Wed, 12/12/2018 - 10:41
Author

Peter Kenway

When the Minimum Wage was introduced, the bottom scale of local government pay was well above it. Now each time the Minimum Wage is increased, a couple of points at the bottom of the local government pay scales have to be removed because they’re now below that Minimum Wage.

One reason why the decline in local government services is not so noticeable is that there’s been a huge hit to the pay of what was always mostly a low-paid workforce. Productivity figures are usually dubious — on the standard measures, real estate is reckoned to have the highest labour productivity of any sector — but it

8,000 homes up for demolition

Published on: Wed, 31/10/2018 - 10:19
Author

Cathy Nugent

Under pressure from housing campaigns, in July London Mayor Sadiq Khan agreed that residents of estates threatened with demolition should have a democratic vote on the future of those estates.

However there is a lot of devil in the detail. The residents ballot requirement only applies to schemes that have GLA funding — although the GLA could have used its powers to ensure all estates under redevelopment could have a ballot.

On 3 November residents from 34 estates that are threatened with demolition, but fall outside the rules for ballots, will protest outside London City Hall.

The background

Protests against Serco attacks on Asylum seekers’ housing

Published on: Wed, 08/08/2018 - 10:55
Author

Ann Field

On the last Friday in July Serco emailed less than a dozen public authorities and NGOs in Glasgow to inform them that as of the following Monday it would be implementing a policy of changing the locks on the accommodation of asylum-seekers who had been refused asylum.

It is unlikely that the timing of the announcement was coincidental. The Scottish and UK Parliaments were both in recess, as too was Glasgow City Council.

At a rate of up to ten a week, 300 asylum-seekers – many of whom would be in the process of appealing but still awaiting written confirmation of this, or, alternatively, might

Expropriate the landowners!

Published on: Tue, 22/05/2018 - 20:03
Author

Editorial

The number of people sleeping rough in the UK is at a record high, after a 73 per cent rise in numbers over the last three years.

According to the latest snapshot analysis by UK local councils, there were 4,751 people sleeping rough on a given night in the autumn of last year. That represents a 169% increase on 2010 figures. In the course of last year 8,108 slept rough in London, a 121% increase on 2010 figures.

General homelessness has shot up. Just over 59,000 people were accepted as homeless by local councils in England last year. That figure is 19,000 higher than it was 2009-10. The vast

Celebrating wealth

Published on: Tue, 22/05/2018 - 19:46
Author

Chryssa Reimer-Canellakis

The past week has seen my perfectly reasonable, cool, and otherwise rock ‘n’ roll friends descend into a royal wedding frenzy not seen since … well, ever, really.

Somehow, Meghan Markle being divorced, mixed-race and from “a broken home” seems to have made it hip to celebrate this royal wedding in a way that Kate and Wills never was.

The fact that the guest list was studded by showbiz names simply seemed to prove the point. But is there really anything hip about watching a bunch of obscenely rich people all congregating under the same roof? Especially when there are thousands of homeless

Grenfell inquiry must expose truth

Published on: Tue, 22/05/2018 - 19:39
Author

Gemma Short

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry opened on Monday 21 May with tributes to those who died in the tragedy by their family and friends.

Families are being given as long as they want to tell the inquiry about those they lost, and many are choosing to use photos and videos as well as words. The first day of the inquiry heard tributes about Logan Gomes, a baby born still-born after the fire, as well as of Khadija Saye and her mother Mary Mendy, Denis Murphy, Joseph Daniels, and Mohamed Neda.
The inquiry, led by controversial retired Judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick, was announced by Theresa May the day after

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