Scilly Could Be Excluded From New Right To Buy Scheme

Recently-constructed social housing on Bryher

Recently-constructed housing association properties on Bryher

Scilly could be excluded from the government’s new ‘right-to-buy’ scheme, which will extend the sale of social homes to housing association tenants.

It was one of the first policy decisions announced by the new Conservative administration after the May elections.

Under the scheme, the money raised by the sell off would be used to build more new properties.

But Scilly’s MP Derek Thomas says the Prime Minister and Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, have “agreed in principle” that the islands won’t be included in the new legislation.

Derek says we “can’t just replace housing if it’s sold” and he says David Cameron recognised it was an issue here when he spoke to him during the signing of the Cornwall devolution agreement two weeks ago.

He says he’s keen to make sure that “something that works brilliantly in London doesn’t cause irreversible problems in Scilly.”

Derek says providing affordable housing on the islands is “a particularly challenging issue” because of the cost of building here. He feels that help to reduce the cost of freight could help.

And he says Local Authorities are being asked to look closely at the buildings they own that could be freed up for housing.

Derek believes this is “pertinent and timely” here in Scilly, especially with brownfield sites like the old secondary school that are ripe for development.

4 Responses to Scilly Could Be Excluded From New Right To Buy Scheme

  1. Ray Wornes July 31, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    Adam I hope your not disowning the private rented sector where rents are through the roof even on run down and damp properties that are part of a parasitic private housing industry of multiple property ownership where the tenants pay the ‘Buy to Let’ mortgage plus a profit to the owner when they should be buying a property themselves. That parasitic mainland industry should be totally shut down but this Gov’t won’t do it. I’m not a member of the other lot but I told them before the election that they didn’t have a clue. I sent an economics policy to them which was not used. I would like Ed Balls who lost his seat to spend some of his spare time writing a book about Osbourn’s micro – management of the economy since 2010 entitled ‘You can fool all of the English people all of the time’ That’s because the general public don’t have any knowledge of economics and just believe the Tory propaganda on the economy. If I remember correctly the growth rate this quarter was exactly the same as it was before the election in 2010 at 0.7% and that was straight after a massive Banking crash. If that’s true we’ve had 5 years of economic stagnation, austerity, sell offs, cuts, failures and deaths in the NHS all for nothing. Where has all that money gone from the billions of cuts? Now they are cutting back on their election promises.
    Public ownership of housing was the mainstay of our housing policy for the homeless since 1945 and the tenants had moderate rents and a decent property in which to live. On waste Adam the off islands didn’t have a filthy polluting incinerator pumping out toxic emissions over a school for nearly 40 years and you didn’t have the toxic Moorwell Alp polluting ground water and discouraging tourists. At least we can agree on this Council’s total failure and abdication of responsibility on Transport. In fact I’m sure we could agree on a lot and our only problem would be that we are looking at things from a different perspective. I couldn’t get elected to this Council because the Scilly Secret Society controls the majority vote. Otherwise I would have been on the Council from about 1990 something. Having to watch some of the Councillors who had nothing to say on anything was painful. The Waste Forum is totally undemocratic as all of the decisions are made before the Forum Meeting. The only influence I have had is with Gov’ts with my detailed plan for the new school (with a swimming pool and sports hall) and the transportation of a very high level of recyclables which made sense which this Council’s high cost co-mingled bag plan doesn’t. Dealing with the wood from palates should be a Moorwell breese. Why was the date changed on the Local Plan Scoping consultation after the finish date. That worries me. There must be major change taking place in the whole of politics in Britain before 2020 or Britain could be in terrible trouble. That just can’t happen with this Gov’t or the other lot in power unless there is a final awakening.

    • Mark Prebble July 31, 2015 at 5:15 pm

      Ray, the waste forum was set up to try and facilitate communication between various stakeholders, including community members, businesses, the Council and their consultants as a result of the original consultation involving SLR and their proposals to resculpt Moorwell courtesy of the DEFRA funding. The original terms of reference specifically excluded any decision making or official council policy making and instead attempted to recognise the value of a level of community consultation unheard of in recent Council history.

      The values and reality of meaningful participatory politics has yet to sink into mainstream thinking and IMO there is a long way to go before this Council fully understands the concept and takes it to heart. Only through people working together have these islands, their communities and elected representatives any hope of developing policies that will sustain future well being for those who follow in our footsteps.

  2. Ray Wornes July 30, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Derek Thomas. On selling off social housing Scilly is no different to anywhere else in Britain. Your Gov’t has all but destroyed social housing in Britain over the years.
    Have you considered the possibility that you may be leading this community into yet another big deficit this time on redevelopment of the old Sec. school and possibly bankrupting this Council? Is this in line with Gov’t policy? Once financially on its knees our Council will be forced to sell off valuable assets like the Airport and the old school site to the private sector and end any chance of those assets producing a regular income that could make this Council and its ratepayers financially secure. A big loss on the airport redevelopment, on the Porthcressa redevelopment and on demolishing the old Sec. school when they could all be vital sources of ongoing income for this Council in the future is not responsible management. There are many questions about the old school housing project that need in depth investigation before any decision is made. There are possible liabilities that this Council administration wouldn’t have highlighted such as the difficulty of building on that site – not suitable for the elderly – where will all the cars go and what will be the overall impact of the design etc.? A design possibly more in keeping with the centre of London than these islands. I’m concerned about the latest plans for waste disposal which appear over-priced and could discourage responsible waste processing. If we had kept to the original simple plan to export a very high percentage of our waste as recyclables, instead of this limiting, privatising, co-mingled bag, forced on the members of the Waste Forum, then the cost of mainland landfill with its massive landfill tax could have been kept to a minimum, we would also have had a return on our recyclables and if we hadn’t negotiated a 60% rise in boat charges per tonne of waste going to Penz, on an almost empty boat, then I could have had some confidence in the Officers’ management of this Council’s waste business. Then there is the Council’s total failure to represent this community to the Gov’t on our community’s transport needs which is unforgivable. Are some people on this Council upending every project this Council undertakes and delivering a sizeable loss on all of them? If this policy to do away with a polluting incinerator and ship recyclables to the mainland fails then I will be demanding that every island takes full responsibility for all of their own waste. St.Mary’s must not be the ‘Fall Guy’ ever again.

    • Adam Morton, St.Martins July 31, 2015 at 9:19 am

      Ray, although I am no Conservative supporter, I think your logic opitimises why no one voted for your lot! Retaining social housing might have reduced pressure on LAs to create housing but housing would still be required to house an increasing population! You are keen to push the benefits of public owned services and the evils of privatisation at the same time as pointing out how the very same public sector has lost vast sums of money on the projects you mention due to public sector inefficiency and incompetence!
      St.Marys the” fall guy”!!!? Sorry but how do you figure that one out? The off islands have been sorting their waste for decades now and as a result was probably the only waste that got processed ! Your island has 60% of the Councilors and about 70% of the population what’s your excuse? St.Marys has seen ALL the considerable investments over the past three years or so. Your population has access to all the better paid Council jobs, far longer seasons trading and twice as easy access to travel at half the cost. Not to mention 25% off freight costs! Sorry but £1200 will be coming out of ALL our council taxes to pay for the porthcressa overspend !
      I do however agree with you over the Councils failure to represent our transport needs.