Normally Wycombe Labour exposes the failures of the Tories in providing good quality services for residents, whether it is education, health, housing or police. But now the Tories are starting to expose their own failures.
Next week WDC Cabinet debates a motion put down by Labour Councillors proposing that
Wycombe take in some Syrian refugees. Councillor Julia Langley, the Cabinet member for
housing, signed off a paper to Cabinet explaining why this would be a problem.
Councillor Rafiq Raja, Labour Leader on WDC said, “I could spend a long time explaining why
the policies of this Government and the policies of WDC have led to the present housing
crisis in Wycombe. However, I don’t need to do this; the Tories have made a good stab at
doing it for me.
Councillor Langley says WDC has no housing stock. That’s correct. WDC sold all its council
housing – about 6000 house - for a cut down price to Red Kite 4 years ago.
She says WDC can only place 50 homeless families into social housing a year. That’s correct.
That’s what WDC negotiated with Red Kite when it sold all the houses.
She says the London boroughs are placing their homeless in Wycombe. That’s correct.
Even families on good incomes are struggling to live in London and poorer London families
are being pushed out, many when they become homeless.
She says there is a shortage of private rented accommodation. That is correct. When 20%
of workers in Wycombe are earning less than the living wage they are going to find it difficult
to buy a home and demand to rent is soaring.
She says there is a rise of applicants seeking assistance. That is correct. Families are
struggling on low wages, reduced benefits and social services in crisis.
And this, Councillor Langley says, has led to 1500 households in housing need, 70 families in
temporary accommodation, an increase in homelessness and WDC’s housing service under
Well how can I disagree with that analysis?
The difference between Labour and the Tories is that we will not accept that that is how it
We will not accept that Wycombe is a place where workers earn low wages and struggle to
survive on benefits. We will not accept that families are dependent on foodbanks and have
nowhere decent to live.
We believe Councils should own, manage and build social housing and every family and child should have enough to eat and have a safe, warm home.
And we believe, as we shall argue at the Cabinet meeting next week, that Wycombe, even in a crisis, has the generosity, the creativity and humanity to take in some of the people of Syria who are dying in their own lands and in Europe.”