Conservative Lack of Compassion – Will They Ever Be Ashamed?
The Conservative – Liberal Democrat coalition Government whose whole economic and social policy depends on dividing people and communities between ‘those who have and those who have not’ are being increasingly revealed as not only do they not care but worse they don’t want to understand or care about what the impact of their callous and failing policies are having on hard-working people across the whole of the UK.
Their failing economic policies supported by increasing taxation for the lower and middle earners whilst “rewarding” those who are well off is not only socially divisive but increasingly is leading to a return of social deprivation the like off which we haven’t seen since the rationing days following the second world war.
No greater example of this is in the increased number of food banks that are now being established in our towns and communities which Phillip Hammond MP referred to in his own Constituency as being a great example of the Big Society in action!!
Unbelievable that a millionaire should refer to the return of families having to subject themselves to the indignity of asking for a food hand-out to feed their children as a success!
But what can you expect from the same man who sacked armed service personnel only days after they returned from active service.
It is those with a social conscience who set up and run, and those who donate to the food banks who should be applauded and it will be those and the families and friends of the people they are supporting through tough times who will decide if a Government whose polices have led to such a disgraceful situation are a success not the likes of Phillip Hammond, Nick Clegg or David Cameron.
Another impact of the failure of the coalition Conservative – Liberal Democrat and even a greater concern is the huge increase in homelessness that Local Authorities are faced with handling.
In August this year the very well-respected homelessness charity Crisis published data showing an increase of 70% in court orders to evict private tenants over the past two years and at the same time the Halifax showed that it cost £132 a month more to rent than to pay a mortgage.
Except of course people can’t afford to get on the housing mortgage ladder.
The result is an increase in homelessness and rough sleeping, and if people think ‘ah well’ it’s a national problem and doesn’t affect us, and more importantly for the people and tax payers of Northampton when the Conservatives on the Borough Council hold their hands up and say “we’re doing everything we can” as the Leader of the Council said earlier this year, don’t believe them.
The Borough Council Conservative administration has been as guilty of being complicit and working with the Coalition Government just as the Liberal Democrats in Westminster have.
In February this year the issue of rising homelessness and rough sleeping was raised by Labour in the pre-budget scrutiny where the Conservatives proposed, without consultation to cut the homelessness budget by £100,000 which they claimed was possible by allocating 30 council owned homes to temporarily house those families who through no fault of their own find themselves without a home.
They didn’t listen, a now all too familiar style of the current leadership, but the facts speak for themselves.
In April there was 42 families in temporary homelessness accommodation of who 31 families were in Bed and Breakfast for just under 6 weeks, by the end of August the number had risen to 57 families in temporary accommodation with a huge increase of 52%, 47 families in Bed and Breakfast for an average of 6 weeks and the number of council homes being used, 30 as promised – no chance it is 9
For those who are reading this blog I should explain that 57 isn’t everyone who applies for homelessness help, the definition of ‘homelessness in need’ where the Borough Council has a statutory duty to provide a home being those with young children or where a woman in pregnant.
If the rise in family homelessness isn’t bad enough in itself, during the same period the hard-working and really fantastically committed homelessness team at the Borough Council have had to deal with 82 cases of young people between the ages of 16 and 24, of who 17 were 16 and 17 year olds, and of course there will have been some people in a desperate situation who will not have met the definition of ‘homeless and in need’.
Is there any wonder the number of rough sleepers in Northampton has increased from 4 to 15 in the last year?
This week at the Conservative Conference we will no doubt be treated to speech after speech talking about this being the modern Compassionate Conservatives who have moved on from being the ‘nasty party’ but we now know both nationally and locally that they have chosen to govern not by consent but by division, fear, patronage and power of position.
The Conservatives in Northampton instead of addressing the issue of homelessness, rough sleeping and young people without a permanent roof over their heads which will blight them not only now but for the rest of their lives instead prefer as “their priority, their Conservative priority” to spend over £54,000 on trying to persuade people in areas where they are Councillors to vote for a Parish Council and tax increase of which amazingly only £1800 has been on printing information to let the people know what it means of they vote Yes.
It is a Conservative Borough Council administration that has already spent or committed over £400,000 of a £2 million budget on persuading the towns Council Tenants to vote Yes to transferring to a Housing Association and an immediate huge increase in their rents, and what did many of the Conservative Borough Councillors who are leading this do?
Unbelievably on the same day that they told everyone they had frozen their councillor allowances they put their hand up and voted to increase their allowances by £2,000.
This in the same week that they announced their would have to be cuts to front line services to the vulnerable and elderly and that redundancies would have to take place across Northampton and the County.
How crass and incompetent, they couldn’t even manage how to give themselves a £40 a week pay rise without looking exactly what they are, self-serving, self-interest, uncaring and greedy hypocrites.
If ever there was an example that Conservatives in Northampton as at the national level in Westminster operated on a basis of there being ‘one rule for them, another for us’ this was it.
The saddest thing of all is that there are Conservative Councillors who privately tell me that they aren’t happy with what is happening.
How their views are not only ignored but worse that they aren’t allowed to have a view but know that in keeping quiet and allowing it to happen are being complicit in the actions of those who will eventually after ensuring their own self-interest abandon Northampton.
Will anyone in the Conservatives speak up?
I doubt it because of their fear of retribution and a nasty retribution at that.
Which is why it is and will continue to be Northampton Labour who will be Listening to Northampton and challenging the Conservatives in both the Borough and County Councils and who as we did in campaigning to bring back the St Crispin’s Fair, increase neighbourhood wardens and park rangers, fight against the switching off of streetlights and ensuring Northampton was prioritized for new lights and fighting the cuts to PCSO’s who are the real voice of Northampton.
It is why I firmly believe that only Labour can bring people and communities together putting people before political dogma and why we will be challenging the uncaring and incompetent Conservative administration at both local and national level to reverse their divisive, failing and uncaring policies on housing and homelessness.
and it is because the Conservatives will never care or be ashamed that it is Labour, who promise we will not abandon people or the community.