Swindon
Socialist Unity

Our Policies

Tackling the Housing Crisis

 

No more growth of Swindon

Council housing

No to NHS privatisation

For publicly owned subsidised busses and trains

 

 

More than 6,000 Swindon families are the Council House waiting list. This crisis – mirrored on the national level – is the result of the Tory policy of ‘the right to buy’ Council Housing and their subsequent ban on the building of new Council Houses. Instead of returning to Labour’s post war policy of Council House building, New Labour has maintained Tory policy, and sought to privatise all Council Housing. Council tenants around the country have resisted the sell-off of their housing to private owners, and won many ballots despite the unequal resources for campaigning. In Swindon the ‘Options Survey’ conducted by the Council on the future of Council Housing stock, showed more than 80% of tenants in favour of maintaining Council Housing. Swindon Socialist Alliance participated in the Defend Council Housing Campaign set up by Swindon Trades Union Council, which campaigned against the sell off of stock. We believe tenants and trades unions have to be on their guard against any future attempt to sell off housing stock.

 

In Swindon, as elsewhere, many people simply cannot afford to buy a house. The private sector now produces small units which are grossly over-priced – witness the two bedroom houses on the New College site, which cost more than £100,000. Yet the government maintains its ban on Council house building. We believe the only realistic way to tackle the housing crisis is to give Councils the right to build Council housing once again. More than 250 MPs have signed an early day motion demanding that the government allow the ‘fourth option’ of building new Council housing. You can read or download a copy of the latest Newsletter on the ‘fourth option’ at:

 

http://www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk/dch/resources/DCHBroadSheetJan2005.pdf

 

See the Defend Council Housing Campaign web site at: www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk/dch/ 

 

Whilst the government talks a great deal about choice, it has sought to deny tenants the right to stay with Councils and to build new housing.

 

Socialist Alliance candidate Andy Newman says:

 

“The best way to tackle the housing crisis would be a new round of Council House building. The national campaign involving tenants organisations and the trades unions, for the ‘fourth option’, is challenging New Labour’s housing agenda. We need to elect an MP who will campaign for the right to build council housing once again. Michael Wills will not be such an MP.”