Housing need exists

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Briefly before my main topic, to keep everyone ‘in the frame’, two responses to my meddling in local affairs, even though not a councillor.

1 Gentleman approaches me outside Clock Walk cafe: “Are you Mr Cosgrove? I enjoy your letters in the paper. Are you still for Bognor having its own council?” etc.

2. Result in OneBognor poll (www.onebognor.com): “You have a cheek to suggest this without any ...” (not completed) from somewhere in PO22.

Housing: Mr Partridge seems to favour control of population movement, which is nowhere contained in UK legislation, is pretty odious and accounts for why many people living in Jersey now feel second-class citizens where they were born as control resides in the hands of a wealthy incomer element and entrenched land-owning wealthy types.

How does he propose this be implemented?

People in this free country move to where they wish with no Tory uber-kommandants to regulate them, thank you.

So to Cllr Bower’s response to Cllr Nash. Roger may not have been ensconced in lala land with

Cllr Bower for eight years, but he has seen the housing supply situation and housing need worsen in that period.

Let me ask Cllr Bower, in 2003 a study commissioned by Arun projected a need to build 5,900 affordable homes by 2011.

I know he pooh-poohed this at the time (I recall he felt it was suspect because it was undertaken by a professional also used by Labour councils, he may have another memory of this).

But even so, can he tell us what number of affordable homes were actually completed in that period?

He may also recall his general response. I think it was there are empty homes in Wigan. This from the man now charged with ensuring a properly-housed Arun.

He claims housing need is determined by the size of the register, and we are to gather – yah boo sucks – that Tory Arun now decides how people will qualify, and that lots of nimby turkeys did not vote for Christmas.

Well, housing need exists well beyond the register, as does the need for affordable housing.

We know full well the register does not take in every case for an affordable home, nor is the housing register based on the measure used in that 2003 study. That was ‘forming households’. That means people living in this area who will be forming a household – marriage/partnership, moving from home, separation/divorce.

Of which, the study suggested a 25 per cent proportion would be in need of affordable housing, either to rent or buy. Hence the 5,900 projection.

That is the proper measure of affordable housing need.

Cllr Bower is not there to manage the housing waiting list. His job, for which he receives enhanced councillor allowances circa £13,500 a year (how many hours weekly for £258 pw?) is to ensure we have the proper supply of housing.

So if people want to work here, and they are also intending to form a household (you know, get a job, get married, have kids) they will need a house. Shimple.

You try, Cllr Bower, getting a job without a home.

Oh, I know this is the era of back to ‘on yer bike’ but it is a tad difficult commuting to start at 7.30am at Southern Cross Trading Estate from Wigan Wallgate.

The rail timetable suggests starting at 9.03pm with four changes arriving 7.20am. The bike journey seems equally challenging.

He doesn’t have a figure for what the housing waiting list will be after their fiddled qualification changes? He ‘fully expects’ it will be less than half the current 3,400? Doesn’t he know?

That is achieved, we are advised, by raising the residence qualification to five years. Well, why not go the whole nimby hog (how appropriate) and make it 20 years? Hey presto, no waiting list.

This is the mantra of the incompetent and unfitted. Like many rural areas now experience, we will see our own young quit the area as they find the door to a decent home slammed in their faces by this putrid manipulation of basic human need. Destestible thinking indeed.

What can we say to the turkey-nimbies? Nuts, probably, you selfish lot. Your homes are built on prime agricultural land and where it floods.

A national survey showed probably the most selfish, uncaring element are those who have a nice home, thank you very much.

They never respond when we say a decent home is the prerequisite for a decent education, health, life expectancy.

That’s why backwoods Tory politicians really shouldn’t be given control of deciding housing construction and development and why we will see housing need in Arun worsen until they are reigned in by a government that does care.

Councillor Bower not only supports Nimby (not in my back yard) but the BANANAs policy – Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody.

There is a housing crisis in Arun, and he is one reason why it will get worse.

Oh, of course, anticipating the ‘there are 6000 Poles here’ gibe which I met recently, they come here for work advertised in Poland for local Bognor employers. Those jobs rarely see local advertising, and those folk will form households, too.

They will not get on to the housing waiting list in large numbers. They may well, as part of the local workforce and given their wage levels, require affordable housing which they will tend to find by having to live overcrowded while their employers get their work done.

Jan Cosgrove

Longford Road,

Bognor Regis