This motion was passed at our General Meeting on 16 February 2017 - Westminster North CLP
From Westminster North CLP
This Constituency Labour Party (CLP) notes that:
a. According to 2011 census data reproduced by Westminster City Council, 43% of residents aged 65 or over live alone.
b. According to the charity Silver Line, nationwide just over one million people aged 65 or over say they are always, or often feel lonely, and five million people consider TV as their main form of company.
c. As stated by Westminster City Council's figures for 2012, migration to and from other parts of the UK resulted in a net loss of population in the borough chiefly among children aged between 0 and 14, and adults aged between 30 and 44.
d. Over an extended period, there has been a significant shift from residents having homes in social housing to residents renting privately, on unsecured tenure and at ever increasing full market rent.
e. Westminster City Council announced plans in December 2016 to use funds generated from the sale of its own properties to fund construction of 24 council homes in the London Borough of Hounslow. In January 2017 they announced plans to house residents needing temporary accommodation as far away as the Midlands leading to the Council's responsibility to house them locally being ended.
2. This CLP believes that families being wrenched from their communities and being forced to move elsewhere in order to find the space they require, or to be able to afford the cost of living, leads to isolation between generations and the undermining of stability in these communities.
3. This CLP continues to support the construction of good quality homes available at social rent, not only to enable multi-generational families to stay close to each other, reducing isolation and loneliness, but also as a means to reduce the subsidisation of and divert public funds away from the private rented sector via Housing Benefit payments.
4. This CLP continues to support the reinstatement of the Family Quota system to enable the children of local residents to live locally.
5. This CLP supports the Labour Party's opposition to deregulation of housing associations as contained in the Housing and Planning Act 2016. We condemn measures that will allow housing associations freedom from April 2017 to sell off and privatise their stock on a mass scale; and oppose any new measures that come into force from 6th April that would allow housing associations free rein to increase rents to market, or close to market, levels. We recognise that these measures would further destabilise communities in our borough.
6. This CLP resolves to campaign locally in Westminster for greater awareness of the connected issues of loneliness and lack of suitable, good quality affordable housing.
7. This CLP wholeheartedly applauds the launch of Jo Cox's 'Commission on Loneliness' which will bring much-needed attention to an issue which many who suffer have been reluctant to talk about.