1 Sep 2006

‘Housing We Can Afford’

Greenspeak is an excellent green politics forum monthly in Brighton, went and spoke to them with Miriam Kennet of the Green Economics Institute in June. Very stimulating and fun.

More local green parties and green groups should be doing this to raise the level of our thinking.

‘Housing We Can Afford’
Tuesday 12th September 2006

7.15 for 7.30pm start £Free - Donations welcome.
>> Please note venue change for one month only <<
At The Enigma, 12 Ship St, Brighton

Bill Randall - Green Party City Councillor for Brighton & Hove and housing campaigner
David Rodgers - Chief Executive of Cooperative Development Society

This month, with the cost of owning a home beyond the reach of most, with rent often eating half our wages, we ask: is there any way out of this mess?

We hear about pressures on interest rates and buoyancy in the housing market, next to reports on alarming levels of personal and mortgage debt. We rarely hear anyone talking about a way forward.

How do we secure housing we can afford, for us and for our children?

Co-organiser Martin Grimshaw said “Housing is as big as climate change in it’s impact on our lives. Our sky high rent and mortgages, together with rising council tax and utility bills, affects everything from the quality of our lives to the price of toothpaste or haircuts, to the rate of bankruptcies, evictions and repossessions, which are rising alarmingly.”

Greenspeak is a series of free talks and debates, organised in association with the Brighton & Hove Green Party, tackling the ethical topics of the day and delivered by experts in the field.

Meanwhile Greenspeak is back at Terraces Bar & Grill, Marine Parade for Tue 10th October to consider: ‘Madness In A Nuclear World – Britain’s Illegal Weapons of Mass Destruction’, with Keith Taylor, Co-Principal Spokesperson for the Green Party and Brighton & Hove representative to the UN International Association of Peace Messenger Cities (IAPMC) + speakers tbc

Café Scientifique returns on Tue 17th Oct @ Terraces Bar & Grill – ‘Send In The Idiots’ with Kamran Nazeer, who was diagnosed as autistic when he was a child. He recounts his own experiences and challenges orthodox views of the condition and what it means to be autistic. See www.cafescientifique.org for future events.

See you there?

Kat & Martin
PS National Green Party Conference comes to Hove Town Hall 21-24 September. Open to the public with panel & fringe sessions with prominent speakers and films: info at www.greenparty.org.uk/nextconference

If you don’t want to receive any more of these flyers, sorry - please just reply with 'remove me from your list'

If you want to know more:

1. Greenspeak is a monthly Brighton event, searching for solutions to the big topical issues, organised in association with Brighton & Hove Green Party. Sociable and non-smoking with drinks available. For more information see www.greenspeak-brighton.org.uk and www.brightonandhovegreenparty.org.uk
2. Bankruptcy, eviction, debt:

There have been numerous articles in the press over recent months. For example see Times Online article 4 August 06 : http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,16849-2299242,00.html, In2Perspective articles 4/8/06 http://www.in2perspective.com/nr/2006/08/uk-bankruptcies-hit-record-high.jsp and 12/7/06 http://www.in2perspective.com/nr/2006/07/unemployment-soars-to-six-year-high.jsp – personal insolvencies in the Courts have risen almost 70% nationally compared to the same period in 2005 and Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) for people unable to pay their debts has risen over 150% over the previous year, personal debt is over £1 trillion, repossessions are more than 20% up over the previous year. Business insolvency is following a similar pattern.

Meanwhile, unemployment continues to rise and is now at a 6 year high, with an 11% rise over the previous year.

Unofficial confirmation has been gained from Brighton County Court, where bankruptcy has risen dramatically over the last year or so. It was noted anecdotally that the number of younger people becoming insolvent has been striking.

3. See Greenleaf article by Bill Randall, Summer 2006: ‘City Housing Crisis – Greens Work To Find Solutions’ http://www.brightonandhovegreenparty.org.uk/publications/greenleaf/gl28.pdf
Highlights proposals to hand over Patcham Court Farm to a not-for-profit Community Land Trust, to build more sustainable affordable housing.

4. For more on the work of the Cooperative Development Society, see: http://www.cds.coop

5. Related topics:
To learn more about Community Land Trusts, see: http://www.communitylandtrust.salford.ac.uk
To learn more about the campaign for a ‘4th option’ in the transfer of council held housing stock, see http://www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk Brighton & Hove, like all other authorities, is being compelled by the government to hand over it’s stock. The public consultation is going on currently.

6. For Green Party policy on housing see http://policy.greenparty.org.uk/mfss/housing.html

Greenspeak Contacts:
Martin Grimshaw 01273 329 573 / 07891 571739
Kat Neeser 07958 964810
email: martin@greenspeak-brighton.org.uk

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