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Dawn Tells Housing Chief – “Speak Up or Step Down”

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Bristol’s housing boss is facing calls for his resignation if he does not condemn the Government’s brutal attack on social housing. 

The budget for affordable homes was slashed by more than 50 per cent in yesterday’s Comprehensive Spending Review, while new Government measures have been put in place which will scrap secure tenancies, and could see hard-working families across Bristol battling to save their tenancies every ten years.  Rents for affordable homes will also sky-rocket, in plans which the Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation described as “a kick in the teeth to millions of people stuck on waiting lists.” 

Anthony Negus, the Council’s Executive Member for Housing, is on record as having opposed the Tory/Lib Dem Government’s policy.  At a meeting of the City Council on 7 September, he said: “The very day after a rather off the hip remark from the Prime Minister came out, I’m very, very pleased to say that Simon Hughes (Lib Dem Deputy Leader) immediately distanced himself from it, and I would certainly stand alongside him with that.” Now, Dawn Primarolo is calling for Cllr Negus to either back up his words with action, or step down from his post.

Commenting, Dawn said:

“Yet again Nick Clegg is letting the Tories call all the shots in this one-sided Government.  These proposals from the Government will see rents sky-rocket and could put young people in the position where they cannot move out of the family home, or their parents would be evicted.  These plans will mean that there’s no incentive for Council tenants to look for a better job as the Government will be snooping on them to check whether they are considered ‘worthy’ of social housing.

“Nobody’s surprised by the Tories’ agenda.  But people will be shocked by the Lib Dems willingness to go along with this brutal policy.  Cllr Negus was quite right to state his opposition to these changes in the Council, but now’s the time for action.  I have, therefore, sent him my petition on this issue, asking him to sign and encourage his colleagues to do so to.  That way, we can build a progressive alliance against these changes.  If he refuses, he’s not worthy of the huge responsibility he holds, and should resign from the Cabinet.”

Posted: 21 October 2010

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