Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Victims of Social Cleansing to be dumped in Merthyr.

Both Valleys Mam and Jac O' the North  news  in the Guardian that Local authorities in London are preparing to send thousands of homeless families to live in temporary homes outside the capital, in defiance of ministerial demands that people should continue to be housed locally. 

Guardian research shows London councils have acquired rental properties in Luton, Northampton, Broxbourne, Gravesend, Dartford, Slough, Windsor, Margate, Hastings, Epping Forest, Thurrock and Basildon, and are considering accommodation as far away as Manchester, Hull, Derby, Nottingham, Birmingham and Merthyr Tydfil in south Wales.

They say rising rents in London coupled with the introduction next April of stringent benefit caps leave them in an impossible position, with no option but to initiate an outflow of poorer families from the capital by placing homeless households in cheaper areas, often many miles from their home borough. Draft guidance issued by ministers in May says councils must "as far as is reasonably practicable" offer accommodation for homeless families within the borough

The Guardian point out that 

Although it had been anticipated that affordable private rents in expensive inner city areas such as Westminster would be scarce, the acute housing shortage in the capital means market rents outstrip benefit cap levels in cheaper outer London boroughs including Haringey, Waltham Forest, and Barking and Dagenham.
Families have already begun to move from inner London to outer boroughs, with more expected from this month as transitional support for families affected by the housing benefit caps runs out. The government had hoped the housing benefit reforms would force landlords to reduce rents to within cap limits.
But councils say the demand for private rented property from tenants priced out of the housing market means most landlords see no reason to drop rents, and a substantial number say they will no longer consider renting to people who are claiming housing benefit.
  Guardian 4th November 2012

Whilst we can sympathise with these London Boroughs who themselves are victims of  the "Social Cleansing "of the affluent boroughs like Westminster, due to the Con/ Lib Dem policy  it is ridiculous to suggest sending people to Merthyr one of the poorest parts of the UK will solve any problems for as the Guardian reported only last year
If you happen to be unemployed and live in Merthyr Tydfil, you face the worst chances of finding work locally in Britain. That's one of the findings of an interesting set of job statistics published by GMB, a general workers' union, at its annual congress earlier this week.
GMB has pulled data from the Office for National Statistics, taking the number of live unfilled vacancies notified to Jobcentre Plus offices and setting it against the total number of jobseeker's allowance claimants for each area. So in Merthyr Tydfil, the GMB calculates there is a ratio of 32.7 claimants for every live unfilled vacancy
Guardian   8 June 201

So there's no work for those living there and sending even more unemployed people to Merthyr Even if these boroughs pay their benefits will hardly be a boost.

The argument will be that these boroughs still be responsible for these people who are dumped outside . But for how long ? Will they provide for the next generation if they are still living in Merthyr when they seek accommodation outside of of the family ?

The real danger here if it carries out that people will blaim those dispossessed people, forced to move to Merthyr and other area and not those responsible for the policy.

Huw Lewis Merthyr Am and  Wales' housing, regeneration and heritage minister said: "

This is exactly what we have been warning of in terms of the impact the of the UK Government's savage cuts to housing and other benefits."Local authorities do not possess the details of which local area a housing benefit claimant has come from."However, I am very concerned about the potential for a significant increase in the movement of homeless households into Wales as a result of placement by English local authorities who are no longer able to afford to house them in London and parts of the south East due to higher rents and that UK government's housing benefit cap."We are already in the midst of hugely challenging times in terms of meeting the housing need of Welsh people and this will only be exacerbated if local authorities in England are being forced to send people out of area in order to meet the UK government's new regime. I will be commissioning an urgent review to identify the scale of the problem that we could be facing."

What he can do to prevent this is doubtful and of course he has a problem that the AM from a Welsh Government that has failed Merthyr since the formation of the Welsh Assembly may be reluctant to point out that their constituency is such a economic blackspot that sending even more unemployed there is ridiculous.

As I said we must fight these proposals on the grounds that Merthyr has enough socio economics problems but we must not use rhetoric that attacks the poors sods who will be thwe victims of this Social Cleansing and direct our anger at those responsible the Coalition Government who started it.

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