Tag Archives: Peter Allen

Greens Oppose Threats To Council Tenants

Derbyshire Green Party has added its voice to the criticism that has met David Cameron’s proposal to end security of tenure for council house tenants.

“Following the cuts, this is another attack on ordinary people by the ConDem Government,” said Peter Allen, the Green Party’s candidate in High Peak in the last election. “I recognise that there is a shortage of affordable housing and rentable accommodation across Derbyshire, but this proposal will do nothing to increase supply.”

Figures produced by the housing charity ‘Shelter’ show that there are over 4,000 on the council house waiting list in High Peak. In 2009 only 500 families were housed from this list. The Green Party has called for more resources to be put in to renovation and conversion of existing properties as an affordable alternative to new-build.

Peter Allen explained that the Greens do not oppose new housing where their environmental impact is acceptable, but pointed out that there are often alternatives.

“Figures produced by the Empty Homes Agency show that there are 16,000 homes standing empty in Derbyshire, largely owned by private landlords. Nearly 800 of these are in High Peak. These can be made available for occupation at relatively little cost. We urge Councils to use the powers they have to bring these properties in to occupation. If the Government was really serious about doing something about the housing crisis, it would direct resources at Councils Re-homing Officers, enabling to quickly negotiate these empty properties in to occupation”

Notes

Shelter is the UK leading charity campaigning for the homeless
http://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_issues/waiting_lists#content

The Empty Homes Agency is a charity who’s aim is to bring empty residential property in to occupation
http://www.emptyhomes.com/index.html

High Peak and Derbyshire Dales share an Empty Housing Officer, who is Laura Kirk, appointed in 2007.
http://www.highpeak.gov.uk/news/press/2007mar1094.asp

For more information on Green Party policy on housing contact: Peter Allen, peter.allen@derbyshiregreenparty.org.uk

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Greens Condemn Academies Policy

Derbyshire Green Party is encouraging parents to find out if their children’s school faces the switch to academy status. Peter Allen, the candidate for High Peak in the last election, said,

“We know that 13 schools in Derbyshire have so far expressed an interest, we fear that many more will be pushed to do so for fear of losing funding.”

Caroline Lucas, Party leader and Brighton MP, described the Bill as an attack on both local democracy and comprehensive education.

“Today, with this bill’s passage, is a bad day for democracy and for education. This was legislation that was rushed through Parliament, without proper consultation. We should be improving the quality of every local school for all children, rather than accelerating Labour’s programme of academies to deepen divisions between schools.”

She tried unsuccessfully to amend the Bill in Parliament to ensure that parents and the local community retained a strong voice on governing bodies.

The Act will come in to force next week, with both schools and Parliament in their summer recess. By the time they return, all schools will have the right to opt out of Local Authority control and accept funding from private sponsors. These sponsors, who need have no experience in education, will dominate the governing body of the school, establish staff and pupil recruitment policy, and be able to influence the school curriculum. Peter Allen said that this Act heralded the effective privatization of education.

“The ConDem Government is slavishly following an American model that does not deliver higher standards than the present UK system.  I urge parents to find out if their children’s schools are affected and to question the school Governors carefully about this policy. I fear that it is a smokescreen for deep cuts in educational funding.”

The following schools in Derbyshire have expressed an interest in
becoming Academies:

Arboretum Primary, Derby
Markeaton Primary School, Derby
West Park School, Derby
Woodlands School, Derby
Alfreton Park Community Special School
Chapel-en-le-Frith High School
Duffield Meadows Primary School
Harpur Hill Primary, Buxton
John Port School
Mill Hill School
Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School
St Mary’s Catholic High School
The Park Schools Federation Infant and Nursery School

The following schools in Derbyshire are classed by OFSTED as outstanding and are entitled to become Academies, though we don’t know if they have
expressed an interest:

Chellaston Foundation School, Derby
Wren Park Primary School, Derby
Bradley C of E Primary School
The Long Eaton School
Kirk Hallam Community Technology & Sports College
The Ecclesbourne School
Croft Infant School