The General election 2017

Following the news of the General election to be held on 8th June 2017, we will be commenting on the various policies that will emerge from the various political parties. We do not as it were, take sides in electoral contests but will critique and evaluate policy proposals.

HCR (waiting list) does not reflect housing need – says Cornwall Council!

A further note on the misleading nature of the HCR!

Cornwall Council, Housing and Environment Policy Advisory Committee, 19 January 2017, Strategic Housing Review

Qualification for an allocation
– the current policy allows access to the register and allocation of social housing to a wide range of residents; there are very few applicants precluded from joining the register. This means that the Housing Register is large for a population of Cornwall’s size and does not accurately reflect housing need (those applicants that fall into a reasonable preference category). For example, 50% of applicants on the register are in band E. With a current register of approx. 18,500 applicants…

We have critiqued the HCR on several occasions, highlighting its flaws including the production of misleading data and pointing out that it provided developers and thier allies with figures that unsurprisingly supported thier contention that we ‘needed to build more houses’!

The Cornwall Council waiting list or not?

The number of households on the ‘waiting list’ more correctly referred to as the Home Choice Register (HCR), is often used as an excuse to support high housing targets. We say excuse as there is some confusion as to what the HCR numbers actually mean.

Rather than thinking of the HCR as the number of people waiting for a house, it is better to think of it mainly as a transfer list. In other words for most people on the HCR it indicates a desire to transfer from one property to another. Thats right, most people on the HCR are already living in a property. The reasons for wanting to move vary, including- a desire to move to a larger/smaller property; issues with facilities; problems with paying the rent or mortgage; in danger of losing the property. When these people move their existing property becomes available for someone else. We do not need to build a new property for them. A small number, we estimate about 20% probably need a new property, although the figure could be lower.

So if a candidate says we need more housing to accommodate those on the ‘waiting list’/HCR, it is incorrect!

What to ask council candidates

Candidates for the forthcoming council elections are already roaming the land, dropping leaflets through letter boxes in an effort to get elected.

The ‘A Charter for Cornwall’ group is working hard to find out what candidates think about the housing issue with the option of signing up to the four pledges.

https://www.charterforcornwall.com/

If you meet a candidate you can ask if they support the Charter, if not why not.

You may be told that we need more houses, because:

There are lots of people on the waiting list,
More houses mean lower house prices;
It will create more jobs;
What about future generations?;
It will be good for the economy;
There is plenty of space for new houses.

and others!

Over the next few days we will be looking at these assertions and rebutting them. Keep the answers on hand, you may need them!

Making your vote count – what do Cornwall council candidates think about housing?

The Charter for Cornwall campaign is attempting to provide details of candidates’ attitudes to an excessive housing target, social rented housing, second ‘homes’ and the devolution of planning, so that people can make some informed choices when they vote. But there’s little response, If knowledge is power then we’re stuffed.

It’s easy for candidates to click on a button and sign up to the four pledges and many have. However, to decide who to vote for we need more convincing evidence. Can they convince us they are serious about the issues of developer-led growth, genuine affordability, second homes and planning in Cornwall?

In addition to signing up to the Charter, do candidates mention these issues in their election leaflets? We need your help in monitoring this. Here’s a checklist to look for. Does the candidate explicitly mention

the excessive housing target

housing for social rent

second homes

devolution of planning

If they do, what do they say about them? Or are they silent on these issues? Let us know.

You can email us at charter4cornwall@gmail.com or send a message via the contact/support page. (Don’t forget to tell us the name and ward of the candidate). Or you can upload photos of leaflets to election leaflets.org and we can access them there. We will then add the information to the ward pages. .

Knowledge is power! Only you can help us increase our knowledge and help return the best councillors.

What a surprise!!! Roads very busy!

It’s not a particularly good Friday on the roads – the A30 is at a standstill around the Bodmin roadworks and there’s a fallen tree near Chiverton Cross.

Sheer volume of traffic appears to be to blame on the A30 westbound between the junctions with the A395 and the A389 Bodmin North.

Highways England say there are currently delays of around 20 minutes against expected traffic – although their predictions are usually to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Here’s the traffic map at 10.50, showing some severe congestion around Zelah

Read more at http://www.cornwalllive.com/a30-at-a-standstill-due-to-bodmin-roadworks-congestion-and-fallen-tree-at-chiverton-cross/story-30271036-detail/story.html#RiY012z12t5qUJAy.99

Thats a surprise – traffic held up due to sheer volume of traffic!

Time for a rethink on car travel!

[Oh and dualling the A30 will not sort the problem -it will just go somewhere else. Think of hold-ups on the A30 as a means of slowing the flow and allowing other roads to deal with the traffic over a longer period of time!]

Easter traffic madness again – when will we learn? [Probably never]

Across the UK, 20 million cars are expected to take to the roads this weekend, making it the busiest of 2017 so far. Helped by glorious sunshine last weekend, hundreds of thousands are expected to visit Cornwall for the Easter break.

At Temple where a section of the A30 is being dualled, work had to continue to meet the July 13 deadline for the project to be finished, the Highways Agency said.

There remains one lane open in each direction and a 40mph speed limit with average speed cameras through the roadworks area.

You can expect long queues at peak times at the start of the roadworks before Jamaica Inn heading westbound – particularly on Thursday evening – and at Bodmin if you’re travelling eastbound – which is likely to be at its worst from Monday late morning onwards.

It’s also likely to be busy between Carland Cross and Chiverton Cross, where the A30 goes into a single lane each way past Truro, and again from Crowlas through to Long Rock, just outside Penzance, at peak times.

Around Trago Mills in the Glynn Valley in Cornwall, 4.75 miles of roadworks have been suspended, so drivers no longer have to follow the long diversion westbound, which took them off towards Lostwithiel and forced a local pub to close.

However, at Carkeel roundabout near Saltash, the roadworks continue and there are narrow lanes and open excavations adjacent to the road.

Read more at http://www.cornwalllive.com/travelling-to-cornwall-for-the-easter-bank-holiday-weekend-here-s-everything-you-need-to-know/story-30268506-detail/story.html#VCCeVh7JutLDIAb3.99

Comment
Every year we get the same headlines about traffic building up as everyone it seems gets into their car and travels to Cornwall. This year there are lots of road ‘improvements’ resulting in traffic hold ups.

Doubtless, there are those who will assert that once this set of road ‘improvements’ are complete all will be well. But it wont be. Why you might ask?

1) With more housing and other development, background traffic levels will increase. The perception that it will be easier to travel by car will result in more traffic as the level of induced traffic increases.

While we continue to accept, indeed encourage car use the problem will not go away. Never mind, we are just destroying our environment so it does not matter!