A letter from former STUC chair Eileen George in the Swindon Advertiser
YOUR headline ‘Local links to help tackle housing list’ (July 1) is totally misleading. The facts are these: Swindon Borough Council owns 10,500 housing units, most of which are already tenanted. The housing waiting list is as you state 9,923 families. Coun Renard is quite correct to say that this measure will make little difference. It is obvious that only the construction of new council housing can remedy this situation.
This is a meaningless announcement, a panic reaction to recent disastrous election results. If New Labour is really worried that they have lost the traditional working class vote, they need to take serious concrete action to address the concerns of this group, which would mean allowing councils to build new council housing, and ceasing to pressure councils to sell off existing stock.
Trying to create a false division between so-called ‘local applicants’ and others is merely a disgraceful attempt to divert attention from the fact that New Labour has since 1997 continued Tory housing policies in relation to council housing, and is now seeking to evade blame for what is a national housing disaster.