On Friday, Chobham Common in Surrey burst into flames, with fire spreading over 140 hectares of countryside. Residents were evacuated from their homes and roads were closed. The fire reached Wentworth Golf Club. This heatwave has brought record high temperatures to Italy and Spain. Southern France and California are ablaze.
2020 is squaring up to be the hottest year ever recorded in the UK, and whilst temperatures of 35ºC and over have been seen in other years for one or two days, it is unprecedented that they continue as they are doing right now, over several days.
Climate breakdown has…
For a Green Recovery, we need attractive well-remunerated jobs in the caring sector, in the retrofit of homes, in agriculture and in nature restoration.
What Covid19 has taught us is that a lot of unpleasant unrewarding jobs are unnecessary. It has shown us who the true heroes are! It has also shown us that we are not resilient to food supply shocks. We need to become much more self-sufficient, importing 20% not 50% of our food in the UK.
We need to restore nature and our soils and that means organic agriculture, agriforestry, permaculture; those sort of approaches. …
The climate emergency has not gone away. The Coronavirus emergency is now heaped up on top of it. To survive both, we must create resilience against the virus with real mitigatory effect on the climate crisis. Five things should happen urgently:
1. A Universal Basic Income. The UK Government’s measures of the 20th March 2020 to protect businesses, leaves vulnerable the self-employed, zero-hours contractors, low-paid workers and those on benefits. It provides 80% of the normal pay packet to workers, up to a maximum of £30,000 per employee per annum, if they are ‘furloughed’ from work. This is grossly unfair…
Do we really need to build 300,000 homes in the UK per year, as the government is pushing us to to do?
I have been working with Oxfordshire Green Party to establish the true situation with housing in the UK — (which I have written about extensively on Medium, previously).
We have uncovered six pernicious myths about housing, and six imperatives to resolve the crisis.
South Oxfordshire District Council is one of 5 that makes up Oxfordshire. It is pushing through an undemocratic Growth Plan, for the building of 30,000 homes by 2034.
It has chosen to ignore the National Planning Policy Framework which shows South Oxfordshire needs only 10,000 homes, and instead to push for economic growth in terms of sales of homes to non-residents: investors from overseas, second-homers, new London commuters.
The vote takes place in 2 parts, tonight, 5 working days before Christmas, at Council Cabinet, and on Thursday, 3 working days before Christmas, at full Council.
The public are permitted to…
Oxfordshire is groaning under the weight of new housing, and the indignities of having developments thrust upon it. Until recently, strong planning laws and fully funded local governance protected our greenbelt, our Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, our special places of high biodiversity and abundance of wildlife. Homelessness, precarious housing arrangements and food banks were things of the past.
Now, our sacrosanct areas are being sliced up and parcelled out for the profit of landowners and developers. Soul-less estates spatter over our landscape and our citizens are robbed of their basic amenities: clean air and abundant water, and easy access…
Oxfordshire’s leaders — businessmen, landowners and our beleagured councils — have signed a ‘deal’ with the Government to build 6500 homes every year in Oxfordshire for 13 years. That’s 17 towns the size of Henley; more than one a year (4 Henley’s every 3 years).
As population growth in Oxfordshire, indeed in England and the UK, is slowing, there will not be enough households to fill these homes. They must instead be bought as ‘buy-to-leave’ by investors, creating 13 ghost towns the size of Henley in what was our rural county. One a year.
67,000 HOMES TO BE BUILT AND LEFT EMPTY
Mismatch of population size with house-building
Oxfordshire is attempting to build 100,000 homes over 20 years from 2011–2031 following a Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) which allows for economic growth over and above natural growth. This strategy would house 250,000 new people, a 40% increase in the population of Oxfordshire from its 2011 level of 650,000, bringing it to 900,000.
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) make regular projections of population, based on recent trends in births, deaths and migration. …
Dominic Raab, Housing Minister rejoices that Oxfordshire is planning 100,000 homes “well in excess” of the number that it needs.
“Well in excess” indeed! That number of homes would push Oxfordshire’s population up to 900,000. But such a number is not likely. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) projects a far smaller population, which would be accommodated with the building of 33,000 homes.
Thus, 67,000 homes would be built and left empty. That is some ghost town! Bigger than the size of Oxford.
170,000 PEOPLE WILL BE MISSING FROM OXFORDSHIRE HOMES
Mismatch of population size with house-building
Oxfordshire is attempting to build 100,000 homes over 20 years from 2011–2031 following a Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) which allows for economic growth over and above natural growth.
This strategy would house 250,000 new people, a 40% increase in the population of Oxfordshire, bringing it to 900,000.
The actual population of Oxfordshire in 2031, is likely to be 730,000 according to the latest estimates of current and future population from the Office of National Statistics (ONS, county-level data for 2014, adjusted by 2016 national data).
For a Sustainable Future