Today (Thursday 26th) the Chair of the London and Eastern Region of Unite Jim Kelly will be in Cambridge to campaign for the re-election of General Secretary Len McCluskey.
Housing in Cambridge is in crisis. Yet the government is determined to make it worse with the ‘Right-to-buy 2’, meaning Cambridge City Council being forced to sell up to 25% of its council housing. We need action now!
We call on the UK Treasury, the Department for Local Government and Communities and the Prime Minister to:
Stop the passage of the Housing Bill and the damage it will do to the City Councils Housing Stock potentially forcing them to sell 25% of all such housing as it becomes vacant, with monies compensating ‘Housing Associations’ sold properties.
Allow Cambridge City Council to borrow against their Council Housing Stock of an estimated £1.4 Billion to build new council housing needed to accommodate those on middle and low incomes.
Join us Marching for Affordable and Social Housing in Cambridge
We will be marching from Regents Terrace, Parkers Piece at 11.30am on Saturday the 14th of November to the Guildhall in defence of Council Housing and demanding the council be allowed to borrow against their council housing stock in invest in much needed new Council Housing.
Supported by: Cambridge City City Council Labour Group.
Cambridgeshire Unite Community said,
“The use of firearms against members of the public in our community is shocking. We completely condemn this shooting and though we understand the IPCC are investigating we shall be calling for complete transparency as to what really happened. Knowing people in the Campaign Against Police Violence who have seen the death of people like Charles de Menezes at Stockwell Tube who was shot and the death of Sean Rigg in a South London Police cell, this is a disgraceful act with a Cambridgeshire citizen dying from a police firearm. It is a disgrace to the Cambridgeshire Constabulary. Graham Bright the PCC, the chief constable must also condemn this action and take disciplinary measures against those who authorised the use of a gun and the officer who shot the man dead. This is state murder and must be treated in law as such.”
Unite Cambridge Community ran the Solidarity picnic which made £125 for the Cambridge Calais Refugee Action Network
Letting agents in Cambridge are ripping off tenants charging massive fees for tenancy agreements. These include extras for more than one person, meaning couples or families pay more for the same house. Fees for getting a guarantor (these are required for those on low wages who are suffering from preposterous rents), fees to extend an existing contract. And same of the worst charge for letters, phone calls and even texts. One agent even charges ex-tenants for getting overpaid rent returned! We believe this is disgraceful and will be demonstrating outside Haart on Mill Road from 12.30pm on Saturday 1st of August. This is the start of our campaign.
Around 40 people made it on Saturday (23r May) to demonstrate against Belvoir after having sent their tenants an email prior to the general election threatening them if they voted Labour with ‘Homelessness‘!
Members and supporters were also protesting against the obscene agent fees and Belvoir’s policy of encouraging by-to let investors to buy up houses and rent out individual rooms at excessive prices, one room in Chesterton they are currently advertising for is £795 for a room in a house share!
Newly elected MP Daniel Zeicher did not manage to make the demo as he had a prior commitment but sent the demo his best wishes and the following statement was read on his behalf,
“Cambridge is a city where nearly half the residents rent their homes, which is not surprising when the average terraced house now costs a staggering £445,000.
As MP housing is one of my top priorities and I will be working closely with Cambridge City Council which is building council homes, press for more and fight ill-thought out Conservative plans to sell off housing association stock.
I was deeply shocked when during the election campaign Belvoir lettings emailed tenants to say Labour’s policies would be “extremely detrimental”, when our policies are designed to stand up for people renting their homes by guaranteeing longer term tenancies with predictable rents and banning rip-off letting agent fees on tenants.
People renting in Cambridge who want a place to call home can be assured that they have an MP who is on their side.”
Thanks to Charlotte Bence and Richard Allday from Unite London and Eastern for supporting us also.
The housing crisis in Cambridge is out of all control. Private rents rocket as incomes fall in real terms. With 7,000 people on the councils housing waiting list getting a secure council home is a dream for many people on low and medium incomes. Meanwhile Cambridge has become a byword for an unsustainable housing bubble, the £413,383 average cost to buy a house in Cambridge is 17.5 times the average wage in the city. For all but the wealthiest or thrifty this is something most simply can never conceive of.
Unite Cambridge Community Union is part of a national network of groups that form part of the Unite trade union. We are a campaigning organisation, which believes in solidarity and direct action:
Pay, Working Conditions, Incomes, Housing, Health, Benefits, Education and Legal Services are all under attack.
We are fighting back and offer active support to people in low-paid jobs, volunteers, interns, apprentices, people who have problems with their employers, or their landlords, or who are facing eviction, or are having problems obtaining the benefits they are entitled to receive.
Organising and activism are at the centre of strong communities, which is why Unite’s community membership provides a way people can find and use their political voice. Whether it is taking a stand against a service closure or coming together to fight low-pay, zero hours contracts, rent increases, evictions or improving our environment, as a community member, Unite will be on your side.
Find us on Facebook: Unite Cambridge Community branch
Unite’s Community Union Membership is open to all not in permanent full-time employment.
The Community Union exists to bring the benefit of trade union membership to people who are not in permanent full-time paid employment. These include, legal support, debt counselling, welfare benefit entitlement check. Free personal accident cover.
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