Agenda item

Notice of Administration Business

(time limit 30 minutes)

Motion 1

Battling Oldham’s Housing Crisis

Councillor Taylor to MOVE
Councillor Goodwin  to SECOND

 

Too many Oldhamers are struggling to afford to keep a roof over their head. Too many Oldhamers live in substandard or overcrowded housing.

 

There are currently over seven-and-a-half-thousand families on Oldham’s Social Housing Register, with almost eleven thousand applications still being processed. Many of these families have been fruitlessly bidding on properties to no avail through no fault of their own. 

 

The failure of the housing market is driving some Oldham families to crisis. There are currently 470 households in Temporary Accommodation (TA), the longest being in TA for over 3 years, as they require a 5-bedroom property, and the supply simply does not meet the demand. This number has doubled since the same month in 2021 when it stood at 233 Households. 

 

In addition, the Local Housing Allowance rates have not been properly reviewed since 2011, despite recent Labour analysis showing that private sector rents have risen by £168 a month in the last two years alone. Therefore, the very safety net that is intended to ensure people can afford decent housing is failing them.

 

This Council notes:

  • That Oldham is in a Housing Crisis.
  • Oldham Council has an ambitious Housing Strategy, but we are struggling to cope with the sheer volume of demand.
  • That poor quality, insecure and expensive housing can often lead to families in Oldham falling into avoidable crises.

·         The Conservative Government’s failure on housing over the least 13 years, with homelessness continuing to rise and home-ownership falling.

  • Comparatively, under the last Labour Government, 2 million homes were built, 1 million more households became homeowners and there was the largest social housing investment in a generation.

 

This Council further notes

  • The cost-of-living crisis has exacerbated this situation, meaning that more Oldhamers are now struggling to afford housing costs (both rental and buying).
  • Under this Government, the number of new social rented homes has fallen by over 80%. Consequently, there are now more than 30,000 fewer social rented homes built each year.
  • The Council has a moral obligation to ensure Oldhamers do not live in substandard housing. We are committed to working with our partners in the social housing sector and, where possible, private landlords to ensure Oldhamers have decent homes to live in.

 

This Council resolves:

  • To instruct the Deputy Chief Executive (Place) & the Assistant Chief Executive to bring together key partners in Oldham’s housing sector – social housing, private rented and owner-occupiers, stakeholders from the Voluntary, Community, Faith & Social Enterprise sector, and relevant Council Officers and Cabinet Members at Oldham’s Housing Summit at the earliest opportunity.
  • To recommit to our Housing Strategy and affirm our ambition that every Oldhamer should live in decent and affordable homes.
  • To write to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities seeking far-reaching action to tackle the housing crisis.

 

This Council further resolves to call on the Government to:

  • End rough sleeping within a Parliament and tackle the root causes of homelessness, including insufficient Local Housing Allowance Rates.
  • Finally implement the promised ban on Section 21 ‘No Fault’ Evictions to give private rented tenants the security they need.
  • Back first-time buyers on ordinary incomes with discounted homes and give priority to local people on new homes built in their area.

 

 

Motion 2

Permitted Development

Councillor Steve Bashforth to MOVE
Councillor McLaren to SECOND

 

In 2015, the Coalition Government introduced a Statutory Instrument, The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, which removed the need for planning permission for certain developments, including but not limited to the erection of communications infrastructure, including masts and telegraph poles.

In doing this, the government removed the ability of Local Authorities to have any say over significant developments within their boundaries, restricting residents from having their concerns and voices heard.

We have seen the impact of this here in Oldham, with many residents angry that large wooden poles have been erected outside their homes with little warning, streets cluttered with large grey cabinets and masts appearing without residents’ input.

 

This Council notes:

That elected members across the council support ambitions to make Gigabit broadband internet available nationwide.

·         That elected members are concerned about the removal of local voices from the planning process across the country, due to changes introduced by the Coalition Government in 2015.

o   These changes have led, in many cases, to residents feeling they have no control over their local neighbourhoods and town centres.

·         The changes in planning controls have been used to cut costs for companies providing broadband infrastructure, utilising wooden telegraph poles and large masts to carry cables above ground rather than below ground.

·         That these poles and masts are an undesirable addition to street clutter and in many cases cause inconvenience to householders and to visually impaired pedestrians, with some positioned in wholly inappropriate locations or erected in clusters near the same property.

 

This Council resolves to:

·         Instruct the Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and request that the 2015 Statutory Instrument (SI) be amended to ensure that operators who choose to erect telegraph poles and masts to deliver gigabit broadband would require planning permission and full consultation with local stakeholders.

·         Ask that the Chief Executive also write to our borough’s 3 Members of Parliament to support local residents in overturning the 2015 Statutory Instrument

Supporting documents: