Rupert Murdock’s Boardroom

A couple of weeks back I was invited along to a roundtable being held by Forster Communications and United-for all ages. The theme was Housing for all Ages and the event was one of a series of roundtable discussions as they look to produce a sort on manifesto for intergenerational housing in England.

The event was supported by News International in that they were kind enough to let the event be held in their Docklands headquarters on the 13th Floor overlooking St. Katharine’s dock and possibly one of the best views out over London I have ever seen, the discussion was not bad either!

The 4 key themes were:

Are older and younger people’s expectations of a home unrealistic?

Should older people share their homes or pensions with younger family members?

How do we get younger people housed and keep older people secure?

Are too many people living alone when they could benefit from communal living?

The room was a mixture of experts in the various fields of housing from Shelter to Property developers and I suppose I was invited along because it was hoped I could add a little something about the actual practical planning progress through a planning authority and how the demand side of things affect planning authorities core strategies or not as the case may be.

What did come out loud and clear was real problem that the absolutely proven need to build more houses seems to be swamped in a sea of concerns that will result in an ever lowering of build numbers and an ever increasing risk to people of all ages from having to live in poor overcrowded accommodation.

A couple of weeks ago Nick Boyles MP said that he considered our lack of house building to be the biggest social injustice of our time, he is absolutely right. Housing is at the route of so many precursors to using expensive health, care and social services and the cost of not providing suitable housing for a whole lost generation is immense, not to mention hugh pressure of our NHS.

We must start building more houses, usually something everyone can agree on, just as long as you obviously understand that means somewhere else, not near them!

For my part I talked about the challenges of a two tier area where at the County Council level we are responsibility for planning for our aging society and yet the District and Borough grant the planning permissions and often their focus is not on what the demographics are telling us. I also spoke of our Suffolk Flexicare strategy to address this and of our next Conference we are planning, two years on from its launch, at Newmarket Race Course on 5th June – The Suffolk Housing with Care Conference 2013: A move to Helpful Housing: creating choices in independent housing with Care – a conference I hope will report on progress, address the challenges ahead and how we deliver the programme I’ll be annoucning shortly.

My thanks to Stephen Burke for asking me along and I really look forward to the publishing of the report and I’ll post a link here on my blog when it’s out.

About askcolinnoble
I'm a Conservative politician-lite, I dabble a bit in Party Politics with my main focus of working hard and being a strong voice for my community making sure local government delivers quality services and fellow residents get value for money for their hard earned money they pay in Council tax | Where this Gravatar appears and I am expressing my views or liking something I do so in a personal capacity and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Suffolk County Council, Forest Heath District Council, the Conservative Party or come to think of it anyone else | But having said the above at an election time and to stay legal anything I write is promoted by Kerry Buist on behalf of Colin Noble, both at West Suffolk Conservative Association, Unit 8, Swan Lane Business Park, Exning, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7FN

One Response to Rupert Murdock’s Boardroom

  1. It is a problem. Most people should probably supply their own housing but fewer people are able to, these days. Personally when I’m old, I’d like to live with a few other people, preferably not anyone who throws their faeces on the wall but otherwise I’m easy. Why do we all have to have a quarter acre each?

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