Affordable Housing, Not Environmental Destruction!

April 28, 2021

The Friends of Sheepwash Local Nature Reserve recently contacted Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate for Oldbury Richard Gingell about plans to redevelop part of the site adjacent to a hazardous waste lagoon containing white phosphorus. What follows is an edited version of Richard’s response:

Once you look at a map it becomes immediately obvious that the Oldbury ward is densely populated. Sheepwash and the land the other side of the canal sits as a bastion of beauty in a town filled to bursting point. Funnily enough the council HQ is in our ward, complete with one of the biggest car parks I’ve ever seen situated about 50 meters to their north west, with a nice big dilapidated industrial estate another 10-20 meters further north which would have excellent transport links. Why are these not being developed? 

I’m not opposed to building quality housing for people to live in but this scheme is almost the punchline of some cruel joke. Destroying this vital space and ruining the lives of those around it would be a completely inappropriate course and make no mistake, I would oppose it vehemently.

The fact that the council is considering this, even after monumental opposition from the community really speaks to how broken our local politics has become. Workers have been left behind by our politicians, too busy furthering their own careers to stop and look at the trail of misery left in their wake, reducing us to nothing more than an expense on a balance sheet.TUSC stands for a mass programme of quality, affordable public housing to meet the crisis of homelessness and overcrowding we see in our communities today. There are many brownfield sites across Sandwell and the wider Black Country which could be used to achieve this.

The problem? They’re currently in the hands of large developers who want to “land bank” now in order to extract maximum profit later, often with public money funding the initial costs. We say it’s time for councils to use their powers to take over these sites to build for public need, not private greed!This is why I’m standing for TUSC. The other parties either have never cared for us. TUSC provides us with an alternative to let them know that we are not expenses, we are people, and we will be heard.

For anybody reading this: If you’re sick of our councils thinking nothing of our suffering, if you’re sick of companies treating us little more than cattle with fire and rehire schemes, if you’re sick of the already exorbitantly wealthy becoming wealthier while those around you endure crushing austerity, seemingly never able to do more than survive, join us. Vote TUSC. These are our communities and it’s time we took them back.

Come and find out more at the Black Country TUSC Public Zoom Meeting – 7pm Monday 3rd May

Meeting ID: 883 6533 2400 – click here to register in advance

This post promoted by Nick Hart at 59 Stanmore Road Birmingham B16 9SU on behalf of Sandwell and Dudley TUSC candidates and Joshua Allerton at 84 Blackburn Avenue Wolverhampton WV6 9LQ on behalf of himself.