Wide screen devices may view this page better by clicking here

14 July 2021

Facebook   Twitter

Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

We need councillors who will end housing crisis - vote TUSC in Staines on 22 July

Paul Couchman campaigning, photo Nick Chaffey

Paul Couchman campaigning, photo Nick Chaffey   (Click to enlarge)

Paul Couchman, TUSC candidate in Staines ward

I am standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in the Staines ward by-election for Spelthorne Council.

Spelthorne has over 2,500 families on its housing waiting list. Many of these are living in poor, cramped and unfit conditions, desperately waiting - often for years - for the offer of a space to call home.

A report by Get Surrey showed that a family would need combined earnings of well over 100,000 a year to get a mortgage on the average house in the borough. How many local residents earn anywhere near that amount?

There is a whole generation of young families in Spelthorne who cannot afford to live here. Only 300 new homes have been built each year since 2016, and very few of these have been 'affordable' - 12.3% in 2016, 3.1% in 2017, and only 1.9% in 2018.

And what do they mean by 'affordable'? The government's definition is no more than 80% of the average local market rent.

The council is talking about its 'Spelthorne Plan' - which consists of a few high-rise blocks of more posh apartments. The Greens are actually demanding that the council builds fewer homes, after they did a deal with the Lib Dems on the council. The 'Independents' (ex-Tory and ex-Ukip) are just complaining about the skyline - ie 'not in my backyard'.

No one on the council, apart from two independent Labour councillors, is talking about what is really needed - a mass programme of publicly owned council house building, and a cap on the rents charged by private landlords.

When I was growing up, we always had somewhere safe and secure to live - a council house. They weren't always well maintained by local councils, but mostly lovingly looked after by residents.

These were the first steps into independence for most young families. These have nearly all now been sold or turned over to housing associations - in Spelthorne to A2 Dominion.

Spelthorne Council has the power and the resources to build hundreds of good-quality, environmentally sustainable, carbon-neutral, family homes. The work should be done in-house with quality controls, taking on local builders and apprentices on trade union terms and rates of pay.

There are masses of brownfield sites and ex-office blocks which could be turned over to council housing. The Socialist Party says that it's only the political will of the current councillors that is missing. We need the voice of the working class to be heard in the council chamber.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 14 July 2021:


NHS: Kick out the privatisers - Fight for a 15% Pay rise

Scrap the privatising health and care bill

Tories threaten to axe free prescriptions for older workers


We cannot trust this government over Covid: Fight for a new workers' party

Trade unions must continue the fight for Covid safety


Pride is protest - Build a mass movement for LGBTQ+ liberation and socialism

LGBTQ+ workers' charter

Workplace news

Dagenham school workers strike against 'fire and rehire' pay cuts

St Mungo's strikers end 12-week strike

Telecoms workers angry at CWU deal with BT

GKN Birmingham workers rally against plant closure

Brush workers into eighth week of strike

Workplace round-up


New wave of radicalisation in Latin America

Putting the Olympic gravy train ahead of public health

Kazakhstan: Solidarity with protesters attacked by regime forces


Keep the Universal Credit uplift

Defend the triple lock - Fight to end poverty pensions

Wealth chasm widens

Right-wing study concludes youth like socialism


Youth Fight for Jobs is back

We need councillors who will end housing crisis - vote TUSC in Staines on 22 July

Stop Pimlico gentrification

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Everyone can spot Socialist Party in Stoke

Socialist Party meetings say: We're ready to go out and campaign

Readers' opinion

England football team

Farewell Leicester Square - the story of Britain's first black bus driver

Readers' comments


Home   |   The Socialist 14 July 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleNottingham: Punish Labour for cruel cuts

trianglePreparing for no-cuts People's Budgets

triangleEaling by-election: Labour council has not opposed Tory cuts

triangleTower Hamlets Labour backs Tory cuts

triangleTUSC calls for local 'People's Budget' campaigns


triangleSocialism on the rise

triangleHelp fund the fightback: sponsor my marathon

triangleStaines fire services saved

triangleSurrey FBU pass no confidence motion


triangleSouth West London Socialist Party: After the protests, what way forward for Cuba?

trianglePandora property speculators fuel housing crisis

triangleLondon tenants v greedy contractors


triangleTV review - Grenfell: The Untold Story

triangleLiverpool: Stop the arms fair!


triangleMarch to save Stratford arts jobs from Newham Labour attacks


triangleTruth about Zane: Cover-up Tories crack

Article dated 14 July 2021

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party


Pay in Fighting Fund

Pay in paper and book sales


Bulk book orders

New member submission


triangle17 Oct Socialist Party in Education: Public zoom meeting

triangle18 Oct Leeds Socialist Party: Afghanistan

triangle19 Oct Caerphilly and RCT Socialist Party: How the Socialist Party campaigns


The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party

What we think


Workplace news


Youth Fight for Jobs

Winter of Discontent

Campaigns news

Readers' opinion

Subscribespacer|spacerebook / Kindlespacer|spacerPDF versionspacer|spacerText / Printspacer|spacer1151 onlinespacer|spacerBack issuesspacer|spacer Audio files

Marching in Cardiff on Saturday 9 October

Marching in Cardiff on Saturday 9 October, during a day of action called by Youth Fight For Jobs.

What We Stand For
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Platform setting: =

Desktop version