250 council tenants, councillors and trade union delegates from 59 local authorities joined housing professionals, academics and MPs
attending the DCH national conference at TUC Congress House in London on March 12, 2010. If you attended please let us know what you thought of the event.
and quotes from platform speakers below. We are hoping to transcribe as many of the speakers as possible when we can...
Austin Mitchell MP, chair, House of Commons Council Housing group
opened the conference.
Government says it has housing at its heart, he said, but
"it needs a heart transplant, to move the heart nearer to the brain".
Linda McNeill, chair of the Leeds Federation of Tenants, said:
"we mustn't tolerate any watering down of our security of tenure, nor stand idly by and watch our homes demolished in the
name of regeneration."
Jack Dromey, deputy general secretary of trade union UNITE , backed the Manifesto call for a mass programme of council
housing building. He said:
"the best way to build our way out of recession is to build council houses."
Frank Dobson MP attacked housing associations and councils who sell off housing. In his own area Camden council is
selling at auction homes he bought up, as Council leader.
Alan Rickman, Winchester Tenants and Council Together, told conference:
"now is not the time to let this government or any future government off the hook" on council housing.
Simon Hughes MP (Lib Dem)
promised that his party would put
"a significant amount of public money into building and repairing homes"
Cllr Deborah Edwards, Lead member for Housing, Reading council said:
"We need to keep our own council housing and we need the money for it."
Eileen Short, DCH chair:
"Support for council housing is growing and broadening, as the conference showed. We have forced government to shift policy. Now
we will step up the campaigns against privatisation and demand that any politician who wants our votes pledges in writing their
support for our Manifesto."
See also reports of DCH conferences in:
Prof. Peter Ambrose:
"Discovering the True Meaning of Affordable Housing"
"Rebuilding a Tenants Movement" and
"Defend Security of Tenure"
Dr. Stuart Hodkinson:
"Council Housing Regeneration and the Private Finance Initiative: an overview"
Steve Partridge, housing finance expert:
HRA Reform Finance Workshop
David Gibson, moonlight robbery campaign:
Deborah Garvie, SHELTER:
The New Homes We Need
Paul O'Brien, APSE:
Attendees came from the following local authority areas:
Corporation of London
Hammersmith & Fulham
Kensington & Chelsea
Rhondda Cynon Taf
In the afternoon, delegates split into six workshops.
Deborah Garvie, from SHELTER, Paul O'Brien from the Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE), and
Cllr Deborah Edwards, Lead Member for Housing from Reading council, discussed the 'New Homes We Need'.
Paul Burnham, a tenant involved in Haringey DCH, and John McLoughlin, from Tower Hamlets UNISON,
led off a discussion on the 'Future of ALMOs'
John Marais, Cambridge tenant and Dave Kelleway, a tenant from the recent successful South Cambs Against Transfer
campaign, put the case against stock transfer
Tenant campaigners Pat Rowe from Taunton and Mick Patrick from Harlow introduced 'Effective United
John Grayson from Sheffield Hallam University, and Leeds Tenants Federation, talked about the
independent tenants movement and defending security of tenure.
Steve Hack, Lambeth tenant, and Stuart Hodkinson, from the University of Leeds, put the case against PFI