I AM becoming increasingly concerned by the current attitude towards social housing in some areas of government, at a time when economic conditions, particularly in the North West, mean it is needed more than ever.
Social housing has always provided a safety net for people in the greatest need, but it also gives people the choice to stay within their community, close to their family and social network, even if they have been priced out of the local housing market.
For decades, the vision and work of housing associations, supported and encouraged by a range of government policies, was to create mixed income communities by successfully integrating different housing types, sizes and tenures with good links to the surrounding area.
Communities have been created and fostered with a diverse mix of people – in age, race, religion, lifestyle and aspiration – and I believe they are stronger communities as a result. These are the communities which will succeed socially, economically and environmentally.
Recently, however, one London borough has announced it is considering introducing an allocation policy for new tenants, which will mean households which earn more than £40,200 a year will not be eligible to go on the housing register.
This policy, which I believe is a short-sighted one, must be resisted here.
While the cap may be £40,000 in London (less than the average national salary for a couple who are both working) it is likely to be significantly less in Lancashire.
We want to avoid creating whole communities of low income households, as we have witnessed over the years the problems this can cause.
I firmly believe that this policy will lead to concentrations of poverty and is a backward step.
The Regenda Housing Group
I AM writing to say how impressed I was at the new frontage to Abingdon Market, Blackpool.
What an improvement – very stylish.
The facelift seems to have invigorated the market inside. It was buzzing on Saturday.
Well done, Blackpool.
MRS M BROMWELL
I HAVE to thank you for introducing me to Senior Voice.
It’s only one of the many doors you have opened to a better outside life for me and lots of older people who thought they were forgotten.
I’ll give you one example. I’ve just been to a Jubilee party, which was organised by Senior Voice.
It was fantastic, with a talented young lady playing the piano and singing and she had us dancing to 50s music, plenty of food, and we were all singing together.
All the money in the world couldn’t compensate our joy and belonging.
So from me, well done The Gazette.
TEN thousand people say no to gas storage by Halite Energy, considerably more people oppose the actual fracking in these regions.
Geological surveys indicate that we are right on a ridge.
It is dangerous to tamper with.
For similar reasons, fracking has been stopped or suspended in the USA, Italy and in the Ukraine states.
C VICTOR DE-NAGY
JOHN Bailie, from Concerned Residents of Poulton, says we would be better to have more shops in Poulton, rather than let the existing Booths store become a health centre if Booths moves to a new location (Gazette, June 8).
Has he not noticed the numerous empty shops and charity shops already available in Poulton centre? A health centre in Poulton, as any local doctor would agree, is needed.
Concerned Residents of Poulton was responsible for the cancellation of the original scheme.
We need a health centre in Poulton, not more shops.
MR C J H WROE