A Conservative Councillor in Westminster has said the Council should stop poor people trying to ‘cling to Westminster by their fingernails’ and that they there is nothing wrong with low income residents being moved to Great Yarmouth because it is ‘a nice place’.
At a meeting of the Health Scrutiny Committee Councillor Gwyneth Hampson told Councillors that she couldn’t understand why the ‘Guardian’ was getting cross about Westminster sending people to places like Great Yarmouth. People “were clinging to Westminster by their fingernails” and would be better off elsewhere, she argued.
The Committee was discussing the most recent draft of the ‘Healthier City, Healthier Lives: enabling all people in Westminster to enjoy a healthier city and a healthier life’ (Westminster’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2013-2016). On page 18-19 it sets out the first workstream: Improving health and wellbeing through greater integration of housing, health and social care which focuses on the impacts of overcrowding and poor housing on health and wellbeing. One of the recommendations is;
“Restricting the development of affordable housing in areas which already have a high percentage of social tenants. This will prevent social polarisation caused by ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ parts of the city by encouraging integration of social and market tenure housing Westminster wide.”
Labour Councillor Adam Hug said;
“Unsurprisingly there is nothing about a reciprocal goal of promoting the development of affordable housing in areas which currently have a low percentage of social tenants. The current Conservative proposal to tackle the housing impact on health and wellbeing seems to be to restrict the amount of affordable housing. How is increasing the availability of good quality affordable housing supposed to damage the wellbeing of people in overcrowded or unsuitable accommodation who might be able to move to such new housing? Clearly the Conservative position is that the Council should be getting rid of low income residents for their own good”