Income & Employment deprivation are the two largest factors affecting Central and Northern Folkestone and pockets on Romney Marsh according to Shepway District Council. The rates for both stood at 22.5% in 2015 (latest figures available). These factors feed into the Housing Crisis; which according to the latest English Housing Survey 15-16 figures show the owner – occupation rate in England fell to 63% in 2015/16 – that compares to a peak of 71% in 2003 and takes the rates back to levels last seen when Baroness Thatcher was Prime Minister.
What is even more scary is that these figures conceal an even bigger decline for younger families. Outright ownership is still rising as ownership is still on the rise due to pensioners paying off their mortgages, but the rate of mortgaged ownership has fallen from 43% in the very early 90’s to 29% in 15/16.
In 1990 it was commonplace for those under 35 to be buying their own home, but they look increasingly like one very very lucky generation. The decline is now moving up the age range: latest figures show that 15/16 was the first year that home ownership rate fell in every single age group below retirement age.
In Shepway, Cllr Monk (pictured), who in March 2018 will go off to pimp Otterpool Park in Cannes, and Shepway District Council through their Local Plan wish to build 26, 292 new homes, which Cllr Monk has stated will be for our “children and grandchildren”. Cllr Monk is one of those Conservatives who believe that owning your own home is a fundamental part of being a Conservative. If a whole generation or more cannot afford to do that what will be the political consequences for him and his party?
The social and economic consequences of the decline of home ownership is very serious. Going back ten years 1 million more families are now bringing up their children in insecure private rented accommodation. Looking ahead, fewer pensioners will have paid off their mortgages and many will still be paying high rents and potential dependent on housing benefit.
The former Chancellor George “I’ve got six jobs” Osborne poured tens of billions into Help to Buy. However, it seems that is has had little or no impact at all except boost house prices beyond the reach of those under retirement age and housebuilder share prices.
How Cllr Monk will increase home ownership for those in Folkestone East, Harvey Ward and on Romney Marsh, when as leader of SDC, he along with the council produced and stated:
According to the 2015 figures, locations within Folkestone East,Harvey Central (Cllr Monk’s Ward), Harbour, are amongst the 10% most deprived neighbourhoods in the country. Locations within Folkestone Park and Foord are amongst the 20% most deprived neighbourhoods in the country.
Authority_Monitoring_Report_2015 (page 12)
And the fact that for seven years out of ten the number of houses built in Shepway never met the Core strategy target. Meaning 786 fewer homes have been built does not inspire confidence in Cllr Monk abilities to get houses built.
Even if these houses were to have been built the younger generation could not have afforded to buy them according to the latest English Housing Survey 15/16 figures.
So Cllr Monk and his Conservative led Council pledge that they are thinking of our children and our grandchildren looks very hollow at the present moment. Cannes they fix it locally? Probably not and the only winners will be the developers and the housebuilders share price. C’est toujours la meme histoire.
So when Cllr Monk goes of to Cannes in March 2018, will he be peddling foul deeds to investors and speculators, as the jobs and the money to buy the houses he and SDC wish to build simply aren’t here. We’ll Leave you to decide that.