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The Democratic Link

Land and Leisure

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Agriculture, Housing, Food Security & Immigration.

We should be taking the advantage of the technology we have, work less,  job share, have time for other people, not cut our military services, but employ personnel under the armed forces manner, to go out where there is a need to help make countries become better places, so people donít want to leave their homeland. People are moving to Europe to get a better life. Drought and conflict are creating this issue, but by moving to Europe, will make Europe unable to cope with the extra people : food & water will run out,  and services will collapse, then Europe will become the same as the African lands. We should look at making the continent of Africa a wonderful place it could be done.

 

May I invite you to visit my websites at www.campaign-for-change.co.uk there is a powerpoint presentation on housing and one on care & pensions, then go to  www.the-democratic-link.co.uk there is a menu which can be a template to start the debate. 

 

SOME FACTS

1- 69% of Britain is owned by less than1% of the population.

2 ĖA third of the uk is owned by the aristocracy.

3 Ė House prices rarely go up, it is the land they are built on that increases in value; the housing crisis is a land crisis.

4 Ė Over £3 billion of public money is given out every year in farming subsidies, most of this money goes to people who already have huge amounts of money, be it capital or property assets.

5 Ė Much of the £3 billion given out in farm subsidies does not go to producing food, but activities like racing and grouse shooting

6- It should not matter what or how much one owns, it's what you do with it that matters. Governments seem to value property then tax you on it. In order to allow more young people to get into farming we should encourage tenant farming, rents based on income not land values.

7 Ė As the UK comes out of the European Union, there should be more capital available to help our own food producers produce quality meats and dairy products, and health and well being of livestock should be of a high standard.

8- There are many working people earning £8/ £9 an hour then pay £5 an hour in rent or mortgage payments.

 

I have visited some of the new estates which are being built in the South East, and I can well understand why we are seeing an increase illness, self- harming and depression; there is no real open space or community feeling and people consider their neighbour with suspicion.

 

A lot of our broken society is because we are building what developers want to sell, and not what is needed. building contractor, not a developer.

● The average household debt is £13,900. If we had different ways to house ourselves this would not be the case; too much of one's income is going on rents or mortgages.

● We have a report that children can't play in the street as there are too many cars. The answer is to have a large area in the center of a development for open space and activities; we need to employ a developing contractor, not a developer who is out for their own gains,.

Interest rates have been kept deliberately low to keep the housing market vibrant and to keep raising values, thus conning the people that they are getting better off; what a con that is! If one is to save for older age, one needs a reasonable return, at least 6%. Once interest rates go up, repossessions will be rife, so who is holding the safety net? There should be a running track, an indoor cricket and football pitch on all new large developments for all ages to use.

● A self - sufficient garden for residents would be a health and well-being benefit to residents.

Every village should find a site for 15 / 20 low cost homes, this would revitalize village life and prevent villages becoming dormitories.

We are spending £24 billion a year on housing benefits and £34 billion a year on helping first time buyers to get on to the housing ladder. This capital could build all the houses we need by having a building contactor, and not a developer who is out for his own gains. Using the Community Land Trust as enclosed would answer many of the nation's problems.

At the same time we are paying £34 million a day net into the European Union; That money would be better spent at home for example, on transport, NHS, care and housing.

We are seeing technology replacing the need to employ people.

The transport system are trying to be fully automatic , Banks are heading that way, supermarkets are going self service, the managers won't be putting the prices down , instead the savings will go to the top managers to give themselves a bonus for saving the company money. Those savings should go into an unemployment pot, or still pay the staff who have been taken off the payroll. is this progress? The saving should be put by for those being put out of a job We should be creating cooperatives, where share holders and workers have equal invested interest, and profit sharing.

 

Let`s look at Education,

We have students going to university coming out with debt. We could save millions of pounds by having a practical school locally where one could be taught tradesmen's skills for different levels. Large sites could accommodate such a school and startup businesses should be included.

 

There should be less testing. Offer those age 14 a two year training course in the job they feel they have aptitude for and would like to do; then at 16 take a job with a company that can help them progress. Education can be there for anyone at any time there is too much generalizing, in that you must go to college / university / rubbish. Let's change the way we teach people .We are told we must bring people into the UK as we don`t have the skills.

What a statement that just proves the Education system is  out of touch; its bad leadership from the top.

 

Why not on new large estates have a school from 5 to 16, thus saving the transporting of children to schools. Maybe enlarge the present village schools to take pupils to 13; this would create space at senior schools for practical education. While the government is spending a large amount to help with apprenticeships, its not local, and much could be achieved at the present schools if the above was put in place; many children are not ready for secondary school at age 11.

 

Not saying for one moment women that should not work, but they should not have to, because one wage cannot pay the cost of keeping a house, or pay the rents or mortgages.

Create a hub for employment on new developments to save the traffic gridlock on our roads.

NHS, employ doctors to work solely for the NHS. If the doctors want to go private they should build their own hospitals, even if it means paying them more to do so.

Different housing , care and pension plans are required.

 

Land costs nothing to make. If you go back far enough the land was given by kings & Queens to their friends; no one had to sweat for it, but many bled for it.

 

See community land trust vision, and a separate presentation on care and pensions, at www.campaign-for-change.co.uk unspent funds could be transferred to other family pension schemes. While there would be issues with divorce etc, this could be worked out with fair division of assets at the time.

 

SOME SOLUTIONS,

It is said that a third of the world`s population go to bed hungry.  With the global population now 6 billion, it is estimated it will be 9 billion in twenty years.  If we donít act on pollution and the environment, the population could quickly go down to five billion with mass famine and disease. 

 

Whilst supermarkets promote cheap food, this is short-term gain, Since Eastern Europe has joined the E.U. we find, with cheap labour and unused land in the East, the West will be getting even cheaper food.  British farms will be unable to continue in food production, the countryside will become bramble and rabbits.  When wages and values rise in Eastern Europe, food in Western Europe will become expensive, and the people will say; why donít we grow food here?  Sadly there wonít be anyone left to grow food, unless we take a long-term view now.

 

One solution is to create small farms that one can enjoy and create employment.  Instead of paying set-aside or countryside stewardship. The money could be used to help create new local produce i.e. cheese, a smokery, cutting room for meat, bakery, local pies etc.  Local milk dairy and egg suppliers, free range poultry for egg and meats, fruit storage, freezers for storage, and energy crops should be grown.

 

It would be better for 10 farmers to have 40 cows each,rather than to have one farmer with a few hundred; Animals would have better care and attention.

          

Farmers who have no charge on their land are paying high rents for short term lettings so the price is spread over the whole.  If they were paying a yearly charge they may not be so keen.  The young farmer canít bid on fair ground.  In order to encourage more family farms we should introduce a land tax for those who farm a large acreage. The following table suggests a guideline as to rental value; English rates:-

          

Grade One                   -           £50 per acre

Grade Two                   -           £40 per acre

Grade Three                 -           £30 per acre

Grade Four                  -           £20 per acre

 

Therefore if one inherited a farm one would only pay tax equivalent of rental value and this could be paid annually into the National Fund.  For example, if one inherited Grade Three land the following table would apply:-1-100 acres                  -           no tax

101-200 acres              -           50% of rental value i.e. 200 acres = £3,000 p.a.

201-300 acres              -           50% of rental value i.e. 300 acres = £4,500 p.a.

over 300 acres             -           100% of rental value

 

Where land is let, no tax should be payable.

This would prevent multi-nationals from purchasing and controlling large estates.  They could own but only become the landlord.  Rents would have to be within income from produce, anyone buying new land would have all subsidies stopped.  The land would come under any new scheme.

 

 The above rules would help some of the African nations sort out the land problems where white farmers could own, but let some land to local people while still owning and farming some themselves.

 

If Africa was to establish boundaries similar to the European module, in order to concentrate on making their local land more fertile, then Africa could feed itself.

         

 oney the UK spends on the EU could be used to help young people into farming, by means of giving them financial help.

           

In order to keep a policy for food security, we need to make producing food a paying enterprise. We would not then need to consider GM crops. Council owned farms should be transferred to a farming company to stop councils being able to sell them off.

 

There needs to be a minimum price at which producers are paid. Items like milk,could be guaranteed up to a certain number of cows on a holding,thus stopping multi-cow units; we should Create animal welfare,not animal factories.

 

There are too many speculators in forward buying of food, and land investors. A new concept is needed for land use.

 

We are spending £24 billion a year on housing benefits, £34 billion on helping first time buyers to get on the housing ladder, all this could be stopped, and we pay £34 million a day net, into the European Union,this money would be better spent at home.

Health & Well-being.

 

In new developments the third bedroom is no more than a walk in cupboard, and the main bedroom usually is too small for a kings size bed and adequate furniture. Couples need room, so on a hot summer night they can have space, & not disturb each other by not getting a good nights sleep.

 

With the design below, one could have movable internal sections, so to add or divide rooms so as to accommodate family circumstances.

 

There is a need to stop building for market houses, but build one million houses that one can buy, but can't sell on build for the need not the greed.

 

ps,

I am putting together a community farm project,

visit Land and Leisure for details.

 

 

NHS & CARE:

As above build a similar design in all villages and extra ones in towns have some carers living on site, also there should be self-sufficient garden on all new developments. We should not be covering our fields with houses. Community restaurants  on new large developments would save energy by using solar panels.. And water saving with one roof span would save water, and be there for the community food growing area.

Laurence Keeley,

6 Fairfield, Herstmonceux,East Sussex, BN27 4NE.