'Fourth Option' - investment to improve existing and build a new generation of first class council housing
Lobby MPs to back amendments to Housing Bill
Come to Parliament on Jan 22 2008 - flyer
Council Housing group's inquiry 12-6 (Committee Room 10). Meetings 2-3 and 6-8 in Committee Room 15. Enter at St. Stephens Entrance, House of Commons.
This Tuesday (Jan 22) tenants, trade unionists and councillors will be coming to Parliament to give evidence and lobby MPs in support of amendments to the Housing and Regeneration Bill.
Numbers matter! All of us in authorities retaining council homes, those with ALMOs and those yet to decide have a common interest in securing a long term financial settlement for council housing.
Housing Minister Iain Wright met Austin Mitchell MP and DCH chair Alan Walter tonight and opened a dialogue about our objectives. He suggested another meeting next week. There's no point speculating about whether his probing is just to rebut our arguments or to move towards negotiation. Our job is to turn up the pressure.
Unite general secretary Derek Simpson's New Years @Activist article Remember your real friends helps the cause. Simpson argues "For months we have heard warm words suggesting that council housing was back at the centre of Labour’s agenda. But now the cards are on the table in the form of new housing legislation it seems that more privatisation and less secure tenancies are the order of the day - the opposite of what our members want – and of party policy itself."
Amendments to the Bill provides an opportunity for all the unions to use their political muscle to bring Ministers to the negotiating table to secure the future for council housing.
Four ways you can participate...
Organise a broad delegation of tenants, trade unionists and councillors from your area to Parliament on Tuesday January 22 (use leaflet, covering letter). The inquiry will run from 12-6pm with two meetings with national speakers at 2-3pm and 6-8m.
Get local organisation(s) - including councils - to submit evidence to Austin Mitchell MP and the Council Housing group. Explain why investment in council housing is important in your area to support MPs tabling amendments to the Bill.
Email your MP(s) now and ask them to sign EDM 368 and sponsor the amendments. If you can get to Parliament on Tuesday invite them to join you at the inquiry session to hear the arguments.
Pass the campaign's model motion and send it to regional and national bodies. Ask them to back amendments to the Bill. Contact your local press and let them know why tenants, trade unionists and councillors in your area are backing our demands.
If you can't get to Parliament on January 22 please send evidence to Austin Mitchell and lobby your MP locally. Let us know how you get on...
The Housing & Regeneration Bill provides a real opportunity to press home the campaign's demands for direct investment. We also need to remove or amend clauses that seek to undermine the position of council housing (see Briefing on the Bill and analysis in campaign newspaper).
DCH chair, Alan Walter, spent 45 minutes on December 11 answering questions from the MPs on the Housing Bill Standing Committee (read transcript). He was quized on the campaign's objections to the Bill as it stands and what changes we are calling for.
Further information from www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk
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What you can do

Use leaflet to organise a broad delegation to Parliament on Jan 22

DCH new newspaper

Order copies of the current campaign newspaper (£18 per 100 / £100 per 1000) and distribute to tenants, trade unions and councillors in your area
Ask your MP to sign the new Early Day Motion Investment in Council Housing (EDM 368)
Pass the DCH model motion and adopt the campaign's five demands for 'Fourth Option'
Get your organisation to Affiliate & donate to DCH - we urgently funds to make the case for council housing and oppose privatisation
Download initial DCH Briefing on the Bill
Circulate letter to supporters