The Labour Campaign for Council Housing is supporting our member Jayne Kirkham in the contest for Labour parliamentary candidate for Truro & Falmouth. Here Jayne explains what her priorities will be.
” As a member of the Labour Campaign for Council Housing I will advocate for solutions to include large scale provision of council housing…”
I live and work in Truro and Falmouth constituency and have brought my son up here.
As Leader of the Labour Group on Cornwall Council, I have a proven track record for delivering for local people, including a Climate Emergency Declaration for Cornwall with a 2030 zero carbon target and an extra £3.5million in the budget for children’s mental healthcare.
I know how to win here. I have already won council elections in Truro and Falmouth, increasing my vote each time, and we almost tripled the Labour vote here in the General Election of 2017 when I was the candidate. I have a high media profile and a strong history of holding leaders to account.
One of the main priorities in my campaign and if I am selected will be housing. Finding truly affordable housing in Cornwall feels like such an intractable problem.
Rising numbers of Airbnbs, holiday lets, second homes and in some areas houses converted to student lets has put intense pressure on the private rented sector in Cornwall. Add to this an under-provision of council/social housing and a dire shortage of temporary and emergency accommodation and it’s become a housing crisis. People on local Cornish wages (which are 20% less than the national average) can’t afford to live in Cornish houses (which cost far higher than the national average).
I’ve been working hard to pressure Cornwall Council, national government and the Labour Party to see this for the emergency that it is and develop solutions.
I have co-authored motions to both Cornwall and Falmouth Town Council calling a Housing Emergency and encouraged that to spread throughout councils in Cornwall.
I am a member of the Labour Campaign for Council Housing and worked with them and 5 of the Cornish Constituency Labour parties to author and composite a motion on housing that was passed virtually unanimously at the national Labour Party Conference in September 2021. It was a wide-ranging motion calling for the funded provision of 100,000 council houses and 50,000 social houses per year, a Housing First solution to homelessness, ending Right to Buy and putting measures in place for second home ownership.
As parliamentary candidate, housing will be a top priority for me. I will force it up the Government’s agenda and I will push for Cornwall to have the powers we need to bring in solutions we are crying out for. As a member of the Labour Campaign for Council Housing I will advocate for solutions to include large scale provision of council housing and the other elements in our successful 2021 conference motion. Secure, decent council housing is an obvious and proven way to tackle the housing problems that we face and the hardship they cause for people in Cornwall in the long term.