From Daily Mirror: Police numbers will fall to levels last seen in the 1970s as more than 15,000 officers face the chop. Forces must make £800 million real terms cuts in their budgets by 2022, after Chancellor Philip Hammond failed to give them a penny more in Wednesday’s Budget.
The head of policy at the Chartered Institute of Housing writes in the Guardian: “A year on from the introduction of the lower benefit cap, its abiding legacy is to push people closer to homelessness.
“The cap, introduced on 7 November 2016, reduced the total amount any family can receive in benefits from £26,000 to £23,000 in London and £20,000 outside the capital, leaving families with significant shortfalls between the benefits they get and the cost of their housing.
“In our most recent research we spoke to 18 families with capped benefit across the UK and each time we heard a familiar story – one of stress, struggle and a daily fight to remain in their home.
“Half of those families said they had gone without food, fuel or were otherwise in debt as a result of the cut. Among a raft of other hardships a third said they had been forced to use food banks.”
Editorial comment in the Guardian: “The National Audit Office report into homelessness lays bare the legacy of human waste caused by the callous indifference and intellectual vacuity of Compassionate Conservatism, a Tory creed – promoted by David Cameron – where responsibility shifted from the state to individuals, families and communities. Read more
Channel 4 News video: Watch Tory member of the London Assembly for West Central, Tony Devenish, literally claim that new blocks of housing being bought up en masse by overseas billionaire investors benefits us all, and that there’s no alternative.
From The Independent: During his time as Mayor of London, Boris Johnson’s cuts in 2014 led to the closure of 10 fire stations and the loss of 552 firefighter jobs, following on from an 8% reduction in fire staff between 2007 and 2012.
At the time, Labour Assembly leader Andrew Dismore raised the issue of these cuts during a meeting at City Hall.
Boris’s reply was telling him to “get stuffed”.
From The Guardian: The residents of the Grenfell Tower block have been failed and betrayed by the Tory-controlled local council, the new Labour MP for Kensington, Emma Dent Coad, has said, expressing fury at the way Kensington and Chelsea treats its social housing tenants. Read more
John Healey MP writes in the Independent: “It should shame us all that in the 21st-century, in one of the richest countries in the world, the number of people sleeping on our streets has doubled in just five years. Over 100,000 children are now sleeping in temporary guesthouses and hostels – accommodation that’s often cramped, unsuitable and short-term.”