Post Covid-19: A New Beginning – Out with Residential Leasehold

Low Fell resident Alan Gowers is campaigning for reform the law of on freeholds.  Mr Gowers and his neighbours discovered that the owner of the Freehold on their properties was changed without any notification being given to them.  They are now campaigning for Freeholds to be ended in England and Wales as they have been in Scotland and the Low Fell councillors are supporting his campaign.  Mr Gowers article on this is below:

”We don’t know yet exactly how drastic the changes to our future economy will be as result of Covid-19 and all the containment actions – but expect them to be huge. There will be a substantial restructuring – will there be any airlines, pubs, hairdressers left?

There will also be changes in attitudes to health, work and our general society values. Our whole society must get back to giving true and honest added value if there is to be a real and fair return to prosperity in Britain.

Pre – Covid-19 Britain was misguidedly tolerant of the growth of the rentier1 capitalists i.e. those who exploit their access to property and gain considerable prosperity without making any real contribution to society. The worst rentier examples are the freeholders who are allowed by law and custom to exploit their leaseholders almost at will. In this, the Law Society, the Bar Standards Board, the Law Commission and the Government have been keen to uphold the human rights of landlords but much less keen on restoring the natural  rights2 of tenants and leaseholders. In Post Covid -19 this all needs to change and in fact the complete abolishment of residential leases is the ideal solution. The rentiers lease income needs to be distributed back to leaseholders and their local economies, as well as giving back leaseholders their freehold titles and control of their affairs. Another bonus will be that developers can devote all their ingenuity to designing and delivering good value housing rather than over exploiting land values.

“Take back control” & “get things done”.  We, the public and our political representatives, must play our part and demand the abolishment of leasehold in England & Wales – as is indeed already achieved in Scotland. We must also demand better standards and quality regulations throughout the residential sector. These are sensible and reasonable demands that are achievable and highly beneficial for our Post – Covid-19 Society.
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1. Rentier capitalism is a term currently used to describe the belief in economic practices of monopolization of access to any (physical, financial, intellectual, etc.) kind of property, and gaining significant amounts of profit without contribution to society. 2. Natural rights. The philosopher John Locke defined the natural rights every person should have as the rights to life, liberty, and property”.

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Alan Gowers algowers@gmail.com

Improving Low Fell’s car parks – your views wanted

We have set up a survey so that you can let us know how to improve Low Fell’s car parks, including what you think about car parking charges in Low Fell and what changes you would like made.

Daniel Duggan said “Having a vibrant shopping area is so important for Low Fell and we need the Council to support local businesses. This survey will help us when we have discussions with Council officers so please do take a few minutes to complete it”.

To complete the survey visit http://survey.lowfellfocus.org.uk

Remembrance Service in Low Fell

Today hundreds of local residents, school children, business owners, representatives from various organisations, and others came to the Boer War Memorial on Durham Road to take part in Low Fell’s Service of Remembrance.

Low Fell Councillor Daniel Duggan, who laid a wreath on behalf of Low Fell residents, said “I was deeply honoured to lay a wreath in remembrance of all the service men and women who have given their lives for our freedom. It was wonderful to see so many people there to pay their respects”.

Low Fell Councillor Susan Craig, who as Chair of Low Fell Forum laid a wreath on behalf of the Forum, said “Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to organise this important event, including the volunteers from the Low Fell Forum and the support from Gateshead Council, and which has allowed us an opportunity to reflect and remember together as a community. Thank you also to Rev Huw Sperring and Rev Alex Crawford, and the the Carlton Club for the wonderful refreshments after the Service”.

School crossing update

Oakfield Junior and Infant Schools, on Chowdene Bank, have been without a lollipop person for sometime now. After raising this with Council officers, we can report that a replacement lollipop person has now been appointed and it is hoped they will begin in September.

Low Fell Councillor Daniel Duggan, who raised this matter with council officers, said “I am glad this post has now been filled. The Council are also looking to introduce a travel plan programme called ModeShift STARS that has been used successfully outside other schools”.

To learn more about this visit www.modeshiftstars.org

The Focus Team have also asked the Council’s traffic engineers to look into placing a zebra crossing on Chowdene Bank, but after carrying out an investigation the traffic engineers report that it would ”not be possible” for legal reasons.