Search

Consensus, Compromise, and Cooperation – New Broom for South Hams

South Hams
Julian Brazil

Councillor Julian Brazil

Lib Dem leader of South Hams District Council

In this article, the leader of South Hams District Council sets out his renewed focus on housing policy, as well as the governing philosophy of the incoming Lib Dem administration.

All change at South Hams District Council. The Conservatives had run the Council for the last 24 years. Now, for the first time ever, there is a majority of Liberal Democrats.

I said at my declaration that we would be an inclusive council and I intend to stick to my word. We reject the Punch and Judy politics of Westminster – and my own Party is as much to blame as the others. I have never believed that any one party has a monopoly on good ideas. We will listen and not be bound by political dogma or ideology. It will be a council of consensus, compromise, and cooperation. Our communities are our political masters. They will come first, any political allegiance a distant second. On the doorstep, people tell us they want us to work together for the good of the community. We have listened and that is what we intend to do.

The housing crisis is a cause of great frustration for us and despair for many local people. We have done everything that central government has asked of us and yet our housing issues go from bad to worse. While developers and landowners bask in massive profits, our communities suffer. This has a detrimental effect in so many ways. Not only is there the individual distress of local people unable to live or be housed in their local communities, but key workers cannot afford to live here. Businesses struggle, schools struggle, hospitals struggle, and where will the carers come from as they are priced out?

We must be bold and confident. Push back when government policies do not work for us. Rather than meekly accept what’s wrong, we must challenge government, through the courts if necessary, and deliver what our local communities need. Government policy has given huge profits and executive pay for developers. At the same time, the housing crisis deepens. Promises to replace social housing loss through ‘right to buy’ have been broken. We cannot stand idly by as central government fails to solve our housing needs. If the onus falls on us, then so be it. We are ready for the challenge.

Another priority for us will be the climate change and biodiversity crisis. There’s been enough talk, now is the time for action. With a review of the Joint Local Plan next year, zero carbon houses and biodiversity gains are a minimum. Again, if government inspectors try to block us, we will challenge them.

Share

Related Topics

Latest

Generative AI in Social Care

Earlier this month, representatives of thirty organisations and individuals working in Adult Social Care met at the University of Oxford, Reuben College, to discuss the benefits and risks of using ‘generative AI’ in social care.

Video Features

How Can we Level Up the UK Sustainably?

Does Democracy Require Proportional Representation?

Marking LGBT+ History Month 2024

How Can Plugging the Skills Gap Support Decarbonisation?

Subscribe to our newsletter for your free digital copy of the journal!

Receive our latest insights, future journals as soon as they are published and get invited to our exclusive events and webinars.

Newsletter Signups
?
?

We respect your privacy and will not share your email address with any third party. Your personal data will be collected and handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Never miss an issue by subcribing to our newsletter!

Receive our latest insights and all future journals as soon as they are published and get invited to our exclusive events and webinars.

Newsletter Signups
?
?

We respect your privacy and will not share your email address with any third party. Your personal data will be collected and handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Never miss an issue by subcribing to our newsletter!

Receive our latest insights and all future journals as soon as they are published and get invited to our exclusive events and webinars.

Newsletter Signups
?
?

We respect your privacy and will not share your email address with any third party. Your personal data will be collected and handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Newsletter Signup

Receive our latest insights as soon as they are published and get invited to our exclusive events and webinars.

Newsletter Signups
?
?

We respect your privacy and will not share your email address with any third party. Your personal data will be collected and handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy.