Thursday, November 08, 2007

Send your bricks to help build a community

Fordhall Community Land Initiative was founded by 8500 members all buying shares for the community farm buy out. This made history; Can we help create another such miracle?

Well, Martin Large a FCLI member who with Greg Pilley helped get FCLI off the ground with facilitation, financial and legal assistance as part of the Community Farm Land Trust Project is now inviting you to send a brick to the Housing Minister, Yvette Cooper MP in London. The groundbreaking scheme in Stroud, Gloucestershire for securing 11.5 derelict acres of Chases Green Hospital for Gloucestershire Land for People, a community land trust like Fordhall FCLI, is hanging in the balance because the government landowner, English Partnerships have changed their mind

Its not just farms that are unaffordable and inaccessible to young farmers. There is a big shortage of affordable homes for rent or first time purchasers in villages and market towns throughout Britain. Young families on average incomes just cannot afford to live in rural areas any more, as second homes and inflated house prices clear them from their communities. So what’s the answer?

Well, FCLI showed the way with setting up a community land trust, and now there are a number of pioneering CLT’s for affordable homes and community facilities getting going. In theory, Hazel Blears MP, the Communities Minister, welcomes community engagement through CLT development, saying that when government and councils ignore such participation it is a ‘sin’. Yvette Cooper MP welcomes this in housing. But their words don’t match their deeds on the ground, and so we need your help by sending her a brick together with a supporting letter.

This is a defining moment in creating sustainable, inclusive rural communities. So I invite your help to create a value shift for building permanently affordable homes for rural communities through CLT’s like GLP-and then perhaps in your area if needed!

So, Gloucestershire Land for People will be meeting later in November with Yvette Cooper MP, the Housing Minister to invite her to support our original Cashes Green Stroud proposals. But we need your timely support-and a brick. As Ben Franklin used to say, we either hang separately or together!

Please write to Yvette Cooper MP a letter to support our GLP’s Plans for Cashes Green, and that the Government gives the land to GLP for this scheme-as an important National Exemplar Pilot that will pave the way for other such schemes nationally. Say that the brick is your contribution!

Write a message on the brick like, 'For Cashes Green and Gloucestershire Land for People'; get a few other people to sign the brick and date the brick. Be sure to mark on the outside of the parcel containing the brick 'This package contains a brick for Gloucestershire Land for People and Cashes Green and a letter from..." (Security!)

Yvette Cooper MP's address: Department of Housing, DCLG, Eland House, Bressenden Place, London, SW1E 5DU. Or get your MP to deliver it personally-so they can tell the Minister how much affordable homes are needed in your area.

When we meet the Minister, we will collect all your bricks for the first bricks to be laid at Cashes Green. If you put your email on the brick we can send you details of the brick laying celebration. This will be a very tangible way to show your support-and build the CLT movement that Fordhall pioneered.

Martin Large Gloucestershire Land for People
info@gloucestershirelandforpeople.coop
08453 457 599
www.gloucestershirelandforpeople.coop

1 comment:

Philip Booth said...

As a councillor in the neighbouring ward to this project I have been involved with some of the consultations and plans - it is a very exciting project and I would urge all to support this.

Even if you can't send a brick do write - my partner's granddaughter has kindly drawn me a brick to send.