Tuesday 27 June 2017

Food Bank Britain the no book from the founder largest Indy food bank in UK with guide how 2 set up your own

Please click on link to buy this book Food Bank Britain direct t from AMAZON NOW .


#Deptford history walks and tours.

After this years  third successful Deptford Heritage  radicle walk and talk as part Goldsmith Radicle book fair, Tim Gluckman and myself have started giving  private tours around Deptford .

We offer a general guide tour or very specific, such as Deptford and the Slave trade. Housing activism. The Civil rights movement in Deptford. Kath Duncan . The Pirates and the ships that shaped Deptford.  The Russians in Deptford . Christopher Marlow  and more , the walks last around 2 hours children are free and adults are £12.50 per person with smallest group being 5 .
You can also order my book Deptford £10 from any bookseller or from any of the online booksellers. 

Email raymondwoolford@aol.com  to book . Tours are most weekends and private bookings organised by what days and time works best for you. Come to the festival .Toickets;https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/deptford-heritage-festival

Just click on this link to buy your copy of DEPTFORD  ...

Monday 26 June 2017

Poverty costs a staggering £78 billion we are told we do not have have

The real war we need is on poverty: killing thousands and costing a staggering £78 billion a year.
The Times report this week that Prime Minister May plans to drop Austerity is not just overdue, but has always been about the Neo- Liberal political agenda and nothing to do with economics.
Austerity has always been a political choice, not an economic necessity as the Conservatives may claim. Yet, The Rowntree Foundation’s ( hardly a hot- bed of Socialism)  report into Poverty in The UK , which is  featured in my book,  Food Bank Britain,  researched the true cost of poverty in the UK. It is a subject that no- one really wants to talk about, referring to it as the Third Sector; part of the Social Justice Equality agenda, anything, in fact, but what it is... POVERTY . It kills thousands every year, their research reports, and costs us all, through high taxation and loss of earnings, a staggering £78 billion per annum. Much of the hardship is caused by false economy, buying unhealthy food may be cheaper but creates terrible health issues that put further pressure on the NHS, whilst how can it make any economic sense these days to sell off Council homes with a 70% discount when it costs a staggering £44,000 a year to keep the average family in a hostel or B&B.  Moreover, the Housing Benefit bill that we all contribute to as tax payers ,increasingly goes to private Landlords , whereas building council homes gives Councils an income year after year, reduces the cost of emergency housing and helps them, through this income, to plan and develop services for us all long term.  How can Austerity, therefore, be anything else than a political choice?  Clearly, it’s a scam that needs to stop and be stopped NOW.

Poverty is the shadow looming over most families in the UK. Our sense of who we are and what we aspire to be, does not include poverty, nor a monthly visit to hunt down the nearest food bank.  The reality that 68% of working people in London get some type of benefit highlights the craziness and un-sustainability of what is going on in the name of good governance.

Is it really right that multi -million pound businesses are able to pay such low wages? Or  that the state , that’s you and me , top up the workers’ wages, which is nothing less than a tax- payers subsidy to big business, at a time we are constantly told we have no money?

When our Government tell us that privatisation of our NHS and public sector is a great idea, how can this be so? How can taking money needed for investment and given to shareholders and offshore hedge funds be great economics?

Poverty, as that  great man and world leader, Nelson Mandela, once said is,  “Man- made and can be un-made.”  How right he is.

Jeremy Corbyn is correct that increasing wages would take more people out of poverty and off welfare but, in my view, Jeremy Corbyn’s policy agenda must be as radical as Attlee’s was in 1945. Building Council homes and investing in our schools and NHS is a no- brainer, but why not be truly radical and set your goal, a real aim and objective, for the eradication of poverty in the UK by appointing a Minister for Poverty that oversees all aspects of Government policy and how it can impact on the eradication of poverty? Many of us have the ideas and vision, if listened to.

When at my food bank I became increasingly alarmed at the number of people not just in food crisis, but also in fuel poverty, we set about holding a public meeting and launched a Green Energy Not- for -Profit business that would use roofs of schools, churches and community centres to bring down their fuel bills.  By using the Government’s own feed-in tariff, we could raise a share issue to cover the cost of solar panels, whilst offering shareholders a 4% return and using the surplus profit to tackle fuel poverty here in our community. We have since had 2 successful share issues. Could this not be a Government model that ALL new- builds and roofs of ALL suitable public buildings have solar panels to fight climate change, reduce bills and end fuel poverty? We have done it in Deptford, so why not nationally, so fuel bills are reduced for all homes, public spaces and small businesses? Think of the huge savings that could be used to improve and develop services and business opportunities.

Renting a property is a huge outlay for people in, or out, of work and it is great that letting charges will soon be outlawed, but should we not be abolishing the whole rental deposit idea? Deposits, which can  be thousands of pounds, by law, must be held by a Government approved tenants’ protection scheme ,but as a deposit is only to protect contents, or part payment  of unpaid rent, is it not a better idea for consumers that we scrap deposits altogether  and have Deposit Insurance so tenants only pay rent? This would help huge numbers of people on low income rent decent housing and not get exploited by slum landlords. Additionally, it cannot be un- realistic to insure that ALL landlords give a national insurance number on tenancy agreements, so the Government can insure full tax is paid and that slum landlords are noted and acted upon. Why should tax- payers’ money via Housing Benefit get exploited by unscrupulous landlords? The cost would be non- existent, but would have a huge positive impact on people’s pockets, well-being and home choices.

 A poverty Tsar could also move on to deal with food waste and distribution.
Is it really acceptable that tons of food, mostly  fruit, veg and proteins , such as fish and meat, is sent to expensive landfill whilst tins of beans and loaves of bread are the main- stay of the diets of food bank clients? 

We can do so much more. Poverty at £78 billion is clearly a cost we can no longer afford when we have in Jeremy Corbyn a leader who could and should put poverty at the top of a’ We must end’ agenda.

My book Food Bank Britain £10 on sale from ALL book shops as well as online. 

Friday 23 June 2017

Deptford history walk and talk , back by popular demand

Delighted to be back at the radicle book fair again this year, from 3.15 Saturday 24 June meet at the entrance area at Goldsmiths New Cross and Tim will start the walk and talk.
People who are not around this time of year or would like to have a guided tour of #Deptford  can organise a private talk on specific aspects to Deptford. slave trade. Industrial and Docks and this The radicle activists walk can book via email raymondwoolfotf@aol.com  .
We charge £12.50 per person for the walk and 2 hour tour , but this is free to all children and the unwaged.
You can order my book * Deptford * by contacting direct or via any book seller on or off line at £10.00 a copy.come to the next Deptford Heritage Festival , tickets https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/deptford-heritage-festival

Tuesday 20 June 2017

Lewisham Council right to buy and new build figures via my Council questions



21 JUNE 2017

Question asked by: Mr Woolford

Member to reply:      Councillor Egan

1.    How many Council flats have been demolished and sites cleared?
2.    How many homes bought under right to buy?
3.   How many council homes been sold on the open market? 


The Council has a wide ranging approach to tackling the housing crisis, prioritising the construction of as many new homes as possible in a range of ways. These include our first new Council homes for a generation, of which 162 are either under construction today. We are well on our way to our target of 500 net new Council homes.

Our approach also includes innovative new ways to better house homeless families, buying street properties across the borough – 81 to date – and larger properties like Hamilton Lodge. Of course this also includes the award winning PLACE/Ladywell development, which houses homeless families and creates jobs for local people.

Where it is the best option overall, we are also undertaking large scale estate regeneration, but we are doing it in a way that prioritises the needs and interests of our residents. We are delivering two such projects at present, on the Heathside and Lethbridge and Excalibur estates, and between them these will deliver 820 net new homes, as well as rehousing every existing resident who chooses to remain in a new home that meets the decent homes standard. To do this 284 homes were demolished, alongside one further home, on Mayow Road in Sydenham which was demolished following a fire

The number of homes sold under the Right to Buy over the past five years is as follows, sadly there has been a sharp increase since the government increased the level of discounts:

2016 / 2017: 117
2015 / 2016: 116
2014 / 2015: 122
2013 / 2014: 102
2012 / 2013: 17

The number of homes sold on the open market is one. This property, on Ashmead Road, was sold in order to fund the construction of a further four Council homes.

This is NUTs , Council forced to sell under Right to buy its much needed housing stock, faster than it can build or replace..Economics of the madhouse from this Goverment   

People Before Profit my article on the rise and electability of this new force in Irish politics

Grenfell Tower Fire , on every street corner you can fell its heart beat

On every street corner around #GrenfellTower you feel its heart beat...Please click on this link and share across your social media, this is the human story of this totally preventable tragedy  .

#GrenfellTower #GrenfellFire #Justice4Grenfell #JusticeForGrenfell A community that inspires

Arriving at Latimer Road tube station in Kensington at first glance you feel you have arrived at Notting hill Carnival which is held in the area every August bank holiday , the streets are busy and full of people that reflect London diversity. the street corners are dotted with police mini buses whilst police offices in neatly pressed short sleeved shirts  smile as they pass you  pairs.
 Food stalls dish out food from across the world with a smile and a kind word, bottles of water pilled high against the walls and then it grabs you, the food stalls are giving out free food, lined up next to the water bottles is piles of top branded toothpaste and nappies that could stock any supermarket high street store for a month, gone are the ice cream vans to be replaced today by TV film cars beaming out across the globe the preventable  tragedy that is #GrenfellTower , a giant wall greets you with messages of solidarity from Glasgow to Kurdistan  and the names of the Missing, whilst side streets are packed with people moving boxes and bags of  donations on an epic scale, every one is a volunteer , and it is noticeable you see no sign of  the Council the Government or any of the big charities in charge or part overseeing what is truly a huge community operation  here.
This is truly a peoples community run by , organised by,  and totally empowered in their  gaol of helping each other and making sure this time they will get justice and some one will take responsibility , they own this community and they will fight and stand strong to defend it come what May.
The streets  are eerily  quiet and  spotlessly clean  as if not to distract you from the endless pictures of mainly woman and children missing on every fence, letterbox and bus stop , with only the discarded ice cream cone dropped by a toddler on one of the hottest days of the year and then you see it, just yards from the station  Grenfell Tower slate grey and  huge and stark against the bright blue and cloudless sky ,at another time you would think was an art installation and then the reality bites, this is in all its twenty severn  storeys is the largest tomb stone in europe  and the resting place of of so many whose massive lost will probable change our  politics forever .
 This place,  this time is not like anything i have experienced .
 On each street corner people share stories, the woman reporting how she tried  to keep her friend calm who was in the tower and could not get out by saying the firemen were coming for her, but they never did.
 The woman telling the horrific story of watching her family surrounded by fire banging on the windows for help and all she could do was stand and watch.  ( just think about that )
Another man eager to talk and surrounded by an increasing large number of people wants to talk, but with tragedy  of this scale how do you start? .
He asks people were have they all come from , and a woman chips in  *we are ALL Grenfell * as he gives out the details on the marches and protests and pleads for calm and that  * we as a community must be united in using law in OUR favour to secure justice its our way *.
Moving away from the crowds that have fast turned this pocket in London into the most go see event of the year , you see neighbours talking and supporting each other and you feel as if you are intruding on someone else grief and yet but for fate anyone of us could have had a loved one or a friend in Grenfell  .
You get this awful gut feeling whilst wanting to give everyone a giant hug , people are on the streets in many cases because they  do not no what else to do, anger is clear, less than £5000 was saved by not going for the better fire retarded gladding. Sprinklers  are in every hotel and yet the homes of the poor seem to have no value  , Why no fire drills they ask?. Why has no fire safety procedure been updated in 50 Years?. Why was the concerned of the tenants ignored?. why after every public enquiry and every death in a tower block has their not been one conviction and no improvement in tenants safety  ? Questions go on , but this is a human story  these are mums, dads, friends, lovers. nieces and nephews that must get JUSTICE .