News from British and Canadian Conservatives

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Canterbury Lib Dems propose apartheid

Apartheid. [uh-pahrt-heyt, -hayt]: any system or practice that separates people according to race, caste, etc.
Source: Unabridged (v1.1). Retrieved August 29,2007 from

Lib Dem Cllr Jo Calvert-Mindell (Canterbury St Stevens and member of the Housing Appeals and Benefits Committee) has proposed that no more than 20% of houses in any road should be occupied by students. She argues that families are becoming "excluded from their communities" by the growing number of students in Canterbury. I certainly hope that her ludicrous plans are scuppered when it comes to a vote.

I do wonder whether Cllr Calvert-Mindell's plans extend only to students, or whether others may be affected. Would she be support a similar motion to prevent more than 20% of houses being occupied by muslims? Perhaps no more than 20% of homes in any road should be occupied by "working class people" or retired people, to ensure that the middle classes or young people don't feel excluded or isolated? I'm sure that there are countless groups that people could complain about taking over their road, but we're a crowded island and need to learn to get along together with a little more tolerance of others.

I've never met Cllr Calvert-Mindell, but I'm reasonably sure that she wouldn't support such proposals. If a white family came to her complaining that all their neighbours were black, I would imagine that she would send them packing. So why is it OK for her to vilify students? It's the usual careless and ill-considered proposal that we've come to expect from the Lib Dems, who seem to be particularly out of touch in East Kent.

Of course, the area where most students live is, unsurprisingly, the part of the town nearest to the universities they attend. If they are to be displaced to other parts of the city, will that mean that they will have to commute, which might mean more driving, adding to Canterbury's congestion. I wouldn't advise anyone to cycle around Canterbury's congested and dangerous ring road during rush hour! I would suggest that Muddle-headed-Mindell needs to think this through a bit better and withdraw her proposal altogether.

Worst of all, Canterbury Lib Dems actively promoted themselves as the students' friends, standing up for them on the council where other parties would, allegedly, let them down. Not only is she refusing to back up her words with actions - she is cowardly enough to make her proposal during the summer when most students aren't present to defend their own corner. At the time when Canterbury's students need their representatives most, the Lib Dems have let them down.

I thought that this comment by Cllr Calvert-Mindell was particularly reminiscent of something you might expect to read in a BNP leaflet: "We are trying to reclaim our communities." I suspect that she's just jumping on the latest bandwagon to roll past in the usual Lib Dem way, but she shouldn't be allowed to get away with it. Let her know what you think. Email


Jo said...

Hello Dan

May be you should report the facts RATHER THAN SENSATIONALISM! I represent ALL residents in my ward spelt St Stephens by the way. This includes students who suffer poor accommodation at the hands of irresponsible landlords putting them and others at risk. Students also do not like living in 'unregulated campuses by stealth' where their quality of life also suffers because of the irresponsible behaviour of a few and where there is no 'campus security' to turn to for help.But also your subscribers should be aware that we have many HMOs occupied by people other than students - so contrary to what you may have us believe - there is nothing discriminatory in attempting to create balanced, sustainable communities and affordable family housing for EVERYONE!
Cllr Jo Calvert-Mindell

Anonymous said...

Unsurprisingly this has been badly misconsrewed by the Conservatives. It has nothing to do with being 'anti-student' and in fact has had support from many students. The BBC tried to show the policy as 'ant-student' by basically telling everyone it was including the UKC student union president Achike Ofodile who after actually reading the policy stated himself it wasn't anywhere as bad as he had been led to believe. If anything this policy is anti-bad landlords, with many students being let down in these communities as well as residents. Please check your facts first, if anyone is jumping on the bandwagon it is you.