Countryside is becoming the 'Theme Park for the Rich'
countryside will become a 'theme park for the rich' unless
the government, local councils and other public bodies tackle the
rural housing shortage, the National Housing Federation has warned.
At a conference marking 1 year since Elinor Goodman's landmark
Affordable Rural Housing Commission (ARHC) report, the Federation
will state that not enough progress has been made on the issue.
More people are pursuing an idyllic countryside life or are
investing in a 2nd home. Local people are forced to move out of
villages that are no longer affordable. 2nd homers do not contribute
significantly to the local economy meaning essential services such
as local shops, public transport and health care suffer.
New analysis from the Federation shows that the average house price
in England is now 8.3 times average salaries. But in many attractive
rural areas average house prices are more than 10 times average
local earnings, including Berwick-upon-Tweed, Craven, Eden,
Hambleton and Ryedale.
The ARHC gave a blueprint for solving the rural housing crisis last
year. The Government has made some progress on planning reform, more
needs to be done to release surplus public land for affordable
housing. Too much is lying derelict or being sold off to the highest
bidder when it could be used for urgently needed homes.
Further ARHC recommendations, including restricting the Right to Buy
in rural areas and making it easier to bring empty properties back
into use, have not been acted upon.
Derek Long, National Housing Federation Head of North said:-
"The housing shortage is turning many parts of the North into a
theme park for the rich. As havens for commuters and second home
owners some villages are becoming winter 'ghost towns' and summer
'theme parks' with over 50% holiday homes. Key services are
suffering and young people are forced to move away from the area
where they grew up. Housing associations can address the
crisis but need support from the Government and local councils.
Northern villages and market towns should be vibrant and sustainable
places to live - not theme parks for the wealthy".
OF US GIVE UP ON OUR DREAM CAREERS
JUST 2% of the
workforce in North West has pursued their dream job, according to
research. This startling figure reveals a nation of workers that
have compromised in their careers, resulting in most being employed
in roles far removed from where they’d like to be.
The research, from business psychology experts OPP, revealed a
number of factors that have put us off chasing the career we really
wanted: just 6% of employees had tried and failed to get into their
dream job. A lack of confidence and drive is offered as the factor
that stops most of us in our tracks: 38% of employees cite it as the
major influence holding them back.
A significant gender gap is apparent in deterrents stated, with
three times the amount of women as men being dissuaded from their
dream job by a poor salary. The most significant knock-on
effect of this is a nation of workers that are apparently
unsatisfied and unmotivated in their careers, feeling they haven’t
found their niche. Having set our dream careers aside, over 60% of
us still find that our current career does not match any of our
aspirations, and nearly seven in ten (67%) would choose a different
calling if we could start again, with lack of fulfilment given as
the key reason for change.
Lucy McGee, Head of Marketing at OPP comments:- “What’s
surprising about these results is that so few of us seem to even go
for a job we would enjoy in a vocational sense. A strong personal
connection to the nature of a job is one of the central tenets to a
happy and productive employee, and so it’s important that this is
fulfilled. Of course, this isn’t the only thing tying us to our
jobs, but it’s certainly one of the most important if both
individuals and businesses expect to flourish long term. More
thought needs to go into the career paths we choose – if we’re not
happy in our current role, there’s a wide range of things we can do.
Working with your employer to identify your strengths and exploring
which areas of work you’re best suited to can make a big difference.
Various tools can help to do this scientifically, and can be used as
a stepping stone towards changing your current role to better suit
you or moving roles within the same company. We can’t all be
football players or write books, but going for a job which suits our
strengths and preferences is the first step towards having a