by jackiebrodie on 14 October, 2018
This week a Devon CPRE report on housing featured in newspapers , online and on Spotlight, maybe elsewhere as well. I haven’t seen the report , but some key “findings” from it have been reported. I was phoned on Monday by a BBC reporter looking for my comment. At that point I didn’t know which report they were referring to, but they wanted my comment on one of the figures that revealed that 80% of new housing in Devon was being bought by people from “outside the area”. Manchester was mentioned, and it was a resident from Manchester who had indeed retired to Devon, that was featured on the Spotlight report. Whilst not having my hands on the correct figures at the moment the reporter phoned, I could very confidently respond to the reporter that such a figure for Teignbridge at least, was a complete and utter nonsense, and said if anything it was completely the opposite with about 80% bought by locals. We continued to talk about housing issues, and I want to make clear that I am the last person to defend the current housing system in this country, it is broken, in crisis, and needs serious reform, but I do think it is important that the correct information is used in any argument. Anyway the reporter asked if I would send the figures I had to her, and asked if I would be free for an interview the next day if required. I said yes. I sent the figures which are available on TDC’s website to her that evening. TDC undertake a survey of residents of new estates each year and these are reported on their webpage. The figures are in this link https://www.teignbridge.gov.uk/media/7318/tdc-2018-post-occpancy-final.pdf , and show that 75% of residents of new estates in Teignbridge moved from TQ or EX postcodes. I would call that local. Have a look at them, they also reveal that 3.6% come from the rest of the SW and 6.5% from the SE (In addition only 1.2% come from overseas). People have retired here for years, is it such a crime? My parents came from London, but all my children have moved away to London, Bristol etc. Perhaps they would like to come back and live here one day. Do we seriously want to stop people from having the ability to move around and live in different parts of the country? Back to the reporter, I am sorry to say that I received no thank you for the figures I sent, and did not receive a phone call for an interview the next day. When the report was run on Friday evening, I watched with interest, and waited for the figures to be given, or at least another view on the CPRE’s figures to be reported by someone, but no that didn’t happen and CPRE’s figures were reported as fact. Obviously my information, or should I say “the facts” didn’t fit with the story they wanted to run. Needless to say my faith in the BBC (yes I still had some) has been shattered. I have long ago given up on most national newspapers telling the truth, and social media of course feeds us what we want to hear, and we filter out the rest. Perhaps I should have known all along that the BBC was the same, maybe I have been immensely naive, but if you can’t believe the BBC, then who is left to believe?
Maybe they have misreported what CPRE were saying, as I say I am only going on what has been reported. Can anyone from the CPRE justify the 80% figure please?
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