Rufia Ashraf

Rufia Ashraf


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I am thrilled to be re-elected as Borough Councillor for St James Ward and would like to extend my sincere thanks to those of you that supported and voted for me.

 It has only been 10 months since I was elected last year at the by-election.  Since then I have been working very closely with local residents campaigning for fairer residents parking, street cleanliness, housing issues and much more. I have 100% attendance at full council. I have been busy attending meetings with local groups and residents associations and talking to local people on the doorstep.

 St James is a wonderful place to live. I pledge to be a listening Councillor. You deserve someone strong, who will challenge, get your voice heard and who will fight local campaigns with you. I want people to feel confident they can approach me to discuss issues that matter to them where they live. I want what is best for the residents of St James, and I will work hard to ensure the environment we live in is clean, tidy and safe.

I will campaign with local people for:-

  • Streets that are clean and free from fly tipping 
  • An improved environment
  • An end to anti-social behaviour
  • A limit to homes in multiple occupation

 

                                                                                                               Check out Rufia's blog

If you need help

 

My Advice Surgery will be held every third Saturday of the month at St James Library,

starting 20th June from 10.30-12pm (excluding August and December).

Contact me if you would like to participate in my quarterly Litter picks and Walkabouts.

 

Latest News From rufia

A Home for all

I have a vision for Northampton -  Homes for All. A Home for everyone                                                                                      I want to talk about that but first I want like to thank NPH, and officers for all their hard work, for engaging with tenants and meeting the needs of our tenants. They have come a long way in 3yrs.

Northampton has become the most vibrant and diverse town in the county.  It is a university town with history.    In our town we need affordable homes, fit for purpose, using nothing but the safest materials, as we don’t have a repeat of Grenfell.  

But what do we see when we walk around the town, litter, boarded up homes, empty homes and the homeless on our streets. We know there are many other “hidden homeless”, sofa surfing.

Homelessness, has become a huge problem for this town.  We have an increasing housing crisis.  Where ever you look, in doorways, shop fronts, tents in park, in vehicles, squatting, homeless people are ending up there.   People who are homeless are often unable to acquire and maintain regular safe, secure adequate housing.  Landlord are increasing rents, (rooms are being rented out for £450 a month!), people experience job loss, family breakdown, we have an increasing population,  and no matter how many times we go out and do the count, there will be more that will turn up the next time. No-one choses to become homeless. We need more houses and we need a change in policy.  

Another problem we have is overcrowding. Homes lacking storage, privacy, space for children to play and do their homework has a knock effect on their education and development. Allowing social overcrowding is the council’s way of penalizing people who live in Council housing.  A home is not just a physical space it provides roots, identity, security and sense of belonging, so what is the solution? We need a Northampton standard that does not include using living rooms as a bedroom.  

The Landlords Forum is well attended.  However, we need to reach out and challenge those landlords who exploit and profit from tenants, which makes me very angry.  When rents go up families struggle to pay and they turn to the Council for housing.   We have a generation of young people who will struggle to afford a mortgage or to get onto the property ladder.  We have children without a stable home because they are moving around. They are seriously disadvantaged. Invest what you want, but without more homes, and decent homes, the problem will continue.

We currently have just over 3,000 people on the housing register, people living in temporary accommodation including children that’s shocking.  So what is going wrong? I can tell what’s going wrong?    We are not building enough affordable homes, family homes with space to help children develop and grow, because developers don’t want to build affordable homes. Why are we letting them get away with building only 10% or 15% instead of building 35%? We need to hold our ground and not allow that.  

We need disabled people to be fairly assessed and improvements made so they may live independently in their own homes.           We should not be underspending our DFG funds.

We should be campaigning for Government action- We need to stop selling our stock on the RTB.  We need to abolish bedroom tax, and put a cap on rent.  

 

Councils should stop paying agents and landlords huge sums of money for temporary housing and build more homes.  A good example is Spring Boroughs.  I recently took a stroll round the new housing estate and I was so happy to hear child’s laughter, all those houses made into a home, a community hub that brings people together not segregate them.  

We need to find ways of delivering housing services, and support services that will improve the lives of the most disadvantaged. When are we going to adopt HomeFirst policy?   

We are the decision makers in this chamber, we can make a difference and put it right otherwise we will leave a legacy failing the people of this town.

We need infrastructure and one Unitary council putting the people of this town first for a change and build Homes For All.

Case Study A family with disabled child, needing assistance. The child wants a room of his own to help him have his own space and privacy, and help him overcome his over dependence on his mother.  Instead he was offered adaptations and counseling. The assessment wasn’t thorough and lacked clarity.   And yet the council has unspent DFG money and deprives this child of his right to space and privacy.

In Conclusion

  • We need more houses and we need a change in policy.
  • We need a Northampton standard that does not include using living rooms as a bedroom.
  • We need to hold our ground and ensure developers build 35% affordable homes.
  • We should not have an underspend on our DFG funds.
  • We should be campaigning for Government action- remove the right to buy, abolish the bedroom tax, and put a cap on rent.
  • Adopt a HomeFirst policy

A Vision for Housing

A Home for all I have a vision for Northampton -  Homes for All. A Home for everyone                                                                                      I want to talk about that but first I want like to...

Scoop the Poop

Cllr Rufia Ashraf (labour, St James) is launching a dog fouling campaign - Scoop the Poop, on 15th March at Victoria Park 11-3pm.  She started it after local residents complained.  Dog owners not picking up after their dogs has become a town-wide issue that needs to be tackled.

The campaign is to help raise awareness and educate people about why it's important to pick up after their dog and understand the effects it can have on our environment. 

On the15th March local dog businesses will offer advice and support. Northampton Partnership Homes and the Borough’s  environmental wardens will also be at hand to offer advice.  Young people from St James Primary will be there to launch the campaign at midday.

Cllr Ashraf says. 

“This campaign is really important to the town.    I'd like to see zero-tolerance, and irresponsible dog owners become responsible owners and to understand their actions.  We all want to see clean streets and parks and we can only achieve this if owners take responsibility. Enforcement is key to catching people in the act. If caught dog owners can be fined up £1000.  With new enforcement officers in place we look forward to seeing them on our streets.

 The campaign is being supported by local stakeholders and is also being backed by Cabinet member for the Environment Cllr Hallam”.

 

For further information contact Cllr. Ashraf on 07772414316

Scoop the Poop

Scoop the Poop Cllr Rufia Ashraf (labour, St James) is launching a dog fouling campaign - Scoop the Poop, on 15th March at Victoria Park 11-3pm.  She started it after local...

Council Tax reduction scheme

Northampton Borough Council is to freeze the Council Tax reduction Scheme for the first time. It is to stay at 35%.

Cllr. Ashraf (Labour, St James), says, “I am glad that the Council has at last recognised that we cannot go on bleeding the poor. The Labour group said last year when the 35 % was introduced that people would find it hard to pay. We have been proved right. The debt has gone up and debt recovery has gone down.

Corby Borough only charges 8% Council Tax. This is what we should be doing. Perhaps freezing the amount people on low incomes pay at 35% is the beginning of common sense. We need our families and our children to survive austerity and come out the other end. We need to support them not fleece them. This is a small step in the right direction”.

Council Tax Reducation Scheme

Council Tax reduction scheme Northampton Borough Council is to freeze the Council Tax reduction Scheme for the first time. It is to stay at 35%. Cllr. Ashraf (Labour, St James),...

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