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Many people in Birmingham will remember the speaker -Ann Pettifor. She was a founder and leading spirit of the Jubilee 2000 debt campaign which in 1998 brought a human chain of 70,000 people onto the streets of this city in a great expression of human concern for the cancellation of the unjust and unpayable debts of developing countries.

After 2000 Ann joined the New Economics Foundation where she headed their research unit, and became involved in Prime Economics. She also set up Advocacy International, a UK-based consultancy which advises governments and international organisations and has helped secure debt relief for the governments of Guyana, Nigeria and Ethiopia.

Among her publications are the books “The Coming First World Debt Crisis” (2006) and “The Production of Money” this year. She has been part of the Green New Deal Group and in 2015 was appointed to the British Labour Party’s Economic Advisory Committee.






joan goodwin housing liaison boardAs people on the country’s housing registers wait in vain to be decently housed, Joan Goodwin, Housing Liaison Board Chairman (right), clarifies the blocks on effective action. Speaking on Adrian Goldberg’s WM Radio programme today, she explained that when representatives of the country’s councils get together they all call for government permission to borrow in order to build social housing – but do not get it. She added that in addition to meeting housing needs there would be a nation-wide boost to the economy by building social housing.

Meanwhile developers in the region and elsewhere, who only want to build more profitable ‘aspirational’ homes, are riding roughshod over local residents’ wishes, building on greenfield or even floodprone sites and threatening councils with legal action if not given planning permission.

In addition to stimulating the economy, if the Green Deal is applied to new-build social housing as well as to the refurbishment of existing social property – as advocated by WM MEP Philip Bennion and the convenor of the Green New Deal Group – the country’s ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets will be more achievable.