The Council

Sheree

Dedicated Member
In the episode where Clegg and Howard move to the last location, being "rehoused" by
the Council is mentioned. What does this mean? Can you not choose where you want
to live? ~Sheree~l
 

Sarkus

Dedicated Member
From what I understand, it was common from the end of WW2 into the 1970s (or beyond) for even middle class people to live in "public housing" in the UK. Most of this housing was historically managed by local governments, hence the term "council housing" and the reference to the Council in the show. Compo, being poor, is also referenced in the show as living in a Council House, and by implication so were the Battys and as noted Clegg and Howard. The latter could have been because they were retired and thus low income.

The Wikipedia article on the subject says that over time the percentage of people in the UK who live in public housing has dropped as different approaches have been tried its down to about 14% of the population today.

I'm sure some of the UK members of the board could provide more information on the subject.
 

Pearl

Administrator
Staff member
That sounds about right Sarkus.
Most council ( But not all) are located on estates, some tenants are able to buy their council house from the council and depending how long you have lived there you can buy them with a large discount however this has lead to a bit of a shortage in houses now so some people are having rent privately also where has before if you were given a council house, so long has you paid the rent and behaved yourself, you were able to live there for life and even in some cases pass it on to the next generation but that's all changing now. We lived in a council house when we first married and when the housed needed modernising we were " Re-homed" So I know how Cleggy felt :D
 

dick

LOTSW Fanatic
We were allocated a council house after living with my wife's parents for 2 years. We managed to bring up our 4 children on a low wage(it meant me doing large amounts of overtime) still in this council house for 45 years . I am still in that same house although there are only 6 houses on our street (out of 28,) still belonging to the council (including mine) It suited us and we have probably paid for it twice over in rent payments but we have had several refurbishments that we did not have to pay for upfront ,so to speak.(these include a new roof, double glazing, cavity wall insulation and rewiring. In fact a neighbour put in to buy his house 6 weeks before they fitted double glazing and a new roof so he missed out)
 

barmpot

LOTSW Fanatic
If rented from the Council, properties such as Clegg's would be classed as "miscellaneous", that is not standard estate properties. Most council houses I knew were on estates, some huge, some small but most local authorities had a few miscellaneous properties.

I was brought up from the age of two in a new town (half way between London and Brighton) and for the first three years of that time my parents were in such a property her they had to share the kitchen and bathroom with another family who lived in half the house. When the health Visitor saw my mother struggling with washing on days when she could not use the kitchen (the arrangement was that you could only use the kitchen every other day) when my sister was very young we were rehoused into a new council house. However the vast proportion of houses there were on estates, many built from about 1949 onwards. A few pre-war ones were around, such as that of paternal grandparents. My maternal grandparents were in tied accommodation being farmed workers.

The first two years were spent in another council property out in the country - a Nissen Hut with no gas, electricity or mains water or drainage! But is was rented.
 
D

DJWCFC

Guest
How I understand it was that the people who owned Cleggy's house and Howard and Pearl's house used from 1984-1990 wanted too much money to let the BBC use the houses so Alan JW Bell decided to look for somewhere else, he probably told Roy Clarke and got him to write it into a script and came up with the council moving them to the new houses, but if im wrong someone please correct me
 

maltrab

Administrator
Staff member
Back in the early 80's we bought our council house in Welwyn Garden City from the council for £14,800, six years later we sold it back to the council for £92,000 and moved to Baldock,I spotted via a estate agent on-line last year that it was sold for £260,000

You can see why folk who move north for a few years rarely have the chance to move back to the south, not that I would want to, a 48hr visit is enough for me
 

Sheree

Dedicated Member
Thank you, one and all!!! It helps to know these things to make watching the show all
that more enjoyable. ~Sheree~
 

Elmc

Dedicated Member
Yes, Sheree, I agree. I thirst for any extra tidbits of information. And, Mal, that is remarkable about the house price.
 

chris

Dedicated Member
In many parts of the UK after the war prefabs were built as a quick solution to housing shortages,I had a friend who lived in one and it was fitted with all mod cons that we did not have ,fridge ,washing machine and still exist today.Council housing is in short supply now and is urgently required for many people.
 

dick

LOTSW Fanatic
" Right to buy " did not help the council house stock , as I said my street lost 22 houses to people buying their own. Multiply that by dozens of streets in the towns and cities and you can see why council houses are in short supply. Nothing against people owning their own homes , I'm just saying it left a big hole in the number of houses available. :-\
 

Pearl

Administrator
Staff member
In many parts of the UK after the war prefabs were built as a quick solution to housing shortages,I had a friend who lived in one and it was fitted with all mod cons that we did not have ,fridge ,washing machine and still exist today.Council housing is in short supply now and is urgently required for many people.

Our house was a pre fab, they were only supposed to be temp but there still standing now and people bought them too.
 

barmpot

LOTSW Fanatic
" Right to buy " did not help the council house stock , as I said my street lost 22 houses to people buying their own. Multiply that by dozens of streets in the towns and cities and you can see why council houses are in short supply. Nothing against people owning their own homes , I'm just saying it left a big hole in the number of houses available. :-\
Yes Dick, and now in some areas there are no one bedroomed properties to rent, so those who have to pay the so called 'bedroom tax' (such as my Mother) because they have excess bedrooms do not have any where to move to! Likewise three bedroomed properties were snapped up and they to are at a premium for renting in council estates. So those with two older children are finding it difficult to get a suitable house.

It was not the buying the house that was the problem but the fact that it left a range of properties that no longer reflected the demand.
 

chris

Dedicated Member
Round here they are building absolutely awful looking houses ,3000 plus on one estate and people are not buying them and yet the developers want to build across countryside between one main road and another effectively expanding the town and swallowing a village.Noone wants this build as the traffic will be horrendous and the council is against it but the developers have forced an inquiry so we await developments.Now just to confuse our members who do not live in the UK ,does anyone remember the corporation ie Liverpool etc often known as the corpy .Many were swept away in local government reoraganisation but they looked after their areas and employed a small army of people .Transport,housing ,drains,sports all were provided by the corpy happy days sometimes I wish it was like it nowadays (showing my age).
 

Rhi

Dedicated Member
Trust me Chris, we in Wales certainly remember the Liverpool corporation. I don't know where you are but yep, here in south Wales the new homes spread like wild fire. Also the flats. I can't believe how many sheltered housing developments have been built in this town in the past 10 years. I know people have to live somewhere now council houses seem to have vanished, and mortgages are virtually out of the reach of everyone, but Duw, there seem to be new developments every month. There isn't much space left here at all. The main problem is that people coming into the area to live don't have a chance of work. There isn't much work here anyway and these families moving in must hope there's work available here. It's not fair on them, you know? It's so sad for them.
 

chris

Dedicated Member
Rhi I live in a so called affluent area but council housing is very thin on the ground and housing associations are trying to take up the slack.We have lots of one bedroom flats all in the town centre but the developments that are being built are not selling well and they are horrible looking houses ,I would much rather live in a house like Clegg and Howards they are real homes.
 

Philosopher Clegg

Dedicated Member
Given that since the 1970's, the period that covers LOTSW, we have seen three major property bubbles in the UK where increasingly buying or renting well has become difficult for many, it is interesting how the characters in the series afforded where they lived. As most of them didn't have jobs, had been in traditonal low paid occupations, were semi-retired or had early retirement forced on them, it's difficult to imagine how they could afford to buy or even rent the quality of accommodation they had, especially from a private landlord. I always assumed that for the most part many of them must have lived in cheap Council housing, but even here I think that Roy Clarke stretched things a little for the purpose of a good story.

Of the major characters I thought only Seymour and maybe Truly were property owners. Seymour had a big detached property out in the middle of nowhere, I assume either inherited or purchased on the back of his previous headmaster salary. Don't think he could have afforded it on what he made from his correspondence course fees! Truly was a retired police officer so probably had a decent pension. We don't see his home often, but perhaps he bought when he moved into the area?

Foggy was a private sector renter when he first appeared as he does mention his landlady and in one of the earlier episodes is seen searching around in the attic with Compo and Clegg. Llike Truly we never really see his home, but later on there is an episode where I think he is fixing up a bike for Compo and is in a garage that is part of a row of terraced houses, I assume he lives in one, but it's difficult to see how he could afford to have bought one on what was probably a small military pension. Like Compo and Clegg he never had another job until he left to set up his own business.

Compo, Clegg, Nora, Howard and Pearl all probably lived in Council housing, but how did they manage to get the houses they lived in? Compo and Clegg were single men living in three story properties. Maybe they were allocated their home when they were married, but when Clegg moved there is no way any Council would have rehoused a single man in the size of property he lived in.

Compo must have rented from the Council as he never worked and often got behind with his rent, a private landlord would have evicted him long ago! Council's tend to be less keen on eviction unless a tenant is really bad.

Did Nora and Wally own their property? Don't ever recall Wally having a job or what he did, so probably not. When Nora left for Australia her sister moved into her home, this would not have happened with Council housing, that size of property would have gone to a family.

Likewise when Compo passed on, Tom and his family seemed to inherit the home, this would not have automatically happened with a Council property as he had only recently moved into the area and wouldn't have been on a waiting list, although the Council might have had a duty of care to house a homeless family.

Finally, Alvin moved into Compo's old home for the final few series which would never have happened had it been a Council property, because again as a single man a property of that size would not be given to him. As with some of the others, Alvin wasn't working, probably retired, but was it ever mentioned what he had done previously? He would struggle to afford to rent a property of that size in the private sector and the best he would hope to get from the Council would be a one bed property. Even then he might not qualify as the points system that most Councils operate by usually means that single people, especially men, are way down the waiting list and rarely get an offer.

Still, it all makes for interesting chat!
 

Sarkus

Dedicated Member
I've always wondered about Foggy's housing situation since the show is not consistent on it. When Clegg reads Blamires letter of introduction, it says something to the effect that Foggy is returning to live in an empty house, which implies he inherited a house. In that episode and others he mentions a garden. But just a few episodes later we get the landlady reference. It is possible, though, that that was a mistake left in from a re-write of an episode meant for Blamire, who was established in the pilot as a boarder. Bates departure from the show was pretty last minute.

Besides, when Foggy came back the second time he has a furniture van in front of what clearly looks like a multistory row house.
 

Sue

Dedicated Member
" Right to buy " did not help the council house stock , as I said my street lost 22 houses to people buying their own. Multiply that by dozens of streets in the towns and cities and you can see why council houses are in short supply. Nothing against people owning their own homes , I'm just saying it left a big hole in the number of houses available. :-\
I am a bit naïve, I thought I truly thought that when all of the council houses were sold off to people who could afford them the money taken would be used to build more council houses for poorer people. What a joke.
 
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