What to do about the big landowners?

Tony Gosling tony at resourceforge.net
Fri Jul 2 23:00:22 BST 2004

Hi again dave, I've added you to the list now so it should be easier for
you to post.  T

The biggest of those country holdings - see the excellent 'Who Owns
Britain' by Kevin Cahill, have to be divided up and shared out as
smallholding and owner/occupier secure farms amongst whover wants/needs


Did you know you have in London a guy called Roger Kelly? He used to be
director of the Centre for Alternative Technology in an unspellable town
in Wales up 'til the early ninties. Roger put together plans for a 2000
inhabitant 'ecovillage' Ecoville 2000, and was close to realising his
dream in France in the mid-ninties when the landowner over there pulled

Another man with vision stitched up by the establishment - both here and
in France. The thing the establishment most fear is the people eating into
their virtual monopoly on land. Then who will work in their miserable
factories and offices? And we might see through their lie that the people
have to be even more miserable to save the UK's economy from collapse.

This Ecoville 2000 is the kind of thing we'd need to see on the land
returned to the nation by some of the biggest and worst landownrs.


Roger Kelly
Energy Solutions
Wembley Commercial Centre
East Lane

Tel:0208 904 2444
Email:info at energysolutions.org.uk

Freephone:0800 169 5693

> Possibly.
> But why should the many rich farmers and aristocracy pay nothing for their
> huge and wealthy land holdings?
> Dave
> Dave Wetzel; Vice-Chair; Transport for London.
> Windsor House. 42-50 Victoria Street. London. SW1H 0TL. UK
> Tel: 020 7941 4200
> Windsor House is close to New Scotland Yard. Buses 11, 24, 148, 211 and
> N11 pass the door.
> Nearest Tube: St. James's Park Underground station.
> Nearest mainline stations: Waterloo and Victoria (Both a walk or short
> bus ride).
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tony Gosling [mailto:tony at resourceforge.net]
> Sent: 01 July 2004 15:04
> To: diggers350 at yahoogroups.com
> Subject: [diggers350] Dave & Tony discuss Land Value Tax
> The following's adiscussion between Dava and Tony on LVT.
> Maybe we need a different system for urban and rural land - like the
> different ownership rights for city and countryside they had in Biblical
> times?
> Tony
>> Many, many thanks for this thoughtful response Tony.
>> Under your proposed system how do you decide who occupies land in
>> Central
>> London?
>> Do you leave it in the ownership of the Duke of Westminster?
>> The rental value of his land arises from community activity.
>> Taxing this rental value shares the natural wealth of the earth (the
>> surface
>> of our planet) with all citizens.
>> Taxing land values would encourage owners of idle empty sites in towns
>> and
>> cities to use their land.
>> This would help avoid urban sprawl into the countryside.
>> eg Near my restaurant in Brentford are 10 empty valuable sites.
>> The owners have planning permission to build homes or work places.
>> Kept idle they are of no value to the community but the owners can use
>> them
>> as collateral for bank loans which they can invest elsewhere, even
>> abroad.
>> Meanwhile we lose jobs and homes on these sites and other sites are made
>> more expensive because of the shortage of land.
>> John Prescott decides to build on green fields in Cambridge, Kent and
>> Milton
>> Keynes.
>> These new towns need infrastructure provided: fresh water pipes, sewers,
>> drains, tel cable, electricity, gas, roads etc.
>> Eventually the Govt will expect someone like me to run a bus service.
>> With
>> most of these people commuting to London and other established town
>> centres
>> (many by car) the bus company will only run say one bus per hour, and
>> maybe
>> only 10 or 12 people will use it.
>> Now if these homes are provided on only some of the empty sites used for
>> land speculation in towns and cities then in Brentford we would have
>> more
>> affordable homes. Currently we have a 20 minute bus service on the Great
>> West Road. With no new homes built on green fields in Cambridge the
>> money
>> for an hourly bus service could now pay for one extra bus per hour in
>> Brentford. Not only would the new residents now have a 15 minute bus
>> service
>> - but so would all the existing residents also have a better bus
>> service.
>> This is how Land Value Tax benefits everyone.
>> Ron Brown in his book "Double Cross" reckons that taking taxes off
>> incomes
>> and trade and replacing it with taxes on natural resources, would
>> generate
>> an extra £15,000 pa for each person (man, woman and child) in the
>> country.
>> This is not redistribution of existing wealth - but the creation of new
>> wealth, just by changing the tax system. Imagine every family of four
>> receiving a dividend from the Government of £60,000 and the Government
>> still
>> collecting as much income as today to pay for schools, hospitals etc.
>> In these circumstances, the Govt could well afford not to tax small
>> self-contained agricultural plots of land occupied and used by small
>> groups
>> or families.
>> However, the large estates with huge mansions owned by the rich should
>> still
>> pay their land tax.
>> In the same way, with cheaper land prices, local authorities could
>> afford
>> to
>> create more parks in cities (like the GLC did in London) and more town
>> farms
>> (like the one in Feltham near Heathrow Airport, which I implemented when
>> the
>> Leader of Hounslow Council in the 1980s.
>> Let's meet to discuss further.
>> Dave
>> Dave Wetzel
>> Vice-chair,
>> Transport for London
>> Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street.
>> London. SW1H 0TL. UK.
>> Tel 020 7941 4200
>> Close to New Scotland Yard.
>> Buses 11,24,148,211,N11 pass the door.
>> Nearest Underground - St James's Park tube station.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Tony Gosling [mailto:tony at resourceforge.net]
>> Sent: 30 June 2004 19:46
>> To: Wetzel Dave
>> Subject: Re: MODERATE -- davewetzel at tfl.gov.uk posted to diggers350
>> Hi Dave,
>> Can you send me the articles cos they got deleted by evil yahoo. I can
>> post them. Meanwhile
>> Can you address something for me?
>> I want to know why we have to tax land, a basic essential? Such as
>> bread,
>> books, babies clothes and the like? I'm convinced that society can
>> function quite happily on the revenues from luxuries - best collected
>> through VAT. A genuinely progressive taxation system. Also international
>> financial transactions - and taxing all the damaging activities of
>> corporations.
>> As you might know - this is where I think the Labour Land Campaign went
>> wrong - Land is a free gift to mankind and should always be so. Taxing
>> it
>> hits the poor who don't want to make much money from their land and
>> forces
>> people to change what they do with their land to turn it into a money
>> making concern. Its abusing the basic need we all have for somewhere to
>> be. That right should be unassailable and sacred, if we tax someone for
>> allowing his field to be a flower meadow for a few years it may break
>> him
>> financially.
>> The best way to manage land is to give people security of tenure on it
>> and
>> remove any financial pressure to develop it - make them trusted
>> custodians.
>> Such a shame Atlee never nationalised land after WWII.
>> LVT was used in Hong Hong and led to high-density almost animal cage
>> style
>> living conditions.
>> The only reason so much tax and government is 'necessary' now is because
>> of the militarisation of the economy and because the government's
>> democratic legitimacy is being used to funnel interest payments to the
>> banks. (which is a whole nother issue but equally important to deal
>> with)
>> btw. much respect for your stuff in the eighties. Some of us don't
>> forget
>> so easy.
>> Tony Gosling
>> The Land is Ours
>> 0117 944 6219
>> 07786 952037
> Dave's LVT articles and sites:
> ------------------------------
> I attach three articles written by me and published last year by Property
> Week, EuroTransport and the Observer plus an unpublished item.
> In addition items from estates Gazette and the FT.
> As public activity adds considerable amounts to land values, I believe
> that
> Land Value Tax would be a good method for recycling this value.
> These are some websites on the subject:
> This is HGF website: www.henrygeorgefoundation.org
> Some American websites:
> http://www.earthrights.net/
> www.progress.org/geonomy
> http://www.philadelphiacontroller.org/pr031203.htm
> http://www.urbantools.net/pdf/ValueCaptureAsAPublicFinanceTool-BillBatt.pdf
> http://www.progress.org/sprawl
> www.progress.org/geonomy
> www.urbantools.net
> Diggers350 - an e-mail discussion/information-share list for campaigners
> involved with THE LAND IS OURS landrights network (based in the UK ..web
> ref. www.thelandisours.org). The list was originally concerned with the
> 350th anniversary of The Diggers (& still is concerned with their
> history).
> The Diggers appeared at the end of the English Civil war with a mission to
> make the earth 'a common treasury for all'. In the spring of 1999 there
> were
> celebrations to remember the Diggers vision and their contribution. Find
> out
> more about the Diggers and see illustrations at:
> http://www.bilderberg.org/diggers.htm
> Yahoo! Groups Links


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