Housing debate goes into Web cyberspace

DEBATE over the proposed Housing Bill will take place in cyberspace with the launch of its very own Internet site on the World Wide Web.

The Law Centres Federation and the Housing Centre, a London charity, have combined with Ferret Information Systems in a new venture to use the Internet as a universal lobbying tool.

Matthew Waddington, housing development project worker at the Law Centres Federation, said of the move: “The Housing Bill covers so many different areas that it made sense to make use of the universal nature of the Internet.”

“The site will be the easiest way to get up-to-date information on the Bill and comes at a time when increasing numbers of housing and advice groups are seeking to develop the potential of on-line computer systems,” said Waddington.

The site will co-ordinate all information about the Housing Bill, which was outlined in the Queen's speech to Parliament, for all the bodies involved in this area.

It will also provide email links to outside responses and any proposed amendments to the Bill.

Bob Widdowson, director of the Housing Centre, said: “We believe this is the first time in the UK that the Internet has been used as a lobbying tool.

“Through this service our members will have the opportunity to comment directly to us about their concerns and experiences.”

The site can be found at: http://www.ferret.co.uk/housing.main.htm.