Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tories put the brakes on building homes and jobs

According to the Observer, Caroline Spelman has written to Tory councils and MPs advising them to delay new commercial and housing developments until the advent of a Conservative government.
We would advise councils not to rush ahead with implementing the controversial elements of regional spatial strategies....
as Tory policy - to have a wholesale bonfire of central government controls on local authorities - will revoke regional development targets and
put the brakes on elements of regional spatial strategies that [local authorities] find undesirable.
Essentially, this means that the Tories - having assumed that they are the government in waiting - don't want a head start on building the new homes that the people of this country actually need. The building industry is finding it tough now, but Labour is putting £1 billion into building, which will not only provide desperately-needed homes, but will also help to provide jobs. I still don't think that's enough, but it is a start.

The Home Builders' Federation was quick to respond
There is no recognition of the desperate need in all parts of the country for more homes of all kinds and tenures, or of the responsibility of local authorities to make provision for these. Rather, local authorities are seemingly being encouraged to put such considerations aside if they want to. Hard-pressed first-time buyers and those on the growing waiting list for social housing would suffer in particular.
Tory shadow minister Grant Shapps has this as a brave step forward in scrapping top-down 'Stalinist' targets, but it is really a shuffle backwards and one that will actually affect the future of families who need homes.

If they win the next election, this is our future and it isn't one where you want to be poor or unable to afford a home in one of their nice, green-fringed communities.

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