Conservatives Challenge R4U As Numbers Plucked Out of the Air.
It was interesting to hear Councillor Lees at full Council on Tuesday 25th
February, making a pledge to build 183 new council homes in this new
council’s term. Sadly this promise was not backed with any careful budget or
future plan, just announced on the hoof as if it's a competition to beat the
record of the previous Conservative administration. Nothing to do with
delivering for those in need, just a number plucked out of thin air. Still, for
whatever reason it's a big promise, can it be delivered?
Julie Redfern said ‘Whilst to some this may not sound a big deal, I can tell
you, as a former council member for housing, who was and still is passionate
about building council homes, this is a huge commitment.’
During the last eight years of the Conservative administration, a building programme was
started and delivered about 120 new council homes. Of course, there was a
future plan underway to build more homes. Government restraints on
council’s borrowing to build council housing was lifted last year, giving even
more opportunity. Sadly the blocker to this may be the availability of land.
There are, however, record numbers of Affordable Rented properties already
being provided in Uttlesford on new developments. All of these homes are
provided by Housing Associations and let to those in housing need on the
council’s waiting list. If Councillor Lees and her colleagues can build on what
we, the Conservative administration, began and, as she has promised, deliver
an additional 183 new council built homes in this term of just four years, we
will be delighted.
Building to help those in housing need is something all parties can agree -
it's a good thing for all those on the housing waiting list in Uttlesford. This is a big
promise, 183. We will be waiting to see if they can deliver on this pledge.