Monday, 18 April 2011

How Labour will address housing issues in North West Leicestershire

As I go out knocking doors around Thringstone (and wider North West Leicestershire) one of the main topics that people want to ask about is how Labour will address the housing shortage we are facing in the district.

It's clear that local people understand that we need new housing in North West Leicestershire, bringing with it new jobs and economic regeneration, whilst at the same time any new build should be affordable, environmentally sound and most importantly built in the right place.

Your local Labour party has spent a great deal of time thinking about these problems. Housing, and its associated issues are not black and white but are highly complex.

In some respects it is dangerous to proclaim absolute pledges for housing because external factors, such as government targets or court actions can overtake them, however, it is right that any political party standing in the district election should make aspirational declarations.

Most importantly, for Whitwick and Thringstone, Labour will pledge to enable villages to keep their identities in the face of future housing development by protecting our valuable green spaces. Additionally we will seek to ensure that major new developments are built adjacent to new and existing employment areas throughout the district.

A Labour controlled council will ensure that new developments must include social and affordable housing , particularly in villages, in order to enable young people and families to stay in the communities in which they grew up.

We will ensure that developers must provide community infrastructure as an integral part of their proposals, uphold the principles of environmental sustainability and work with the voluntary sector in determining the best use of Section 106 grants and other development levies.

However, housing isn't just about building new homes but also doing our best with existing stock.

Your Labour administration will strive to keep ownership of our Council housing stock ensuring low cost housing whilst maintaining the Decent Homes standard and responding promptly to repair requests.

We will seek to bring long term empty properties back into the housing market using powers under existing compulsory purchase legislation to ensure houses do not remain empty where development is taking place elsewhere.

Housing issues are not simple but Labour has considered our aims in depth. Why not ask your other candidates their views on housing in the district and see if you get as detailed a response?

5 comments:

  1. This is a good summary Leon. People need houses, but we also need to work with communities to resist unbridled development. Infrastructure like schools and roads have to be part of the package. Labour parish councillors will have a role in representing local views and working with their District colleagues on this.

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  2. You are absolutely right.

    My whole point is that housing is probably the most highly complex issue the council will face over the next four years.

    Of course, housing is needed, but a Labour council will have to be mindful of so many factors in determining approval of development.

    It will be very simple for our rival parties to say easy on the ear phrases such as 'no new build' but we need to show we appreciate the complexity.

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  3. Lets hope the BNP candidate for Whitwick has put as much thought into his statements about the Green Wedge. I am fearful that people will vote for him because of the statements he makes about the non development of the Wedge and will not appreciate what they are really voting for. I would rather have a housing development than this man and his party representing for me.

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  4. Ian Meller has worked hard against the Green Wedge from day 1 and has been an excellent local candidate i didnt vote BNP last time but i will vote for Ian Meller as he has done a good job in Whitwick. Labour will get my other 2 votes. Paul in Whitwick

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  5. Thanks for your comment Paul. I am sure your Whitwick Labour Candidates will work their very hardest for the good of the village and for local people.

    There are clearly a number of candidates (of different political persuasions) who care about the village and protecting its heritage.

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