Fringe Box

Socialize

Twitter

Letter: Cllr Potter Should Exercise Patience

Published on: 26 Feb, 2021
Updated on: 26 Feb, 2021

From: Philip Brooker

Former GBC lead councillor (Con) for Housing and Homelessness 

In response to: Why Are Labour Repeating the Tory Line?

Cllr Potter would do well to display some patience until the facts are clarified. It is clear that the Lib Dem/R4GV council have paid nearly all of the £2.7 million, as reported by the lead councillor for resources, to central government. The money should have been spent on council housing in our borough.

Council tenants have the right to buy their house under the government right-to-buy scheme at a less than market price.

Money received from the sale is expected to be used by the council to buy or build additional council stock. If the money is not spent within three years of the sale, the council has to forward it to central government.

And this is what has scandalously happened here, to the detriment of local residents and further delays to those 2,500 families on the housing waiting list.

Following the dreadful admission by the Lib Dem/R4GV council that “there are clearly fundamental and longstanding problems with the council’s reporting around this issue and, as a consequence, funds that could have been spent on housing were not…”, the Conservative grouping on the council asked for an independent inquiry, and this has, thankfully, been agreed.

I have previously challenged Cllr Potter over his party’s 2019 election manifesto promise to deliver 3,000 additional council houses over 10 years.

This was one of the main points of Mr Smith’s letter to the Dragon dated February 22 and that is why, presumably, the Labour group is supporting the Conservatives. Predictably, Cllr Potter has ignored this fundamental issue.

Why Cllr Potter and his colleagues will be unable to honour their manifesto pledge is for these simple reasons:

  • There are insufficient locations to accommodate such a vast increase in social housing unless two of the major sites outlined for development in our Local Plan are devoted almost entirely to council house development, with the consequent loss of private housing; and
  • GBC will be unable to raise the probable estimated cost of about £800 million, to finance the project.

If I am incorrect in my assumptions, I look forward to receipt of the detailed proposals.

For the record, I have issued a Freedom of Information request to discover how many social and affordable houses this Lib Dem/R4GV council has already built, something Cllr Potter and his colleagues have, to date, refused to answer.

The answer to this question plus the findings of the independent inquiry will, no doubt, expose the lamentable performance of this council’s administration and the fundamental falsehoods of the Lib Dem election manifesto.

Share This Post

test One Response to Letter: Cllr Potter Should Exercise Patience

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    February 27, 2021 at 7:53 am

    DNP question re “quote” posed.

    It seems to me the Conservatives were “happy” to lose the last local election, knowing their Local Plan was such a failure.

    As former councillor Phillip Brooker says: “There are insufficient locations to accommodate such a vast increase in social housing unless two of the major sites outlined for development in our Local Plan are devoted almost entirely to council house development.”

    And there is a 40% requirement for affordable homes within the Local Plan.

    I would suggest in the run-up to these elections all political parties look to the technical and practical facts before accusing blaming and claiming.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.