Thursday, 12 August 2010

Housing Market Renewal may be scrapped

Before the recess I met with housing minister Grant Schapps to talk over the housing crises in this constituency.

We talked about housing market renewal, the £120million housing scheme or Hyndburn over 15 years which is half way through. We discussed the lack of any private finance for demolition programmes or facelifting grants by their very nature. That facelift grants (£11k approx) have transformed declining neighbourhoods.

Received this week
We spoke of The Council's unique decision here to exclude certain areas (Rishton, Woodnook to name two) in favour throwing money money down the drain in chosen areas after expensive schemes such as group repair (£55k approx, relocation grants up to £30k, interest free loans up to £30k) failed, flopped or were grossly wasteful leaving a shortfall in funding.

This waste has left even those areas underfunded.

I am concerned that the Government will turn their back on this constituency where 40% of housing fails to meet the decency standard and 11% is unfit for habitation. Wheer 2,500 properties lie empty out of 42,000.

I have published his reply in which he clearly avoids any committment to housing market renewal.

Woodnook is a scar on humanity when you consider the UK is supposed to be a first world developed nation.

I just hope their colleagues in government don't abandon their promises to protect the poorest but that isn't the message coming across since the election.


George Osborne promises not to hit the poorest
“We are all in this together. I am not going to balance the budget on the backs of the poor.” – George Osborne, News of the World, 13 March 2010.

Before the election, the Conservatives explicitly promised that they would protect frontline services. George Osborne said “I will not accept frontline cuts”
, and David Cameron said that “any cabinet minister if I win the election, if we win the election, who comes to me and says here are my plans and they involve frontline reductions, they will be sent straight back to their department to go away and think again.”

“The promise is absolutely explicit. We will protect the frontline, we are looking at waste, inefficiency and that is what is has to go in the coming year. I will not accept frontline cuts, that…I would not allow cabinet ministers in a Conservative government to come to me with frontline cuts. They have to do the hard work with their officials, with the permanent secretaries and they have to come back and find the efficiency savings, the productivity gains that every business in Britain pretty much in the last two years has had to do and find and there is plenty of that waste out there in the government and we have the government’s own efficiency experts, waste experts, telling us that.”