Wednesday, 6 April 2011

New Homes Bonus - East Lancashire abandoned by uncaring Conservative government

Yesterday's the Government announced funding for the New Homes Bonus scheme and it is clear the Conservatives have abandoned East Lancashire. All 5 deprived authorities feature in the 27 authorities (from 350) receiving the lowest grant.

I told Eric Pickles on the floor of the Commons that the £63,000 Hyndburn has been awarded is ‘pathetic’. Hyndburn has received the 11th lowest payout out of 350 Councils. (see table at the bottom).

This is on top of all the other bad news;
- It has had its housing renewal monies (HMR) axed;

- Despite repeated promises the regional growth fund will not accept housing regeneration bids and is already oversubscribed;

- In the budget East Lancashire Council’s suffered the biggest cuts in Government expenditure.

- And now the New Homes Bonus bombshell.
Leafy Central Bedfordshire is receiving £1,120,673 this year rising to £6,724,036 or more in 2016.

The New Homes Bonus is being paid for by further reductions in Council funding which under the Barnett formula will hit the North hardest, and then it is redistributed to areas of high demand, the south.

Kate Hollern, Leader of Blackburn Council has said;
"This funding announcement is a joke and a slap in the face for local people, many of whom believed the hype that David Cameron wanted to build an inclusive society.

Basically, Blackburn with Darwen will get 77p to tackle some of the worst housing problems in the UK - it is a similar story across Lancashire and the north west as a whole.

Contrast this with the wealthy south and many of the constituencies of the coalition cabinet and its a very different story - £28 per head in London, £10 per head in Milton Keynes.

This isn't about limited resources which I'm sure local MPs will try to spin to deflect attention away from the policies they support as if it was why are towns in the south getting huge windfalls.

This is about a Lib Dem/Conservative government abandoning the north in favour of the leafy south and showing total disregard for the challenges we face."
The government answer is that East Lancashire authorities should ‘to build houses’ despite having over 10,000 empties.

How unfair is the New Homes Bonus?
- The City’s £242,908 of grant works out at roughly £25 each. In contrast, Birmingham’s grant works out at less than £3

- The National Housing Federation calculates that the overall effect of the bonus and the formula grant redistribution in year six will be that northern regions will lose £104m while southern ones will gain £342m.

- Councils in the South East gain from doing what they are already doing - not allowing enough homes.

- Gateshead will receive 36p per head of population

- on a per capita basis Salford is the only northern council in the top 10, in fact the only one outside the South East.
1. http://brickonomics.building.co.uk/2011/04/no-prizes-it-seems-in-the-new-homes-bonus-for-being-a-housing-friendly-good-planning-authority/
2. http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/ihstory.aspx?storycode=6514382


Four reasons why it is unfair and hits areas with the highest number of empty properties the most

1. Funding
Council Tax payers in East Lancashire are going to either have to pay more in Council Tax, or see a far greater reduction in the level of services than the South as the scheme uses the Barnett formula to fund it by government grant reductions. At the same time places of high housing demand that build will take the most money out of ‘the NHB pot’, ie the south and desirable areas. Money is being taken from deprived areas and given to affluent areas.

The government have been keen not to say this isn't new money. It's old money recycled in a unfair way. The first two years funding will be paid for by the removal of the Planning Delivery Grant which Hyndburn received in the region of £250,000. The National Federation of Housing says this money will run out before end of year 2.

2. National Council tax rates hit poor areas hardest
The New Homes Bonus Scheme is a new Government housing scheme replacing Regional Spatial strategies to encourage new house building. For each new house built, the government will pay a grant for six years based on average national council tax band rate.

Given Westminster's Band A Council tax is around £400 and East Lancashire's £1,000, Westminster’s new build homes all in high Council Tax Bands such as F and G will get an uplift and Hyndburn's 'Band A' a reduction when paid at national levels.

3. Demand led policy, not a supply led policy. Ignores oversupply, punishes downward population trends
The real problem though is low demand. Why build houses in East Lancashire when there are too many already? Hyndburn Borough has 2,200 empties. Why demolish a tower block. And as the population declines, Council tax declines, government grant declines, empties rise and new homes bonus gets smaller.

4. Regeneration disincentive
It's not just that East Lancashire has no need to build new houses. It's not just unfair because its paid at national rates favouring the south. It has added toxicity because for every house you demolish, you have one taken away from your new build total. Planners are going to want to block through policy two-into-ones, three into ones and resist pulling down derelict tower blocks as is the case in Nottingham.

In East Lancashire there are numerous properties boarded up as a legacy of the Housing Market renewal Pathfinder awaiting demolition. This is a real kick in the teeth for those communities. The long term voids are exempt but short term voids which make up 489,000 properties and are often pepper potted amongst long term voids. How many years before Hyndburn

Now the government argue that if it is a long term empty (over 6 months) they are excluded. In Hyndburn 1,300 are short term and only 800 long term and given that the population is declining there is a real problem. It is not easy to single out a long term void in a row of empties, or recently tenanted. The block has to come down.


 Local Authority  Year 1 Payments to LAs 
Scarborough  £5,885
Copeland  £14,968
South Lakeland  £25,842
Chiltern  £29,552
Preston  £38,251
Richmondshire  £45,160
Knowsley  £57,569
Ribble Valley  £62,046
Adur  £62,430
Hyndburn  £62,942
Three Rivers  £67,931
Gateshead  £68,283
Surrey Heath  £69,338
Burnley  £69,722
Eden  £70,490
Oadby & Wigston  £73,176
Allerdale  £84,178
Stevenage  £84,562
Christchurch  £89,935
North Warwickshire  £91,087
West Somerset  £91,342
Purbeck  £97,739
Pendle  £101,065
Rossendale  £102,472
Epsom and Ewell  £107,846
Blackburn with Darwen UA  £110,500
Rochford  £116,801
Bolsover  £117,312
Havant  £124,477
East Dorset  £124,860
Bromsgrove  £124,988
Redcar & Cleveland UA  £125,692
Chesterfield  £126,907
Rutland UA  £131,609
Guildford  £137,525
Mole Valley  £139,956
Cumbria  £149,199
Boston  £152,110
Cannock Chase  £153,261
Basildon  £153,517
Blaby  £154,412
Tamworth  £156,075
Barrow-in-Furness  £157,866
South Tyneside  £158,314
North East Derbyshire  £162,344
Redditch  £164,263
South Ribble  £165,158
Nuneaton & Bedworth  £167,589
Forest of Dean  £168,357
Melton  £168,868
Derbyshire Dales  £169,252
Daventry  £169,764
West Lancashire  £174,242
Weymouth & Portland  £180,638
South Northamptonshire  £182,941
Eastbourne  £187,290
Broadland  £187,674
Broxtowe  £190,873
Maldon  £193,175
Hastings  £194,710
Waveney  £200,851
Mid Devon  £202,514
Amber Valley  £204,689
Mansfield  £207,120
Gravesham  £207,504
Suffolk Coastal  £207,887
Staffordshire Moorlands  £209,039
Southend-on-Sea UA  £210,606
Lewes  £211,341
Ryedale  £214,540
Stratford-on-Avon  £217,738
Welwyn Hatfield  £221,832
Stafford  £222,216
North Dorset  £225,286
Fareham  £226,565
North West Leicestershire  £226,821
Craven  £229,124
Spelthorne  £230,275
Lancaster  £231,427
Harlow  £231,938
Tandridge  £234,241
Thurrock UA  £235,552
Dartford  £239,102
Cotswold  £240,382
City of London  £242,908
Carlisle  £243,452
Wellingborough  £244,987
South Staffordshire  £252,279
Bury  £253,623
Castle Point  £254,710
Brentwood  £254,966
Oldham  £257,780
Wyre Forest  £258,420
Tunbridge Wells  £258,932
South Oxfordshire  £259,699
Wirral  £260,019
Torridge  £260,467
Lichfield  £260,723
Newcastle-under-Lyme  £263,921
St Edmundsbury  £267,503
Dorset  £267,823
Wyre  £271,597
Harrogate  £272,620
Worthing  £273,132
Great Yarmouth  £274,155
Darlington UA  £274,411
Hartlepool UA  £277,130
Fylde  £278,633
Rushcliffe  £281,831
Sevenoaks  £282,343
Tendring  £282,983
Bassetlaw  £285,669
Fenland  £290,147
Cheltenham  £290,275
Warwick  £292,450
Dover  £294,113
Epping Forest  £295,136
Babergh  £295,392
Broxbourne  £296,415
South Hams  £297,567
Warwickshire  £300,957
Chorley  £301,916
Hertsmere  £305,115
Torbay UA  £305,115
East Hampshire  £306,266
North Devon  £306,778
Chelmsford  £309,592
Sutton  £310,232
Woking  £310,360
East Devon  £310,872
Waverley  £311,255
Hambleton  £315,221
Stockport  £322,225
West Devon  £323,920
Dacorum  £324,944
Cheshire West and Chester UA  £326,383
Portsmouth UA  £333,899
Rochdale  £334,699
Gedling  £339,784
West Oxfordshire  £342,342
Kettering  £342,982
St Helens  £343,974
South Bucks  £346,180
Halton UA  £347,332
Stroud  £349,635
Hinckley & Bosworth  £349,762
North Norfolk  £349,762
West Dorset  £352,833
South Holland  £354,880
East Northamptonshire  £355,008
Bexley  £359,005
Rushmoor  £359,101
Mid Sussex  £359,997
Wychavon  £361,276
Shepway  £372,278
East Sussex  £375,157
Erewash  £377,012
Horsham  £378,803
East Cambridgeshire  £380,082
East Staffordshire  £381,233
North Yorkshire  £381,969
South Derbyshire  £382,769
Chichester  £382,896
North East Lincolnshire UA  £383,312
Rother  £384,943
Derbyshire  £385,071
Exeter  £389,165
Newark & Sherwood  £389,805
St Albans  £391,468
Taunton Deane  £391,980
Havering  £396,745
West Berkshire UA  £401,862
Doncaster  £403,301
Sefton  £405,860
Worcester  £406,308
New Forest  £408,227
Mid Suffolk  £408,611
Reigate & Banstead  £409,122
Malvern Hills  £409,762
Test Valley  £409,762
Corby  £415,135
East Hertfordshire  £415,263
Ipswich  £416,286
Buckinghamshire  £417,662
Watford  £419,613
Runnymede  £430,103
Worcestershire  £431,254
Rugby  £434,964
Ashfield  £437,395
Cherwell  £439,186
Canterbury  £440,593
Teignbridge  £442,256
Eastleigh  £443,536
Wolverhampton  £443,760
Kingston upon Hull UA  £444,559
Selby  £445,327
Kings Lynn & West Norfolk  £451,595
Vale of White Horse  £451,595
Elmbridge  £452,619
Lincoln  £453,642
Slough UA  £453,994
Newcastle upon Tyne  £455,753
Middlesbrough UA  £461,350
West Lindsey  £462,341
Lancashire  £464,868
Blackpool UA  £466,147
Breckland  £471,169
Oxford  £472,960
Staffordshire  £474,687
Crawley  £477,309
Wycombe  £484,473
Isle of Wight UA  £484,537
Oxfordshire  £491,446
Winchester  £495,220
Mendip  £504,175
Poole UA  £505,966
Harborough  £507,757
Rotherham  £508,364
Thanet  £508,780
Arun  £508,908
Braintree  £509,036
Kingston upon Thames  £516,680
North Tyneside  £516,840
North Lincolnshire UA  £518,919
North Kesteven  £521,829
Wealden  £522,341
Tewkesbury  £526,818
Enfield  £527,714
East Lindsey  £529,377
Leicestershire  £531,296
Nottinghamshire  £533,119
Dudley  £545,784
Merton  £551,861
North Hertfordshire  £552,405
Somerset  £553,204
Forest Heath  £562,383
Sunderland  £576,967
Wokingham UA  £580,965
Gloucestershire  £589,345
Suffolk  £589,728
Herefordshire UA  £590,720
Brighton and Hove  £595,997
Luton UA  £596,477
South Somerset  £601,146
West Sussex  £610,869
Bath & North East Somerset  £611,349
Telford & Wrekin UA  £615,027
Windsor & Maidenhead UA  £617,745
Ashford  £621,103
Sedgemoor  £624,174
Trafford  £625,261
Devon  £633,385
Sandwell  £634,536
Tameside  £637,894
Reading UA  £639,334
Richmond upon Thames  £642,532
Waltham Forest  £643,012
Charnwood  £644,387
Bracknell Forest UA  £646,849
Northamptonshire  £647,233
Tonbridge & Malling  £648,353
South Kesteven  £665,623
Warrington UA  £670,517
Bournemouth UA  £671,476
Kensington & Chelsea  £673,395
Norwich  £674,706
Harrow  £678,832
Barnsley  £698,661
Lewisham  £705,698
Surrey  £708,160
York UA  £714,173
Uttlesford  £714,365
Barking & Dagenham  £719,290
Colchester  £723,832
Calderdale  £724,567
Swale  £749,034
Bolton  £759,269
Hertfordshire  £769,887
Stockton-on-Tees UA  £771,262
Gloucester  £781,912
Lincolnshire  £784,951
Cambridge  £786,646
South Norfolk  £787,157
Cambridgeshire  £789,300
Southampton UA  £793,010
Norfolk  £799,055
Aylesbury Vale  £810,441
Huntingdonshire  £831,677
Plymouth UA  £832,349
South Cambridgeshire  £868,649
Cheshire East UA  £869,769
Liverpool  £876,965
Northampton  £878,116
South Gloucestershire UA  £883,361
Wigan  £884,001
Maidstone  £892,316
Hammersmith & Fulham  £909,107
Walsall  £911,506
Greenwich  £923,819
Solihull  £925,418
Haringey  £955,962
Northumberland UA  £961,719
Bromley  £993,382
Derby UA  £1,004,576
Essex  £1,010,013
Hampshire  £1,024,533
Medway UA  £1,040,716
Brent  £1,065,343
Wandsworth  £1,081,014
East Riding of Yorkshire UA  £1,086,291
Bedford UA  £1,087,251
Stoke-on-Trent UA  £1,105,641
Peterborough UA  £1,112,997
Ealing  £1,120,353
Central Bedfordshire UA  £1,120,673
North Somerset UA  £1,145,139
Wakefield  £1,198,710
Nottingham UA  £1,215,981
Kirklees  £1,273,870
Redbridge  £1,285,543
Durham UA  £1,299,616
Basingstoke & Deane  £1,324,978
Hounslow  £1,362,781
Coventry  £1,372,696
Kent  £1,378,613
Leicester UA  £1,410,116
Swindon UA  £1,451,214
Barnet  £1,517,737
Newham  £1,580,423
Westminster  £1,638,472
Camden  £1,767,042
Shropshire UA  £1,791,669
Wiltshire UA  £1,841,402
Hillingdon  £1,848,758
Sheffield  £1,957,819
Lambeth  £1,972,531
Cornwall UA  £1,997,957
Salford  £2,016,347
Croydon  £2,201,847
Bristol  £2,281,004
Hackney  £2,331,376
Milton Keynes UA  £2,513,998
Southwark  £2,590,116
Manchester  £2,616,342
Leeds  £2,732,599
Bradford  £2,760,424
Birmingham  £3,202,265
Islington  £3,706,471
Tower Hamlets  £4,287,276
Gosport 
Hart 
High Peak 
Isles of Scilly 
Upper Tier Authorities 
TOTAL £199,260,645