Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Congratulations to Labour Councillors in Hyndburn

Tomorrow DCLG will announce that Hyndburn's Labour Council has been successful in bidding for the full £2.35million it bid for from the Government's exit HMR fund (Transitional Relief Fund).

I know it's been a very demanding for Councillor Clare Pritchard the Cabinet member and the Leader, Miles Parkinson. I have led a Parliamentary campaign here in Westminster with the Housing Minister and his officials to add weight to the enormity of the housing issue in Hyndburn and the parlous state the Council's accounts were left in.

6 HMR areas were asked to bid for a total of £30million with bids totalling a far higher figure of £44million. For Hyndburn to receive it's full amount which I believe is higher than comparable Councils across East Lancashire is testament to the hard work the new Labour Council have put in.

Picking up from the chaos left by the last Conservative administration has been an enormous challenge. £2.6million promised to Woodnook that did not exist. £2.4m of unfunded legal commitments in West Accrington that would have seen the Council in effect made bankrupt and £2m promised to the townships.

The £2m townships fund and other small funds have been corralled together to meet the governments demand for match funding of any Transitional Relief to total £2.35million.

That with the Governments £2.35m should pay off the legal commitments in West Accrington, pay of any shortfall in the purchase of properties around Augusta Street, and allow the Council to complete a small programme in Woodnook.

Press

Graham Jones MP Welcomes hard-won £2.35m HMR Transitional Relief Money for Hyndburn

Following a year of campaigning, Graham Jones MP has welcomed the news that Hyndburn Borough Council is to receive the full amount of funding from the Government HMR exit fund – officially known as the Transitional Relief Fund.
“This has come as the result of 12 months hard work. I have led a Parliamentary campaign here in Westminster to add weight to the campaigning which has been led by Labour Councillors in Hyndburn. The fact we are to receive the full £2.35 million we bid for shows that we have gone some way to making the Housing Minister and his officials properly recognise the size of the housing problem in Hyndburn.”
6 Housing Market Renewal (HMR) areas were in competition for a total of £30 million in Transitional Relief Funding, with total combined bidding in the end reaching £44 million. Hyndburn Council successfully received the full £2.35 million which it asked for. Graham said:
“For Hyndburn to receive its full amount – which I believe is higher than comparable councils across East Lancashire – is testament to the hard work that the newly elected Labour Council have put in. I know it has been very demanding for Councillor Clare Pritchard and Council Leader Miles Parkinson, but we are all very pleased with the outcome.”

The funding is particularly important given the state that the Council’s finances were left in by the previous Tory administration. Graham said:
“Picking up from the chaos left by the last Conservative administration has been an enormous challenge. They promised £2.6 million for Woodnook that didn’t exist; they left us with £2.4 million of unfunded legal commitments in West Accrington and £2 million of unbudgeted spending on the townships fund.”
Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister Jack Dromey MP said of Graham’s efforts:
‘Ministers abandoned Hyndburn, dashing the hopes of local people for better homes and jobs. Today, following a year-long campaign led by Graham Jones, the Government has retreated, restoring to your local community that which was committed by a Labour Government.

Sadly, not all the communities in England that lost out have won justice in the same way. But Hyndburn has, thanks to Graham’s tireless efforts. I have seldom seen an MP fight so hard and long to put right a wrong. He is a credit to the people of Hyndburn’.