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York Labour calls for review of halt to council housing scheme

Plans to stop agreed new council housing from being progressed have been challenged by the council’s main opposition Labour Group.
Labour councillors have challenged the Tory-led Coalition’s decision to halt agreed plans for a scheme of new council apartments, which were agreed through the planning process last year to provide downsizing opportunities to council tenants.
The Executive decision calls into question Conservative and Liberal Democrat commitment to affordable housing in the city, according to Labour’s housing spokesperson Barbara Boyce.  She said:
“These council apartments had  been subject to the usual consultation as part of the planning process. Local residents were given the opportunity to have their say, which four did.  So really it beggars belief that eight months after that planning permission was given, and after the council had spent money to develop detailed plans for construction of the apartments, we now have political interference at the 11th hour.  It raises the dangerous prospect of political meddling in other cases which date back a long way in a process where political influence is not permitted under the law.  It’s a worrying development for the council, for proper decision making and for the prospect of delivering affordable housing at a time when the Coalition barely has two feet under the table”.
New Executive Member for Housing, Conservative Councillor David Carr said in his reasoning that there had been a high level of concern from residents and Lib-Dem ward councillors.
Labour’s deputy Leader Coun. Stuart Barnes comments:
“From speaking with people from Acomb and across York on the doorstep, I know only too well how hard it is for families waiting for council housing.
“After recent announcements about the Tory and Lib-Dem plans to relocate York families to Selby and Ryedale, I’m seriously concerned that we’re starting to see a ‘Tale of Two Cities’ in York under the Tories and Lib-Dems. York is a fantastic city to live, work and raise a family in, but at the same time is increasingly unaffordable for many of its residents.
“Instead of sticking to plans to deliver the affordable housing that many York people desperately need, the Tory-led Coalition has chosen to remove over 12% of planned new council housing”.

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