[Photo credit: Jess Taylor (Parliamentary photographer).]
Praise from the government for one B&NES policy. It came at parliamentary Business Questions when Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath, put to the Leader of the House, Penny Mordaunt, the failures of the Government’s social housing schemes.
In her response, Ms Mordaunt praised the Liberal Democrat led B&NES Council for getting ‘developments moving’ by providing the first new social homes in Bath for 30 years.
The Bath MP put to the Leader of the House the fact that over one million households are currently on the social housing waiting list. Progress on clearing this is seemingly going backwards with there being 14,000 fewer social homes than last year. Mrs Hobhouse highlighted the progress that the Liberal Democrat B&NES Council have made in trying to ease issues by providing the first social rent council homes in 30 years in the city despite the lack of Government support.
When replying, Penny Mordaunt congratulated B&NES Council’s efforts in getting ‘developments moving’. She defended the Government’s plans which involve investment in social housing and removing obstacles to construction but did not address why the number of social homes were falling when compared to last year.
Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath, commented:
“I am glad that Ministers recognise the tireless efforts of B&NES Council to provide social housing for people here in Bath. They need to turn this praise into action and start replicating the approach of our Liberal Democrat Council nationally so we can cut the one million person-long social housing waiting list.
“This is more necessary than ever. The situation is getting worse not better, no matter what the Government would like to say. There are 14,000 fewer social homes available to vulnerable people and the Government has no real plan on how to rectify this.
“The Government has chosen to ignore this increasingly dire situation for years. In doing so, they are harming the least well off in our society who face a rising barrage of challenges. The Conservative Government’s refusal to address the housing crisis is now biting hard and they have no idea how to address it.”
Tom Davies, the Liberal Democrat Cabinet Member for Council House Building, commented:
“As a Lib Dem administration we are delighted to have delivered the first Council Houses for a generation here in Bath and North East Somerset under our new B&NES Homes programme.
“But the need for these homes has never been greater – today we have nearly 6,000 households on the Council’s Homesearch Housing register – around 1,300 of them in the top two categories of most need. This is why we are committed to do so much more as a Lib Dem Council – with a commitment to deliver over 1,000 Council Houses by 2031.”