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Press Release RADICAL AFFORDABLE HOMES BID

December 3, 2017 4:48 PM

Shropshire Councillor Heather Kidd has made a radical bid to alter the way Shropshire Council delivery affordable homes in the County

Heather Kidd Shropshire Councillor for Chirbury and Worthen, said: "There is a crying need across Shropshire for homes which are affordable for our young people to buy or rent. Shropshire has failed miserably to deliver these since 2012."

Heather will be putting a motion to the full Council on 14th December.

"The Council has severe problems recruiting carers, teachers and other key workers in rural areas - especially in South West Shropshire. The Council now needs to have a robust plan to define our key workers and put in place a delivery plan for their housing in the countryside. Maintaining and improving sustainability of our villages is vital for the future of rural communities, the future of their services e.g. schools, shops and local businesses. This has the potential to save money in for Council Services too."

The motion goes on to demand That this Council requests officers- as a matter of urgency - to bring forward innovative ways to build housing to satisfy local need and not developers wants in our rural areas. This response should include cost effective and low resource methods to improve the status of Parish and Neighbourhood planning so that Towns and Parishes have a meaningful role in planning applications and can reflect needs of their communities. A new definition and status of key workers is also vital.

Heather concluded that " We know the number of affordable homes built in Shropshire has been going down since 2012*. Sitting on their hands whilst the crisis grows worse is no longer an option for Shropshire Council. We have a poor situation with social mobility and this is part of the problem. See rport link below** Immediate and proactive action is necessary."

ENDS

* Heather has aked the following question to the Council Administation for reply during the meeting of 14th December:

COUNCILLOR HEATHER KIDD will ask the following question to the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Regulatory Services.

Could the portfolio holder tell me

  • How many local needs affordable houses have been built in rural areas since 2012 listed by year.
  • How many local needs affordable houses have been given planning permission since 2012 listed by year.
  • How many single plot affordable dwellings have been built in rural areas since 2012 listed by year.
  • How many single plot affordable dwellings have received planning permission and how many have been refused since this policy was first adopted.

In answer to the above questions I would like to use the definition of Rural Areas as villages where the total electorate is less than 3,000. These are affordable houses to rent or buy or both.

Notes: Heather Kidd was the co author of the South Shropshire Affordable Housing Scheme that was widely copied across the UK and forms (albeit in a very watered down form) the basis of Shropshire Council's current policy.

** Social Mobility Commission - GOV.UK

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/social-mobility-commission

The Social Mobility Commission (SMC) monitors progress towards improving social mobility in the UK, and promotes social mobility in England. ... Social mobility in Great Britain: fifth state of the nation report. 28 November 2017; Press release ... Social mobility index: 2017 data. 28 November2017;

Shropshire is ranked 237 out 324. See map in report