Wednesday, 17 March 2010

A non-answer on providing affordable housing for Launceston

I remain deeply concerned about the Council's proposed Affordable Housing PFI scheme. I think that the houses that it will produce will be very expensive and I am concerned that there is too much focus on this scheme as the answer to our housing needs when it will only meet 7% of our affordable housing need per year for four years.

However, at today's Cabinet meeting there was no debate allowed on the principle of the PFI scheme. So instead I was able to ask some more specific questions.

In response, I receive a commitment from Mark Kaczmarek, the Cabinet Member for Housing, that no playing fields would be built on.

I asked what would happen if planning permission for sites were refused and was told that they were confident that they had enough sites on their reserve list to cope so that they would not fail to meet their target number of homes or have to give any cash back to the Treasury.

Finally, I asked what proposals the Council had to provide more affordable homes in the Launceston area, given that there is nothing in the current scheme for this despite the huge need. Here is where I got the non-answer. There is nothing specific planned, but the Council would like to do something. They just don't really know what. But would welcome ideas.

Er... thanks.

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