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Tory MPs turn down chance to get more cash for Councils

April 21, 2008 4:00 PM

Wokingham Liberal Democrats are furious that Tory MPs refused to support an amendment to the Housing Bill that would mean Wokingham Borough Council getting a fairer deal on council housing.

Councillor Prue Bray (Leader of the Lib Dem Councillor Group at Wokingham Borough Council and councillor for Winnersh ward) said, "The Tories in Wokingham have cut gardening and decorating services for the elderly and disabled, blaming poor government funding for council-run social housing. But on 31st March MPs were given the chance to vote for fairer funding for council-run housing - and Tory MPs refused to do it.

"The proposal was supported by the Liberal Democrats and rebel Labour MPs. If the Tories had joined them, Wokingham Borough Council could have been millions a year better off, money that is desperately needed to provide and maintain social housing. As the credit crunch in the UK makes it more difficult for people to buy a home of their own, it's more important than ever for local councils to provide affordable housing either to rent or buy.

"I find it amazing that the Tories blame the problems with council houses on poor government funding, but then turn down the chance to do something about it. Their hypocrisy is astonishing."

Note:

The Housing Bill was debated in parliament on 31st March. The amendment for fair funding was put forward by Lib Dem MP Paul Holmes and rebel Labour MP Austin Mitchell. The amendment called for financial penalties to be removed from local authorities so that they can provide the social housing that is so desperately needed. Tory MPs abstained from the vote.