Calls for more council houses to solve housing shortage in Milton Keynes

Councillor Edith Bald and Housing Minister Brandon Lewis MP

Councillor Edith Bald and Housing Minister Brandon Lewis MP

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Milton Keynes’ housing shortage can be solved by building more council houses, say the city’s leading Tories.

Iain Stewart MP for Milton Keynes South and conservative group leader Councillor Edith Bald have joined forces to urge MK Council to tackle the issue.

But Deputy Leader of MK Council and current cabinet member for housing and regeneration, Councillor Hannah O’Neill, claims Labour are already committed to building council homes.

The demands follow Coundillor Bald’s meeting with the housing minister, Brandon Lewis MP, where she raised the needs of Milton Keynes and the importance of building more stock.

She said: “The minister and I agreed on many of the points that were raised. I would urge the Labour council to build more homes so we can continue to tackle the shortage.

“When I was the cabinet member responsible for housing I looked at numerous different ways to tackle the issue but, in the end increasing stock is the only way to do it.”

Councillor O’Neill instead called for the city’s Tories to help lobby ministers to increase investment in council homes.

She said: “Labour is already working hard on building more council homes in Milton Keynes but we need help from the government to ensure funding is available.

“In the last year the Tories were in charge of Milton Keynes Council just one in five new homes built in the city were affordable, and there are now fewer council houses in Milton Keynes today than when David Cameron became Prime Minister.”

But City MP Iain Stewart told the Citizen building can go ahead if the council gets its finances right.

He said: “When the Conservatives ran Milton Keynes Council they not only managed to get the finances in order, but they also put in place plans to build the recently finished stock of bungalows in Stacey Bushes and further construction of homes in West Bletchley.

“They did this all with the pressure of cuts from government funding, which were essential to getting down our deficit.

“I hope the Labour Council takes note of what Councillor Bald did and follow her lead.”