VIDEO: Ed Miliband praises Milton Keynes in visit to Great Holm

Labour leader Ed Miliband claims Milton Keynes is a “fantastic place to live” as he visited Great Holm to push his campaign on building more affordable housing.

The politician was on a tour around the country on the final day before the European and local elections.

Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband

Mr Miliband said: “We’ve got to have a council that’s willing to fight for a affordable housing for people in Milton Keynes to live in because it’s a fantastic place to live in.

“I was hearing from the young people today that lots of people want to come back, even after they’ve left for university.”

Mr Miliband heard the challenges young people in the city are facing when it comes to getting on the property ladder.

He said: “Speaking to the young couple who had a three-year tenancy was interesting because that’s unusual.

“Labour wants to make three-year tenancies the normal thing that people have because that provides much greater stability of rents, much greater security for families, much greater security for young people and some predictablilty about what’s going to happen to rents.

“Something really important is getting rid of those fees and charges that letting agents tend to charge to tenants.

“Even to rent a house it’s going to cost £500 or more to actually just pay a fee - so we want to deal with those issues.

“Talking to the young people here today proved there is a massive challenge around housing and that’s why, as part of our campaign, we have made a big pledge on affordable housing to make sure this is available in Milton Keynes because that is essential.

“Whether its the living wage, childcare, housing, local issues of pot holes or transport, I think we can make a real difference here in Milton Keynes and I’m very proud to support to the campaign.”

In response to Mr Miliband’s comments, Councillor Edith Bald said: “The Conservatives have done more for housing in Milton Keynes than both the Labour Group and the Lib Dems.

“The Conservatives inherited an unworkable policy for affordable housing which resulted in a virtual halt to new build affordable housing in Milton Keynes.

“We changed that policy and the result is that new affordable housing is coming through. However damage done by the previous policy will take a while to completely recover from.

“In Milton Keynes we are seeing around 1450 new houses a year being built.

“In addition the Conservatives have restarted council house building with 18 new bungalows being finished this summer and another 18 in the pipeline.

“And we are also purchasing 35-40 homes off the open market for council tenants. That’s 76 more new affordable homes than the Labour and Lib Dem Groups provided over the last 18 years! And the Conservatives are promising more if they are re-elected tomorrow.”