West Midlands NO!

Regional government: unelected, undemocratic, unaccountable and unwanted

Shropshire Star: £200,000 for new housing

Posted by wonkotsane on October 24, 2006

 The following story was on the front page of the Shropshire Star tonight:

£200,000 for new housing 

Telford & Wrekin has received a £200,000 cash boost to help build an extra 13,000 homes and create new jobs in the borough over the next 10 years. A further £200,000 has been put aside to help build 3,500 homes in Shrewsbury and Atcham. The government windfall has been hailed a “lifeline” by Telford & Wrekin Council’s leader, who said it would save Telford from having to fend for itself as a “half finished town” in the future. The funding is a share of a £40 million cashpot.

Councillor Keith Austin said councillors had been concerned that after 2011, current regional plans for Telford propose a decrease in housing and employment growth.

But the new plans, earmarked as part of a £40 million government initiative, mean that Telford can continue to develop for at least a further 15 years.

Telford has been unveiled as one of 45 New Growth Points – towns and cities across the country with the potential to deliver new housing and jobs.

The money will act as start-up funding to support infrastructure, unlock sites for new housing and to assess and mitigate the impact of proposed projects on the environment.

The Government hopes the moves in Telford and Shrewsbury will help attract business investment to the areas, and assist first-time buyers eager to get on to the property ladder.

Councillor Austin said the council hoped to create a master plan in the coming year and that councillors and officers would be working hard over the coming months to put together a project plan and timetable that would include a public consultation.

He said: “We are very pleased to be working with the Government on this initiative. It recognises that Telford – as part of the Birmingham, Coventry and Black Country City Region – has an important role to play in accommodating growth in the West Midlands region.

“The council has been promised funding which will enable us to carry out studies to determine what level of housing and employment growth is right for Telford.

“We will also be able to get a clearer picture of the economic benefits and the infrastructure and inward investment required to support a sustainable and prosperous community.”

The first thing that springs to mind is “Wow!  £200,000!  That’ll pay for what, 2 houses?”.  The second thing that springs to mind is “what has this got to do with the city region?”

Of course, there is a regional element to this.  West Midlands Regional Assembly currently has a regional policy that states how many houses will be built in different parts of the euroregion.  The City Region has its own ideas of course and Telford has been described as a “stop tap for developments” which means that if targets aren’t being met elsewhere, they’ll be built in Telford which is surrounded by prime green field development sites.

Telford & Wrekin Council has a plan to turn Telford into a “green city” by 2026.  The plan involves building thousands of houses on green field sites such as the town park which attracts visitors from all over the West Midlands (I know this from personal experience).  The City Region government has a plan to grow the urban areas of the West Midlands euroregion that makes up the City Region without a thought for what will happen to the rest of the euroregion as the divide between the urban and rural economy grows.

One of the most interesting things that Keith Austin says is that a public consultation will take place but what will be the point?  The City Region will decide how much housing is built, when and where.


2 Responses to “Shropshire Star: £200,000 for new housing”

  1. John Franklyn said

    Education and Lifelong Learning are all part of the Formula to Vision 2021 and vision 2026. This double vision is supposed to turn Telford into a “Vibrant City”, yet the crucial elements of its Formula and the people who are the future, are having the “Financial Rug” pulled from under their feet, those being the young people in our communities.

    The visions for Telford are still on Very Shaky Ground. Telford and Wrekin Council and their Councillors had “Lost the VISION” of Telford beyond 2011, only weeks after announcing this revolutionary idea.

    The Financial Visions of Telford and Wrekin “CITY” hopes and 13,000 homes were given a new lease of life when they received a £200,000 Lifeline, which at £15.38 should buy each one a reasonably priced door knocker or bell.

    We have to question the viability of Council Chiefs “Vision” for the future if it can be dashed so quickly and joy spread by so little cash OR is this “lack of financial VISION” the reason why so many budgets are being “SLASHED” in T&W Council.

    The FORMER HEAD of the council Mr.Frater is leaving early with his PA to go to Nottingham, I wonder if this is the case of Jumping before being pushed.

    Councillors and Council Chiefs need to get to drawing board pretty sharpish and consult with idea pool within the residents of Telford and Wrekin to set realistic targets for the future.

  2. wonkotsane said

    Consult? Oh yes, that would be the democracy thing I’ve heard so much about. Isn’t that a swear word at Telford & Wrekin towers?

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