Pendle Council to consider Building New Council Housing

Pendle Council has set up a Scrutiny Task Group to look into whether it could and should go back into providing Council-owned housing in order to provide for local needs. In 2006 the 3,444 dwellings then owned by the Council were transferred to Housing Pendle, which has now been swallowed up in the Together Housing group.

The Task Group follows a motion which was successfully moved by Liberal Democrat Councillor Tony Greaves, and seconded by Labour Councillor Wayne Blackburn, at the last Council meeting on 5th December, and passed with all-party support.

The motion read:

“This Council notes the Government announcements on 3rd October, 2018 and in the budget that restrictions on Council borrowing to build new Council housing were being lifted or eased.

“Council further notes the problems in developing a significant programme of new building for social housing in Pendle to cater for identified needs.

“Council therefore resolves to consider the desirability and practicalities of building new Council housing in the Borough to complement existing and new provision by housing associations.”

The all-party Task Group is due to hold its first meeting on Wednesday 13th February and is expected to call for a number of expert witnesses to provide evidence.

Councillor Greaves said: “Together Housing is now a large housing company, as it calls itself, covering areas across the North of England. It is far removed from the locally controlled and accountable body called Housing Pendle when the Council transferred its housing stock, let alone the local estate management under elected Councillors.

“At the same time there are clear social housing needs in Pendle that are not being catered for. It is well worth looking at whether a modern form of locally provided and accountable housing can play a part in providing for our needs in the future.”

The Task Group has been asked to provide an interim report within four months.

Councillor Greaves, who was Pendle Council’s first Chair of Housing over 40 year ago, added: “I hope this is an issue where the parties on the Council can work together in a constructive way for the benefit of future generations in Pendle.”

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