General Election: Weston-super-Mare's candidates' views on… housing
PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:09 26 May 2017
As part of our series asking Weston-super-Mare's General Election candidates for their views on some of the key issues affecting people in the town, we are today turning our attention to housing. From the new developments planned for Weston, to the struggles of getting onto the housing market, the election candidates have shared their views.
Liberal Democrat candidate Mike Bell
“Under the Conservatives – in the Town Hall and Government – we’ve seen thousands of homes built in North Somerset. Yet it is harder to get your first home, harder to get an affordable rented home and many villages have been blighted by inappropriate development.
“We need a new approach that can only be delivered by voting for change.
“Lib Dems would build homes that are needed – and would free councils to build a new generation of council homes.”
Conservative candidate John Penrose
“We need to build lots more new homes so they’re cheaper to rent and to buy, but they’ve got to go in the right places.
“That means in town centres like central Weston, where the extra investment breathes fresh life and energy into our economic rebirth.
“And because it relieves the pressure for development sprawl on green field sites at the edge of rural villages, where many local communities strongly oppose it too.”
Labour Party candidate Tim Taylor
“I am committed to improving young people’s prospects of living independently and providing housing for working families. We need to build more affordable housing and work with local government on reducing the number of empty properties in the area.
“There are over 9,500 privately rented households in the constituency. Labour will protect tenants with more secure tenancy agreements.
“I believe we should prioritise building in the town and on brownfield sites to reduce building in rural communities.”
UKIP candidate Helen Hims
“Weston faces huge increases in population with thousands of new homes being built. Existing services such as schools, GPs and roads already struggle to cope.
“UKIP will insist the extra burdens on local services and infrastructure are addressed before new housing developments are approved.
“We’ll introduce new national guidelines incentivising development of brownfield sites, and bring empty homes & buildings back into use. We will stop the current trend of waving through developments in areas potentially at risk from flooding.”
Green Party candidate Suneil Basu
“We are stuck in a housing bubble. Rents are too high. House prices are too high. Private debt is too high.
“As the Green MP I would campaign to introduce legislation that protected tenants from predatory landlords, and introduce rent caps that matched average local earnings.
“I would restart the building of sustainable council housing. Our Green economic policies would deflate the housing bubble so they became a realistic aspiration.”