Feb 29, 2008 0
Redlands Councillor, Daisy Benson, and Lib Dem parliamentary campaigner for Reading East and Katesgrove Councillor Gareth Epps have welcomed Labour’s belated action to tackle empty homes after Lib Dems called for action TWO YEARS AGO.
In October 2007, the Lib Dem Group on Reading Borough Council tabled a motion to Council calling for action on empty homes. In October 2007, the Lib Dem Group on Reading Borough Council tabled a motion to Council calling for action on empty homes.
Daisy Benson said:
“Labour politicians bragged in Council meetings about the award the Council won for its empty homes policy back in the 1990s (now gathering dust in the Civic Centre). But when I asked about what the Council was currently doing about the problem, I was told by officers that no up to date empty homes policy existed.”
“I am impressed by what I’ve seen of the policy on paper. The Council will need to ensure it is adequately resourced and that officers are proactive in using the Council’s existing powers bringing back into use the hundreds of empty homes that exist all over Reading”
Gareth Epps said:
“Reading has the highest number of homeless people outside London. We all know that pressure for new development on spare land and back gardens is high.”
“Labour clearly took their eye off the ball on this issue and it was left to the Lib Dems to get the issue back on to the agenda.”
“A strategy is a useful first step. Now we need firm action to reduce the numbers of empty homes in Reading. The Lib Dems have identified empty properties across the town and pressed for action. We will continue to take a lead in highlighting where these properties exist.”
- More background information on the Lib Dem Campaign can be found by following this link.
- There are currently an estimated 894 empty private properties in Reading (source: RBC empty homes strategy)
- The majority of empty properties are in Abbey (29), Minster (11), and Katesgrove (source: RBC empty homes strategy)
- Reading has the highest number of empty private sector properties in Berkshire (source: RBC empty homes strategy)
- (Lib Dems tabled a motion to Council in October 2007. More info here
- RBC was the second-only council in the country to establish an Empty Homes Strategy aimed at private sector properties