Taking issues to the heart of Government
Released: Tuesday, 21 March 2017
While Adur District Council has fought to set a balanced budget for the next year, last minute changes to the way that the Government distributes New Homes Bonus will dramatically increase pressure on maintaining that balance.
Last week, Councillor Neil Parkin, Leader of Adur District Council, took the Council's concerns to the heart of Government at a meeting with Marcus Jones, Under Secretary of State (Minister for Local Government).
Cllr Parkin takes up the story:
“The new scheme will remove £214,000 from the Council's revenue budget this year alone - and it appears that we now won't receive any New Homes Bonus at all over the next three to five years.”
“We have been successfully delivering housing growth in Adur, and have used the New Homes Bonus as one part of a financial strategy to keep our bin collections weekly, to keep investing in our communities and to keep Council Tax low.”
“Constrained by the sea on one side and the Downs on the other, we simply don't have enough available land to build homes of the required size which would make us eligible for the updated New Homes Bonus.”
“We went to the Government with a simple request: either to amend the updated New Homes Bonus system to make it fairer on Districts such as ours, or to implement a transitional arrangement allowing us to manage the loss of funding.”
“We are now waiting for a response from the Minister of State for Housing and Planning, Gavin Barwell, and will be making our case in the consultation for the Fair Funding Review, which has a final consultation next summer. We are proud of everything that we've achieved in Adur through sound financial planning and will continue to fight for what we believe should be ours for the benefit of our residents and taxpayers.”
The dramatic reduction in New Homes Bonus receipts follows changes to the scheme which favours the building of larger homes. In the Adur District, most of the development space exists in brownfield or in-fill sites, or in opportunities to increase density - these are smaller properties in Bands A to C.
Additionally, the Council will not benefit from any empty homes being brought back into use, further compounding the issue.
Photo - left to right:
- Paul Brewer, Director for Digital and Resources, Adur & Worthing Councils
- Marcus Jones, Under Secretary of State (Minister for Local Government)
- Cllr Neil Parkin, Leader, Adur District Council
- Tim Loughton, MP, Conservative Member of Parliament for Shoreham and East Worthing.
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