Boff’s facts weren’t checked before publishing his criticism of us
Dear Ed, I WAS disappointed the Advertiser didn’t check the facts before running Tory GLA member Andrew Boff’s criticism of Tower Hamlets Council’s efforts to tackle its housing crisis. Shelter’s league table’ shows more affordable homes built than anywhere else—1,000 in each of the past three years
I WAS disappointed the East London Advertiser didn’t check the facts before running Tory GLA member Andrew Boff’s criticism of Tower Hamlets Council’s efforts to tackle its housing crisis (Council with longest housing waiting list letting London down,’ Advertiser Website, March 18).
Shelter’s recently published league table’ shows more affordable homes built than anywhere else—around 1,000 in each of the past three years. We are on track to deliver even more than 2009-10.
Of course we need to deliver more. But unlike Conservative-controlled councils which set woefully unambitious targets and then focus on building intermediate’ housing that allows them to gentrify’ an area by stealth, Labour-run Tower Hamlets is absolutely committed to maximising the number of new social rented homes for those on our waiting list.
As a result of Boris fiddling his own figures, we have, however, been forced to revise down our target to 3,860 affordable new homes between 2008 and 2011. This is still around 50 per cent higher than any other London borough and four times that of flagship’ Tory councils like Westminster and Hammersmith & Fulham, which Cameron and Osborne praise so much.
Of course, if blundering Boris was prepared to pass on 10 per cent of the funding he’s been given by Gordon Brown, I’d be happy to set our local target for new affordable homes back at 5,064, or 10 per cent of the total across London.
But it’s just not on for the Mayor of London to give less public subsidy per unit here just because the East End didn’t vote for him.
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Labour’s record on housing these past 10 years may not be perfect. But we are getting there. Andrew Boff’s bluster is just a smoke screen for the fact that the housing budget will be one of the first things Cameron’s Conservatives would cut if they win the General Election.
Cllr Marc Francis (Lab)
Housing & Development Lead Member,
Tower Hamlets Council
Town Hall, Blackwall
EDITOR: Facts quoted by Andrew Boff about Tower Hamlets housing delivery’ came from the council’s Overview & Scrutiny committee Agenda of March 10, 2010: Item 2, Minutes of February 9 meeting (page 5).