Do you know, I had been wondering.
My right hon. Friend Mr. MacShane is dead right, and the Prime Minister made a point about that idea several months ago. It is quite clear that local authority building has a bigger role to play. That was signalled in the Budget, but there is more that we can do. The Prime Minister said back in February that
"if local authorities can convince us that they can deliver quickly and cost effectively more of the housing that Britain needs...then we will be prepared to give...our full backing and put aside any of the barriers that stand in the way of this happening."
That is a very important part of meeting the challenge ahead, and developing a bigger role for local authorities in helping to deal with the particular problems that they face in their areas.
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