Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

Part of Department for Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons at 5:36 pm on 2nd July 2019.

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Photo of Gareth Snell Gareth Snell Labour/Co-operative, Stoke-on-Trent Central 5:36 pm, 2nd July 2019

I entirely agree, and the same goes for LEP boundaries. If we are going to do this, there has to be a way forward that means that it fits local area needs.

According to the NAO, £6 billion is currently tied up between section 106 agreements and the community infrastructure levy. That is a huge amount of money, but the CIL aspect of that cannot be spent on building new affordable housing because it is for low-level infrastructure. I urge the Minister to review that. It is a pot of money that exists in local authorities that could be unlocked to readily transform the way in which our local authorities work.

At its best local government is flexible, lean and hungry to do things, but that agility is fast becoming fragility, and I fear that if there is one more knock to the system everything will shatter.