Call to slash housing lists

Coun Gillian Campbell
Coun Gillian Campbell
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A TRADE union today called on Fylde coast councils to build more social housing to help get thousands of families off waiting lists.

The public services union UNISON has earmarked Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre as three local authorities across the North West which it wants to see investing more in social housing.

The union claims such an initiative could create 75,000 jobs in the region and contribute £4bn to the wider economy.

And it could also help slash waiting lists for social housing, which currently stands at 3,500 in Blackpool alone.

Kevan Nelson, head of UNISON in the North West, said: “A bold programme of house building is what the North West needs to pull out of recession.

“It would help to end the misery of families being stuck on the housing waiting list for many years.”

Coun Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for housing and public protection, said: “The council is pro-actively looking to promote new housing development.

“It is important to point out that Blackpool does have a very limited amount of open land available for development but we continue to improve our housing offer.”

Fylde Council built 47 houses in 2011/12, and 37 the year before. It is projected to build 29 more this year.

A spokesman for the council said: “We’d like to do more and we’re doing all we can so there’s a lot of work going on.

“Of course it’s never enough but we’re doing as much as we can.”

A spokesperson for Wyre Council said: “As a council we do not hold any housing stock nor do we build affordable housing.

“The council’s planning policies allow for the provision of affordable housing however it is limited by the availability of funding from central Government.”

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