Labour attacked for robbing families of homes of their own

April 19, 2010 1:31 PM
Cllr Sian Reid

Sian Reid

Angry Liberal Democrats have accused Labour of robbing thousands of Cambridge families of a chance of their own homes following Marshall's decision not to move out of Cambridge.

They claim residents have been let down by Labour which has given them mixed messages over its commitment to address the city's housing needs.

Sian Reid, Cambridge City Executive Councillor for Climate Change and Growth said: "Cambridge has been let down by the Labour government which has with the one hand firmly supported the Cambridge East plans and with the other failed to deliver the airport move.

"The people of Cambridge have been given mixed messages and a major source of additional housing is now in question."

The Lib Dems will be putting their views to the full meeting of Cambridge City Council on Thursday (April 22) in a motion claiming the news should be greeted with dismay not celebration.

They claim the decision by Marshall's not to move out of the city freeing up the airport land for housing is bad news for the city's economy and for the thousands of families on the housing waiting lists.

And they are worried that Marshall's decision could put Cambridge's Green Belt at risk if developer are forced to look for new sites four housing.

If new homes cannot be built it will drive up house prices higher still in the city meaning even fewer workers can afford to live in or near Cambridge, they claim.

Ian Nimmo-Smith, Cambridge City Council Leader said: "This decision has severe implications for the whole of Cambridge. It is not only extremely bad news for families on the housing waiting list but also for people who will be forced to live a long commute from their jobs leading to more congestion on our roads."

Catherine Smart, Cambridge Executive Councillor for Housing said: "Cambridge has a desperate shortage of affordable housing. This development could have helped those who are waiting for a home of their own; but this government has robbed them of that chance in the foreseeable future."

While they begin to consider the strategic options for the city, the Liberal Democrats are seeking urgent clarification from the government on its continuing commitment to addressing Cambridge's housing needs.

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