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Cambridge Liberal Democrats

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Julian Huppert MP

Prime Minister challenged over cut in new homes grant

July 23, 2009 10:34 AM

David HowarthPrime Minister Gordon Brown has been challenged by the city's MP over the cut in government grant which puts 1,020 new social homes at risk on the city's southern fringes.

David Howarth has asked Mr Brown whether, when he announced less than a month ago that he was trebling investment in affordable housing and creating an extra 45,000 jobs, he considered that the cut in the Housing Growth Fund would affect the very issue he was promoting.

And he demanded that, if this had not been taken into account, Mr Brown issue a statement "correcting any possible misleading impression". He also called on him to make a statement to the House of Commons after recess so he could be questioned on the matter.

Mr Howarth said in his letter to Mr Brown: "I know that you agree that Cambridge, with its commitment to innovation and enterprise in the real economy, lies at the heart of this country's economic future. It would be a tragedy if its long term prospects were to be jeopardised in a search for short term headlines."

In his announcement on June 29, Mr Brown promised to raise the investment in affordable housing from £600 million to £2.1 billion with a "re-allocation of funds". This would finance 110,000 affordable homes and create jobs in the construction and related industries, he said.

But this week Cambridge was told that £13.7 million promised by the government through the Housing Growth Fund was to be cut by £6 million, jeopardising plans for social and shared equity homes at Clay Farm and Glebe Farm in Trumpington.