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'£8BN GAP IN GOVERNMENT'S HOUSE-BUILDING AMBITIONS FOR SOUTH-EAST'

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The first ever study today identifies an£8bn funding gap in the government's house building ambitions for south-ea...
The first ever study today identifies an£8bn funding gap in the government's house building ambitions for south-east.

The South East County Leaders' commissioned report*, The Cost & Funding of Growth in South East England is a unique comprehensive assessment of the infrastructure and services that will be needed to support the government's house-building ambitions for the south-east. It identifies infrastructure needs from hospitals to water supply and sewerage, from rail improvements to affordable housing and police stations to cemeteries. This, the second of two reports, calculates that taxpayers will have to provide more than£45bn to support the South East Plan and identifies a funding gap of at least£8bn.

We can provide you with examples of some of the infrastructure projects that are needed right across the south-east, such as the South Hants Rapid Transit scheme for Solent Gateway (rejected by government); the only single carriageway section of the Trans European Network between Carlisle and Verona which is outside Dover; highlight how the Highways Agency is blocking development in Growth Areas (in Ashford & Milton Keynes) because the government isn't funding motorway junction improvements etc.

In his foreword to the report Keith Mitchell (Con), chair of the South East England Regional Assembly's regional planning committee said:

'This is no time for muddled thinking. Our infrastructure is creaking. We need investment in rail, public transport, roads, water supply, and sewerage, as well as in schools and hospitals. Those of us who live and work in the south-east, experience congestion and overcrowding everyday. We can't afford to fudge vital questions about how we manage our future development.'

Roger Tym & Partners, the leading planners and development economists, spent a year analysing and costing the south-east's infrastructure needs. Bill Bisbane, partner at Roger Tym & Partners, the leading planners & development economists, led the team that wrote the report. He says: 'I am not aware that a comprehensive assessment of this nature has been carried out before. We have identified public sector infrastructure and service costs of more than£45b to serve the additional populations of the South East and the three eastern counties. It is essential that the necessary infrastructure and services to provide truly sustainable communities is delivered. To achieve this, it is necessary for the key agencies of national, regional and local government to agree who does what, when and to set out in a transparent manner, how funding is to be achieved.'

Please contact Charles Rhodes, Media & Communications Consultant to the South East Counties:

07831 709 660info@charlesrhodes.com

The south-east counties are amongst the best and most innovative local authorities, who campaign on issues of joint concern. The ten members are Buckinghamshire CC, Bedfordshire CC, East Sussex CC, Essex CC, Hampshire CC, Hertfordshire CC, Kent CC, Oxfordshire CC, Surrey CC, and West Sussex CC. South-east county leaders are committed to nurturing the engine room of the UK economy and delivering democratically accountable and effective public services that improve the quality of life of those we serve.

The full report will be available on the Tyms website from Monday:

www.tymconsult.com

Louise Kitchener

Research and Admin Asst.

South East Counties Chief Executives (SECCE) c/o Oxfordshire County Council

Tel: 01865 816075

Fax: 01865 247805

louise.kitchener@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Newsdesk/Forward Planning,

Please find attached more information about the South East County Leaders'

commissioned report, The Cost & Funding of Growth in South East England to be published on Monday 6th June 2006. Please note the strict embargo of

00:01 Monday 6th June 2005. In the attached PDF you will find:

1.Cllr Keith Mitchell's foreword (Keith is Chairman of the

South East County Leaders, Chairman of the South East Regional Planning Committee, and Leader of Oxfordshire County Council)

2.A 2 page summary of the reports' main conclusions

* The full executive summary of the report is available here.

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