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The Welsh Local Government Association has welcomed the conclusion of the national assembly's local government and ...
The Welsh Local Government Association has welcomed the conclusion of the national assembly's local government and housing committee that local authorities should be able to borrow on the same terms as housing associations when they need to raise money to repair and renovate council housing.
Commenting on the publication of the committee's review of housing stock transfer, Ronnie Hughes, WLGA deputy spokesperson for housing, said:
'This is very good news. The WLGA has long been arguing for such a change in government policy. It is indefensible that Welsh councils continue to be prevented from making the investment required to bring thousands of council homes up to a modern standard by the restrictions on borrowing imposed by central government.
'The association has welcomed the assembly cabinet's support for a change to the local government borrowing regime and we hope that the UK government will honour its commitment to replace the current arrangements with a prudential borrowing requirement as soon as possible after the general election.'
In the autumn of 1999, the assembly's cabinet came to the view that large scale voluntary stock transfer to a community ownership model was the only viable option to secure the additional investment required to tackle the backlog of repairs and improvements required to council housing. The association challenged the validity of and basis for this finding and made representations to ministers and the Assembly seeking an independent review and analysis of the different options for securing additional investment.
The association very much supported the local government and housing committee's decision to undertake this review and we now welcome the findings and conclusions contained in the report. The association is committed to working with the assembly to identify changes to the local government finance regime that would allow local authorities to make the investment needed to bring all council housing up to a good standard. The association's response to the assembly's draft housing strategy makes practical proposals for how this could be achieved.
The National Assembly's Draft Housing Strategy can be found on the WLGA's website.
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