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WESTMINSTER ACCUSED OF SECOND GERRYMANDERING SCHEME

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The Independent carries a story (p5) claiming that millions of pounds of government grants earmarked for fighting h...
The Independent carries a story (p5) claiming that millions of pounds of government grants earmarked for fighting homelessness were used to finance Westminster's designated sales policy - with full knowledge of the department of the environment.

Tenants who moved were given up to £20,000 in a scheme which should have left their houses free for the homeless. But often the homes were sold to Conservative voters, claims the paper.

Shadow environment secretary, Jack Straw, said the affair may now require an investigation by the Public Accounts Committee.

This 'second' scheme. claims the paper, was made possible by money under the Cash Incentive Scheme, a programme in which tenants could be given up to £13,000 towards buying a new home provided they left their council property. Those freed should have been used exclusively to house the homeless.

A council spokesman said yesterday that as little as 8% of council stock may have been involved.
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