Monday, October 31, 2011

If the New Homes Bonus is bribery then bring it on!

The New Homes Bonus has been described as bribery by The Daily Mail. This isn't peanuts. A housing development in Somerset of 3750 properties is likely to bring in £54 million in New Homes Bonus. Think what East of St Neots is bringing in and will bring into HDC and CCC coffers. My back of the envelope calculations comes to about £40 million. Just for St Neots.

The Bribery allegation has much to do with the amount of money coming in. The amount is 6 years of Council Tax at the full rate for each property built split 80/20 between HDC (which gets most) and CCC which gets the 20%. This is worth roughly £8000 for each property.

Rt Hon Grant Shapps denied the new Homes Bonus was bribery. In his response he said:

And where homes are built, it is right that local people share in the prosperity and growth that this will bring to their community.

Only that HDC has pocketed this money and St Neots isn't having any of it.

New Homes Bonus funding can be used however communities see fit to improve their local area - and I would urge all councils expecting to receive funding to speak to their residents about how they would like to see it spent locally.

HDC hasn't asked St Neots what we want to do with the New Homes Bonus gained from properties being built in St Neots. Instead HDC disguises the New Homes Bonus as the New Homes Reward Grant or similar. HDC has denied or is in self denial about the purpose of the New Homes Bonus.

The recent Neighbourhood Forum would have been a good start to this.

So what are the St Neots Conservatives going to do about the New Homes Bonus?

At the last election the Conservatives said:
Read it again. The Conservatives have promised they will ensured the New Homes Bonus monies come back to St Neots where they belong. So why is HDC nicking our New Homes Bonus?

If HDC is just going to nick the New Homes Bonus money to prop up their failing budget the New Homes Bonus isn't worth anything to St Neots. On the otherhand if the New Homes Bonus monies comes to St Neots - where they belong - then bribe away.

1 comment:

St Ivian said...

In today's Hunts Post there is an invite to an HDC Meeting tonight at which localism is to be debated.

Unfortunately the invite says the meeting takes place on 7th November.

Jeff Dutton says: "we want to strengthen local democracy in Huntingdonshire by encouraging members of the public to come along to meetings to see democracy in action and raise any issues they may have". Pity they can't issue correct notices then.

I hope 'someone' turns up - it's a great opportunity to ask questions about the 'New Homes Bonus' :-)