Correcting comments on the Housing White Paper wrongly attributed to me in the Brighton Argus

Today’s edition of the Brighton Argus (9th February 2017) attributed comments to me that were not accurate.  Here is the text of the letter I have sent to correct the record.

“Please may I correct comments attributed to me in Thursday’s paper. I did not say that I was “delighted with the new housing proposals”.  There were one or two proposals that I welcomed, such as abandoning the requirement that 20% of homes in new developments should be Starter Homes.

“I said I felt that much had been promised before publication, but the White Paper itself was a “real disappointment”. I said the promise was akin to the offer of a beautiful beach holiday but the reality turned out to be a damp Tuesday afternoon in September on the Bognor Regis seafront.  I am troubled that that was interpreted as being “delighted” with the proposals.

“I drew your reporters attention to a written statement I had prepared, and spoke to him about the White Paper being a missed opportunity to build council houses so that there was an increased supply of rents that people on medium, low and no income could afford.

“Regarding the Green Belt, I noted that developments will be allowed “in exceptional circumstances” and asked what greater exceptional circumstances are there than a housing crisis on a scale that this country has never known. If it is true that Surrey has more land given over to golf courses than housing, then I won’t weep if some green belt is lost.

“Finally, can I thank you for the kind words about me in your Editorial Comment. They were very generous.”

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