Labour pledge to build 8,000 new city homes Party launches manifesto for forthcoming local elections
THE city council will build 8,000 homes and back further community-led housing projects if Labour retains control at the May local election.
That was the key pledge in the Labour manifesto launched this week.
Labour council leader Ian Ward said: “We will be looking to build a minimum 8,000 homes over the next four years.
“On top of that will be the private sector contribution to help meet Birmingham’s housing need.”
The pledge would mean increasing the rate of council house construction from its current level of about 500 a year.
“If you think that we’ve got to build in excess of 50,000 homes by 2031 we will also have to invest in skills to ensure we have the people to deliver this,” Cllr Ward added.
He also rubbished a rival Conservative proposal to demolish all council tower blocks as failing to deal with the housing shortage and sure to create homelessness.
The Labour group also pledged to introduce a new skills fund to support smaller businesses in training and apprenticeships.
Cllr Ward was joined by Labour’s shadow education secretary Angela Raynor MP for a tour of the Erdington Skills Centre where they met trainee brick- layers, carpenters and painters preparing themselves for careers in construction.
Cllr Ward said: “Under Labour, Birmingham is on the up. We’re building homes, creating jobs and preparing to showcase the city as we host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Over the next four years we’ll ensure that the growth of our city is inclusive growth, where the jobs and opportunities benefit the people of Birmingham.” He said they had protected services for the vulnerable despite seeing their budget slashed by the Conservative Government.
“We’re immensely proud of this manifesto – it builds on Birmingham’s rich heritage but also outlines how we create a new municipal socialism that benefits all.
“Labour will ensure that Birmingham will flourish and allow everyone to participate to full potential.”
Angela Rayner MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said: “Birmingham Labour has put jobs and skills at the centre of their offer – and Labour know that supporting our young people, giving them the skills they need, is central to a city and a society that works for all.”
The entire council will be up for election on May 3. their
> Labour MP Angela Raynor (second left) with Birmingham Council leader Ian Ward, Birmingham Met College Prinicipal Andrew Cleaves, and council deputy leader Brigid Jones at the Erdington Skills Centre