Labour pledge to build 8,000 new city homes Party launches man­i­festo for forth­com­ing lo­cal elec­tions

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Neil Elkes Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Cor­re­spon­dent

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

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