Call to re­lax rules around green belt

Yorkshire Post - - POLITICS & ECONOMY -

FOR­MER LIB­ERAL Demo­crat leader Men­zies Camp­bell has been brought back into the party’s top team as part of a reshuf­fle an­nounced by Sir Vince Cable.

Tim Far­ron, who quit as leader af­ter the Gen­eral Elec­tion, has been give the task of draw­ing up plans to re­gen­er­ate the North un­der the shake-up. With just 12 Lib Dems hold­ing seats in the House of Com­mons, peers fea­ture heav­ily in the list.

Af­ter a decade-long ab­sence from the front­benches, Lord Camp­bell of Pit­ten­weem be­comes de­fence spokesman.

Sir Vince will take on the eco­nomic and busi­ness roles, a move that re­flects his ex­per­tise and ex­pe­ri­ence in pre­dict­ing the causes of the fi­nan­cial cri­sis and five years as Busi­ness Sec­re­tary, the Lib Dems said.

New roles for Lord Storey, for­mer Liver­pool City Coun­cil leader, and Lord Shipley, who led New­cas­tle City Coun­cil, show the party’s com­mit­ment to restor­ing its for­tunes in lo­cal govern­ment, ac­cord­ing to Sir Vince.

It comes af­ter Nor­man Lamb an­nounced last month that he was step­ping down as health spokesman. He has been re­placed by Baroness Jolly.

For­mer jour­nal­ist Chris­tine Jar­dine takes over the Scot­land brief from Jamie Stone, who will now speak on the Armed Forces.

Sir Vince said: “I am for­tu­nate to lead such a great, gen­der-bal­anced team, which is com­prised of the most tal­ented and promis­ing politi­cians in the House of Com­mons and bat­tle-hard­ened, ex­pe­ri­enced cam­paign­ers.

“The team has a wealth of se­nior Min­is­te­rial ex­pe­ri­ence. It also in­cludes the for­mer coun­cil lead­ers of New­cas­tle and Liver­pool, sig­nalling my in­ten­tion to re­store and build on our lo­cal govern­ment base.” RULES AROUND the green belt should be re­laxed and homes built next to mo­tor­ways to help tackle the coun­try’s hous­ing cri­sis, a Tory for­mer Trea­sury Min­is­ter has ar­gued.

Con­ser­va­tive peer Baroness Neville-Rolfe also said build­ing height re­stric­tions should be looked at “cre­atively”, with a view to pro­vide more ac­com­mo­da­tion.

The for­mer Tesco ex­ec­u­tive said she un­der­stood the pol­i­tics around the is­sue were “very dif­fi­cult” but ar­gued the coun­try was “in a cri­sis”.

Lady Neville-Rolfe was speak­ing dur­ing a de­bate in the House of Lords on the avail­abil­ity and af­ford­abil­ity of hous­ing.

She told peers: “A lack of ad­e­quate hous­ing growth along­side pop­u­la­tion growth is un­der­min­ing so­ci­ety in this coun­try.

“I be­lieve that hous­ing could be a crit­i­cal driver of greater pro­duc­tiv­ity as well as help­ing mend the coun­try’s so­cial fab­ric.”

Declar­ing her­self to be a “big fan” of the Com­mu­ni­ties Sec­re­tary Sa­jid Javid, she ar­gued he “should be al­lowed to be more rad­i­cal” given the scale of the prob­lem faced.

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