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Pop star throws his weight behind housing campaign
JAMIROQUAI frontman Jay Kay has thrown his weight behind a campaign to find more housing for the people of Princes Risborough.
The pop star, who had a string of chart-topping hits including Cosmic Girl and Space Cowboy, and who is a resident of the town, has given his backing to plans by the town council to buy the former Berryfield School site.
Council chairman Gary Hall, said: "Jay Kay has really taken the town to heart as his home.
"He expressed a willingness to play a part in the town, which is quite generous of him.
"He has offered to do regional TV for us and he is prepared to front a media campaign."
Jay Kay is currently out of the country and will release a statement on his return.
A spokesman for the star said: "Jay does support the idea and the campaign."
The town council has told solicitors that they want to buy the site of the former school, which closed at Easter, from Buckinghamshire County Council.
They want to use part of the current buildings for use as a community centre and want to use the rest to provide affordable housing for people in the area.
Cllr Hall said: "This type of housing will be available exclusively to local people and that will be a wonderful thing for Princes Risborough."
The town council wants immediate tenancy of the site, and Cllr Hall has hit out at the county council for failing to reply to the latest correspondence.
But the county council's cabinet member for resources, Cllr Mark Taylor, said Mr Hall's comments were made just two days after he received the letter.
He said: "The essential thing we have to do before we start talking about value is to get planning consent.
"That's going to take a little while.
"I have received a letter from the town council and frankly, the tone is not conducive to amicable negotiations.
"If they are prepared to behave amicably, we will stick to our side of the bargain but if it's going to be aggressive then that's not very helpful.
"Vacant premises do create headaches but the commercial reality is that we have to sell them at the best price we can for the benefit of the community as a whole."