THE FIGHT to achieve good quality social housing at affordable rates may have taken a step forward as councillors voted to consider it in future business.

Buckingham Labour Cllr Robin Stuchbury proposed the motion ‘Buckinghamshire Council becoming a social housing provider’ before a full council meeting, on Wednesday, December 9.

His proposal was seconded by fellow party member and Wycombe Cllr Rafiq Raja.

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The motion was debated before members voted for it, at which point it was amended and ultimately agreed upon after another vote.

This means the council agreed to look at “the business case for council-owned social housing and affordable housing when considering future developments”, said Cllr Stuchbury.

“We all receive our mail bag and we all know what the situation is in regard to social housing,” said Cllr Stuchbury, speaking to members.

“I call on the cabinet member to instruct officers to undertake a feasibility study to determine the business case for developing additional, local, authority-owned social housing.

“We can never, ever really address the importance of our community’s need for housing by relying on small percentages of gain in developments under section 106 or infrastructure future growth. We need to take an active role in that.

“I believe Buckinghamshire Council has been gifted with the opportunity of starting again and looking at these things seriously.

“Every child in Buckinghamshire deserves the opportunity, as we all have, of having a key to their own front door. I hope we can…address this wrong we’ve all inherited.”

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The exact wording of the motion states: “It is essential that good quality social housing is available at affordable rents; we are all aware Buckinghamshire is an expensive place in which to live, leading to a serious hurdle in the recruitment of key workers such as teachers, nurses and GPs.

“This has the effect of depressing future growth and has a negative effect on the wellbeing of our residents. By providing good quality social housing at affordable rents, we can ensure this trend is reversed; it is therefore economically prudent and socially necessary.”

Despite the amendment, Cllr Stuchbury conceded there is ‘still a long way to go’.

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