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I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with Mathew Laverack’s sentiments of January 2. His outspoken words hit out and more to the point he is nearly always correct.
I agree always with his comments regarding planning, and the lack of initiative by the government and local authorities.
House building is out of the window due to ridiculous legislation; housing is so expensive that young people will never be able to own their own homes.
This country has lost all its major industries except one, and that is building.
Thousands of people could be employed in building homes for people who do not earn more than £75,000 per annum, yet we only seem to build for the wealthy.
There are thousands of properties in York that could be renovated, but most are taken up by university students, many of whom would have been better taking up apprenticeships but are brainwashed into thinking that a being white-collar worker is the only way in life.
Why can’t someone in government sit back and listen to the advice from people such as Mr Laverack?
His advice is plain common sense, a commodity the council appears to lack.
Ray Theakston, Greenshaw Drive, Haxby, York.
• IN HIS New Year message, James Alexander states his council will increase housing provision this year, especially affordable housing.
This unwise claim will come back to haunt him.
City of York Council refused Government funds to build more council houses because it didn’t like the 80 per cent rent levels and the private sector continues to be crippled by excessively onerous regulations and demands.
Even when the odd scheme does proceed and even if it includes the maximum target 35 per cent social units, this is not a majority of affordable housing as indicated would be the priority.
Perhaps cabinet members are intending to go to technical college to acquire the skills to build all these affordable homes themselves; and to pay all the costs from their taxpayer-funded allowances?
Matthew Laverack, Lord Mayor’s Walk, York.
• COUN James Alexander claims in his new year message that, “We will increase the provision of housing and particularly affordable housing in 2013” (The Press, January 1).
Anyone with knowledge of housebuilding levels in the city will be amazed by this claim. This is because there are simply not enough sites under way, or likely to start, to deliver an increase on 2012 completions.
In the past three years things have got so bad that the council has resorted to inflating their housing statistics by including questionable developments which stretch definitions.
These include counting 57 replacement hostel bed spaces as affordable housing, 124 student bedrooms as private housing, and 75 rented properties, which were replacements for demolished dwellings, as additional affordable housing.
We will have to wait to hear how the council leader intends to achieve his objectives, but I predict he will need more than creative accounting skills to avoid falling flat on his face with this tall order.
I hope opposition councillors and The Press will closely monitor York’s 2013 housing figures to see who is right – me or Coun Alexander?
Paul S Cordock, Durlston Drive, Strensall, York.