WHAT an excellent letter by Matthew Clements about student housing.
My main complaint is that none of these students pay council tax, thereby not only taking housing that our own young people could occupy but also “robbing” the Exchequer of much needed income.
I mean no insult to the students, but the vast majority will go elsewhere when they find work, while our young cannot get a foothold on the property ladder due to the high cost caused by this very issue.
Surely there must be a way that owners of these properties should have to pay council tax on their houses.
We hear so many complaints about fat cat bonuses etc – is this just not another one, in a different disguise?
In 2012/13 the council raised £94.3 million pounds through this tax. Imagine how much more we would have if all these houses were occupied by working people, contributing to the upkeep of the city directly.
How much better our roads would be, our essential services, how much more could be spent on looking after our elderly, our schools.
Judith Morris, Chair, York UKIP, Moorland Road, York.
• I WOULD like to thank Matthew Clements for his comment on the city’s future housing provision and his suggestion that universities are responsible for providing accommodation for all their students (Letters, February 15).
At the planning application for the University of York’s expansion, and the public inquiry in 2007, I, on behalf of the Council’s then opposition Labour group, argued that the university should be providing more accommodation on site.
However, this was not accepted by the Government inspector as it was deemed that you could not “tell” adults where to live and that we lived in a market economy where the market will make the choices to provide.
Current Conservative/Lib Dem Government policy is for universities to continue to expand with no requirement to provide accommodation on site. Councils are unable to refuse planning applications to expand academic facilities on the grounds of accommodation not being provided.
However, we do need to recognise that a growing percent of the city’s population are former students who work across a range of sectors providing services in the city and that the city’s four higher education institutions provide thousands of jobs directly and indirectly in our city.
Coun Tracey Simpson-Laing, Deputy leader, City of York Council.