CLLR MARK Warters (Letters, May 1)tries to claim credit for something he had little, if anything, to do with.

Article 4, in relation to Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs), was introduced by the Labour Government in April 2010 – however the Acts powers weakened by the Conservative Housing Minister in October 2010.

Labour in York lobbied the then Liberal Democrat administration to enact the policy In April 2011, City of York Council made a Direction, under Article 4(1) of the Town and Country Planning Order 1995, relating to change of use from Class C3 (dwelling house) to Class C4 (HMOs). This removes permitted development rights so that a planning application is required to change a property into an HMO.

Following consultation, the direction was confirmed in November 2011 and came into force in April 2012.

While Cllr Warters wanted a nought per cent policy per street, this would not have been acceptable in law; 20 per cent was chosen as it was legally tested. Even with this ‘limit’ the government planning inspector can and has allowed development to go ahead.

Cllr Warters needs to accept that council has to follow the law and perhaps speak to his student residents rather than attack their presence.

Cllr Tracey Simpson-Laing, Cabinet member for homes and safer communities, City of York Council.