LIBERAL Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable paid a visit to James House in York to see new temporary accommodation apartments ahead of his party's spring conference this weekend.

In a £12 million programme, financed by City of York Council and Homes England, families and couples experiencing homelessness will be provided refurbished apartments at the newly redeveloped James House. The redevelopment is part of the council’s programme to deliver 600 new homes for the city over the next five years.

Sir Vince, who announced on Thursday that he was stepping down as leader of the party in May, said: “I was pleased see at first hand how the City of York is working to support homeless households in York.

"We need more initiatives like James House to provide good quality and well-managed temporary accommodation.”

Sir Vince was also given the opportunity to see one of First York’s electric buses in action, and visited an electric bus charging station at Monks Cross Park&Ride.

Speaking on the bus he said: “I grew up in a York that was heavily polluted with factory smoke, but while the air is cleaner, there are still unacceptable levels of NOx (nitrogen oxides) and particulates. I was therefore pleased to take the opportunity to see the excellent work underway in York to tackle this issue."