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Ellesmere Port MP reveals council house is sold for just £27,000

Justin Madders concerned not enough is being done to replace council house sell-off

The former Ellesmere Port greyhound stadium is being redeveloped for housing including the first council houses for 40 years

A three bedroom semi in Ellesmere Port sold for just £27,000 under right to buy, Ellesmere Port and Neston MP Justin Madders (Lab) revealed in Parliament.

The snip led the MP to query the right to buy replacement policy.

He questioned how the Government’s policy to replace council houses sold under right to buy on a one-for-one basis works in practice.

Mr Madders points to figures from the independent House of Commons Library which raise a national issue as between 2012/13 and 2015/16, 41,755 homes were sold but just 6,526 new properties were built.

He explains that under the current policy, the council retains just a third of the proceeds from sales while two thirds go back to the Treasury coffers.

This means that Cheshire West and Chester Council was provided with just £9,000 to build a new three-bedroom house.

Questioning the Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, Mr Madders said: “We know it is Government policy to replace sold council houses on a one-for-one basis but a three-bed semi in my constituency was recently sold for just £27,000 and the council cannot possibly replace a house for that much money — unless, perhaps, it is made of LEGO.

“We know that across the country only one in five of the council houses that are sold are getting replaced so may we have a statement from the relevant minister about how this policy can actually be put in practice?”

Mrs Leadsom replied: “It is important that any money raised goes back into social housing and affordable housing.

“I can reassure (Mr Madders) that the Government’s own investment in social, council and low-cost homes is now more than £9bn. We have delivered about 350,000 new affordable homes.

“That number needs to continue to rise but the Government are committed to ensuring that everybody has a secure and decent home to live in.”

Outside the House the MP commented: “Late last year I was extremely pleased to see new tenants move into first new council houses to built in Ellesmere Port in many years.

“Unlike many areas around the country our Labour council is doing fantastic work in bring forward new council houses but there is a clear disincentive on them doing so if they could receive less than £10,000 when they are sold.

“If the Government are serious about providing new council houses to address the desperate shortages that we are experiencing they are going to have to address the ridiculous situation that councils currently face.”

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