Mike Davey, Labour Leader of the City Council commented:
I am shocked at the recent news of Michael Gove’s plan for the Cambridge region. Cambridge has a special place in the economy of the region and the country, and we would expect to work together with central Government to plan for our future. As the local authority with responsibility for Housing and Planning, plans of this scale should be shared with us well in advance, and we are disappointed that we first heard of it in the newspaper over the weekend.
Delivering housing for our residents is one of our key pledges in power. It is clear that we need homes for local people, and at affordable prices, urgently. We are proud to be a local authority which prioritises building council housing, with 500 council homes delivered in the past five years and hundreds more in the pipeline. However, this has been in the face of a worsening housing crisis, exacerbated by decisions the Tory government has made, most recently with the scrapping of mandatory local housing targets in December.
While building council homes is one of our key proirities, the Cambridgeshire area is facing a severe water shortage, which must be taken into account when any new developments take place in the city. This is an issue that Michael Gove, amongst other ministers will be aware of, following a letter we wrote to him less than two months ago covering the urgency of our water supply challenges. Cambridge Labour is hoping to embed water sustainability in its Emerging Local Plan, and we are disappointed that the government seems to have ignored our concerns. We therefore urge Mr Gove to work with us in the future, to create a sustainable and dynamic city, making the most of our amazing potential.