Do you remember at school, if you didn’t pay attention in class and the teacher noticed it, they would suddenly ask you a question to see if you paid attention… well dear readers (especially you quiet ones there at the back, the uncool kinds that Boris never invited you to a party neither at Downing Street nor at Chequers… yes you!) I have a question for you to see if you paid attention!
What would you do if you were Housing Minister?
I’ll give you my answer as a model.
First of all, I would probably cry…a lot… Partly because the past few dozen housing ministers has made everything worse and nothing better but mainly it will be tears of joy. Can you imagine a nicer job? It’s honestly my dream job!
Once I dried my eyes and wiped my nose, the first policy will be the “reverse green belt”. Now this one is simple; all green belts will be scrapped and then a Local Plan review will take place to determine what green belt is re-allocated as green belt (I’m not anti green belt, I’m just pro sensible green belt).
The second policy will be to up the housing compulsory target to 450,000 per year. To make up for all the years of under performance.
The third policy will be to bring in a homogenised infrastructure levy (yes, if we want to build houses we need to build infrastructure… but properly thought through and planned infrastructure not the silly S106 patches of nondescript “green open space” (aka future dog toilets). Proper planned infrastructure at local and regional level.
The fourth policy would be to introduce rules that clearly define what objections will be given weight… anything to do with “too much traffic on the gridlocked roads” or “we already have to wait 36 months to see the GP” or “the schools are all so full I have to drive my children to the next county” or “there isn’t enough parking because the new people will have six cars per resident” will all be dismissed as lies (and that’s the truth).
The fifth policy will be to send all councillors that serve on a planning committee on an intensive training course with accredited exams that they have to pass before they are allowed anywhere near a planning committee meeting. (No, I won’t scrap committees, we’re not living in a dictatorship…yet… despite the current governments best efforts).
Anyway, I’m out of ideas already.
What would your policies be? (You can’t copy mine!)
I’m looking forward to reading your homework!