May's council house borrowing cap announcement 'is tragic repudiation of real conservatism'

A claim that Prime Minister Theresa May's announcement yesterday that the government is to allow councils to borrow more to build homes is a 'tragic repudiation of real conservatism' features in today's newspaper round-up.

Telegraph columnist Allister Heath says that May’s announcement that the cap on the amount local authorities can borrow to build housing will be scrapped is "statism, not capitalism". He writes: "This leap backwards will be welcomed by almost all housing ‘experts’ but it is a tragic repudiation of real conservatism and could lead to councils engaging in, and winning bidding wars for land with developers".

But, also writing in The Telegraph, Nick Timothy, a former advisor to May, says that the move showed the Prime Minister’s "pragmatism" in tackling market failures. He writes: "If the private sector is not building the houses we need, then the state must play its role".

The Telegraph reports that BBC research has found that rent is "unaffordable" across two thirds of Britain for people in their 20s. The paper says that the research found that "average rents for a one-bedroom flat are more than 30 per cent of young people’s salary in 65 per cent of postcode areas".

The Liverpool Echo reports on an investigation it carried out, which has revealed that the city’s council was "clearly told" by its own planners that it should not put an "unauthorised" banner on an historic building but "did anyway". The paper says that "emails show that a senior member of the council's marketing team was told in no uncertain terms by the leader of another team that hanging the huge publicity banner on the side of [the city’s Cunard building] and ignoring its own planning rules, would be an ill advised move". The paper says that the correct permissions "were eventually granted" for the banner.


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