Hounslow Needs Funding for New Schools

Housing Construction could grind to a halt otherwise


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Hounslow’s housing programme will ‘grind to a halt’ unless it can raise council tax to provide new school places, a council chief has warned.

Brendon Walsh, director of regeneration at Hounslow Council, said the west London borough’s development pipeline would overwhelm local schools if new funding could not be secured.

Speaking at the Great Housing London debate on 6 November, organised by Inside Housing and Willmott Dixon Housing, he said: ‘The difficulty for our borough going forward is around child yield. That comes from housing growth and puts a great deal of pressure on funding.

‘Without guaranteed funding from central government, our housing programme is going to grind to a halt.

‘The only other option would be to go to the residents and ask for permission to raise council taxes.’

Hounslow is on course to get 2,500 new affordable homes built or approved by the end of next year. It also hopes to deliver a further 3,000 homes from 2014 to 2019, but this will only be possible with increased funding to create new school places.

‘Inevitably [councillors] will eventually come under pressure to consider the amount of housing which we can be committed to delivering,’ he said.

Under rules introduced in the Localism Act, councils can only raise taxes beyond set amounts after putting it to residents in a referendum.

Hattip to Look West

November 20, 2013

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