Ealing Given Extra Funding For New Homes

Bonus grant of £1.12 to help 'transform communities'

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Ealing council has been awarded £1.12 million to increase housing stock and development in the borough.

The payment, from the 'New Homes Bonus Grant' - part of the Coalition Agreement - provides incentives for local authorities to 'deliver sustainable development, including for new homes and businesses.'

Housing Minister Grant Shapps said the additional funding could transform housebuilding by encouraging local communities to support rather than resist development.

Under the first cash payments for the scheme, 326 local authorities will receive a share of £200m for increasing the effective housing stock by almost 150,000 in 2010-11

The Government will match council tax raised from new homes for the first six years.

Mr Shapps said it was vital that residents have the opportunity to choose how these bonuses are spent - whether it be council tax discounts for local residents, boosting frontline services like rubbish collection or providing local facilities like swimming pools and leisure centres.

A spokesperson for Ealing Council said that the funding was announced after their budget had been set and they are still considering exactly how the money should be spent.

The failure to announce the award has been criticised by opposition Conservative Councillors who claim Labour are intent on 'burying good news'.

However Council Leader Julian Bell says:

''This grant represents roughly 1.3% of the money that central government will cut from our budget over the next four years.

'' It is laughable that the Conservatives think this grant is good news it is the equivalent of a thief stealing your car then returning a hub cap and expecting you to be grateful.”




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19 April 2011