Emma Hardy, the Member of Parliament for Hull West and Hessle, has welcomed Jeremy Corbyn’s announcement that a Labour Government would tax undeveloped land held by developers and give councils the power to compulsorily purchase it.
The announcement came as part of a raft of housing policies during Mr Corbyn’s ‘Leader’s Speech’ at the end of the Labour Party’s Annual Conference in Brighton. The announcement aimed to combat the fact that 120,000 children do not have a home and homelessness has doubled since the Conservatives took power in 2010. Mr Corbyn told the conference that families need homes and developers should ‘use it or lose it’. This phrase is credited to former Labour Leader Ed Miliband who made a similar comment on the issue in June 2013.
This has been a major issue in Hull recently with Hull City councillors publicly lamenting the lack of powers they have to deal with landowners who fail to get development schemes off the ground.
Responding to Mr Corbyn’s announcement, Emma said “The council’s recent call for more powers to tackle developers who don’t develop their land shows just how real this issue is in Hull West and Hessle and it is fantastic to see the Labour Party promising these new powers to councils. How can it be right to allow some developers to hold land and do nothing with it for years and years? I want to see Hull and East Riding boom and they really can’t if prime areas remain undeveloped.
“This Conservative government could very easily fix these issues but have stood idly by, preferring instead to play politics with people’s lives. I will work tirelessly to continue to be a strong, local voice for the people of Hull West and Hessle and hold them to account. Labour is the only party that is offering real solutions to the issues that affect real people. As Jeremy said today, we are a government in waiting. I look forward to the day when we don’t have to wait any longer and can get on with building a society that works for the many and not just the few.”