Grant Shapps delivers keynote speech to Conservative party conference

IF, as is widely predicted, the Conservatives win the forthcoming General Election then there is a good chance that Grant Shapps will become the next housing minister. With this in mind, the eyes of the country were on the Welwyn Hatfield MP on Tuesday as

IF, as is widely predicted, the Conservatives win the forthcoming General Election then there is a good chance that Grant Shapps will become the next housing minister.

With this in mind, the eyes of the country were on the Welwyn Hatfield MP on Tuesday as he delivered his keynote housing speech to his party's conference in Manchester.

His oration, entitled A Nation of Homebuilders, will no doubt be scrutinised keenly as political commentators try to get a flavour of what Conservative housing policy would be like.

In it, the shadow housing minister attacked the government's top-down "Soviet style" system of housing targets, while expressing his belief that local people should be given more say over the development of housing in their area.


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He also criticised Labour for proposing 15,000 more homes for Welwyn Hatfield, while simultaneously closing down major services at the QE2 Hospital.

After his speech, Mr Shapps told the WHT more about his proposals.

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He said: "If we started to allow local people to create development at a speed and in keeping with the local area - then we would likely get more housing created but in a manner which doesn't impact negatively on locals.

"The way to achieve this is to provide incentives to local communities - these will specifically take the form of the government matching pound for pound the council tax take for each new home built for a period of six years.

"This would mean that if new homes were built the area would benefit financially. "For example, 10,000 new homes in Welwyn Hatfield would attract around �100m to the area and locals could decide how it would be spent."

What did you think of Mr Shapps' speech? Email whtimes@archant.co.uk

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