Thomas Bridge 06 December 2013

Pickles: Councils given ‘good deal’ in Autumn Statement

Councils have been given a stable platform for house building in this year’s Autumn Statement, according to communities secretary Eric Pickles.

Speaking after chancellor George Osborne announced protections for local authorities from £2bn cuts applied to Whitehall budgets, Pickles said measures would provide an environment for local innovation.

‘This is a good deal for councils,’ Pickles said, ‘and gives them the stability to help hard working families by keeping Council Tax down and make the changes needed to support their communities.’

In moves intending to boost housing delivery, the chancellor’s Autumn Statement announced councils would be allowed to bid for up to £300m of additional borrowing against their housing revenue accounts, a £1bn six year investment programme to fund infrastructure and measures allowing councils outside of London to retain all of their New Homes Bonus.

‘House building remains critical to our economic recovery and we are providing the funding, the reforms and encouraging the innovation that will get homes built, give councils more ability to provide housing, and create local jobs,’ Pickles said.

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