Is Worcester missing out on money because it’s not building enough houses? MP Robin Walker thinks so.

The Conservative MP has criticised what he calls a Labour-Green administration for not allowing more houses to be built and missing out on what’s called the New Homes Bonus and also an Affordable Homes Premium, based on the numbers built.

Mr Walker said: “There has been a downward trend in the provision of affordable housing in the city since Labour and the Greens took control of the council in May 2016. It mirrors the 30 per cent slump in housing delivery that occurred when Labour previously took control of the council in 2012, having inherited a healthy record of affordable housebuilding from the previous Conservative administration. When the Conservatives took back control of the council in 2014, housebuilding shot up to record highs.”

The MP said more should be done to provide affordable homes and added: “Just 11 units of affordable housing were delivered in the year to October 2017. I appreciate there is limited space within the city boundaries but use of brownfield land should allow for faster delivery.”

Figures from the Department of Housing Communities and Local Government show Worcester City Council was awarded £232,000 in New Homes Bonus and £3,000 in Affordable Homes Premium for 2018/19.

Worcester city council leader, Adrian Gregson said the figures didn’t show the council to be failing.

He said: “You get awarded money based on how many houses become available for council tax in that 12 month period. If you give planning permission and the houses don’t get built, or they become available after October, then they won’t show up. It’s a much longer process than electoral whims every year, it doesn’t fit with the pattern of the political make-up of the council. We have more projects underway

“The crisis in affordable housing is caused by a government which won’t help with social housing, and I believe is trying to deflect blame for its policies to local government. Developers can agree to levels of affordable homes and then appeal saying it would be too unprofitable, and councils have very little redress.”