A PROPOSAL to bring together multiple agencies to solve the borough’s “housing crisis” has fallen on deaf ears.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Labour group leader, Councillor Paul Harvey, and fellow Labour councillor, Colin Regan, tabled a motion at a full council meeting last Thursday (22/10) calling on the local authority to establish a new partnership, bringing together private developers, social landlords, landowners, the county council and other agencies, to focus on what housing is being built in Basingstoke.

The motion called for all agencies to work together and use available evidence to drive the delivery of housing that meets the needs and aspirations of people across Basingstoke and Deane.

When urging councillors to support the motion, Cllr Paul Harvey, said: “It is not easy trying to afford to live in Basingstoke and Deane.

“This isn’t a debate about numbers or locations. Others in this chamber have made suggestions about selfbuild, around models of housing that changed the market, that changed the offer that is actually there for people.

“We have spoken to the industry, we have spoken to social housing providers, spoken to people and the essential issue raised always brings us back to what actually gets built in Basingstoke.

“We know there is no magic answer but in partnership with the industry, with social providers, landowners, there is a lot we can do as a council to shape the housing market in Basingstoke.”

Cllr Gavin James, the leader of the borough’s Liberal Democrats group, added: “There is a housing crisis. It didn’t arrive overnight, it didn’t start under the coalition and it didn’t start under the Conservatives.

“I am delighted to see Labour have now joined the fight to deliver more housing and solving the housing crisis. It will take all of us and I welcome the fact they are on board and following our lead on this issue.”

But Cabinet member for housing and regeneration, Cllr Terri Reid, opposed the motion, saying it “doesn’t take us forward”.

She said work for the council’s new housing strategy had been moved forward to tie in with the Government’s housing and planning bill, and said the local authority would look at all aspects of the current housing situation including a potential register to measure the number of people looking to buy a home in the borough.

She told the meeting: Cllr Terri Reid opposed the motion “Basingstoke is an aspirational town. We want to help that, we want to help people get their foot on the ladder.

“We want to find homes for our local young people so they can stay here and live and work.”