Author Archives: Ruth Dombey

“Stop blaming local government for the housing crisis”

More than a million homes granted planning permission in the past decade have not yet been built, according to new analysis by the Local Government Association.

Latest figures show that 2,564,600 units have been granted planning permission by councils since 2009/10 while only 1,530,680 have been completed.

The number of planning permissions granted for new homes has almost doubled since 2012/13 with councils approving 9 in 10 applications.

While in some cases there will be a time lag between permission being granted and homes being built, new build completions have only increased by half as much in that time. Encouragingly, completions last …

Posted in Local government and Op-eds | Tagged and | 7 Comments

Cllr Ruth Dombey writes: In memory of David MacDonald

Where to begin?

A young man of 28 – with his whole life ahead of him – has had that life cruelly and unexpectedly snatched away. It’s hard to find the right words.

Dave MacDonald was truly special. As the emails and Facebook comments pour in from across the country, we all remember his kindness, his generosity and his boundless enthusiasm.

He was a tireless campaigner and set himself the highest standards.The trouble is he then expected the same from everyone else – and would never take no for an answer. I had barely had time to make myself a cup of tea during the recent Grove byelection Polling Day, take two gulps and he was pushing me out the door again.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 8 Comments

Opinion: Real localism – it could surprise us all

Everyone’s talking about Localism now – we’ve even got a Government Act. Yet when that very Act gives the Secretary of State 126 new powers over local government, you have to wonder if we all mean the same thing.

Liberal Democrats have been advocating devolution, double devolution and subsidiarity for many years. But central government continues to tighten its throttlehold over local authorities with little trust in local politicians and local communities and their ability to do what’s best for local people. London boroughs receive 74% of their income through central government grants, compared to 31% for New York, 18% for …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 1 Comment
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