Obviously I am, much to the annoyance of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives, in purdah. If I were not, I’d be interested in this article about Councillors’ views around housing. It wasn’t until I tried to turn the article into a graph (I deal better with pretty pictures than with words) that I realised one of the numbers was not there.
The first column in each party sequence is the percentage of that party’s Councillors who believe that planning powers should be restored in full to local areas. The second is the percentage believing that their particular area needs more housing or development. All we know about column 5, however (the percentage of Labour Councillors backing localism) is that it is over 50%.
Of course it may just happen to be true that Conservatives represent areas in the South-East which are overdeveloped and, while short of housing relative to the demand, would benefit instead from a regional policy which encouraged more growth away from Greater-Greater-London (though I wouldn’t expect them to say that), and that Liberal Democrats are strong in areas which are more rural but less prosperous, and just need better funding, not more development (though their outgoing colleague Matthew Taylor would have words to say about that theory). That would leave Labour currently holding on to core areas where the ‘development’ need is more around jobs and social rented homes than specifically the quantity of housing.
Or it may just be politics, it often is. A worry, though, if a Government wants to devolve but does also want to keep up, or increase, the rate of development.