Andy Burnham, the favourite to win the Labour leadership contest says he will give local authorities the power to seize private landlords’ properties by means of compulsory purchase orders where they prove to be unfit.
According to a report in the Sunday Times, council bosses will be given the power to seize rental properties owned by private landlords if Mr Burnham is elected leader in the forthcoming contest and Labour wins power at the 2020 election.
Mr Burnham, shadow health secretary and MP for Leigh in Lancashire since 2001 will use a keynote speech on housing and devolution to announce that he would hand the town hall chiefs powers to issue compulsory purchase orders on properties that do not meet a “decent” standard.
Mr Burnham also plans to give councils the right to borrow money in order to build more homes, as part of what he is billing as the most far-reaching house building programme for 50 years. He will pledge to remove the caps on borrowing that successive governments have placed on local authorities.
Mr Burnham, who has said he will choose a woman as his deputy even if the party elects a man, has said:
“Over many decades, Westminster has stripped local town halls of the powers and the money they need to improve their communities.
And the sad thing is this has not just left our towns to go downhill, it has also corroded trust in politics. People ask: what’s the point in voting if the council won’t act on our problems and turn our town around?
I will be the Labour Leader who changes all that.”
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