Thursday, 11 December 2014

Is it Keith "Million Houses" House?

Bulldozers are poised in our green fields... 
Gone are the days when Hedge End Lib Dems had any credibility when they promised to "stand up against developers" and "save our green fields". Now hard-working Hedge End Councillor and Lib Dem leader Keith House has a government job working out how councils can help developers build even more houses. He is rapidly becoming a full time lobbyist for the housing developers.

At the recent party conference he supported the destruction of the green belt in the pursuit of the Lib Dem target of building 300,000 houses a year.

He is working in cahoots with a Conservative housing development lawyer and lobbyist for a "million houses" to "examine how councils could access finance in innovative ways to get more homes built".

Here he is seeking plaudits from fellow Lib Dems after being given the Local Authority Housing Review job by coalition crony Eric Pickles: link to Lib Dem Voice blog.

He even got a name check in George Osborne's Autumn Statement for that!

Cllr House has a famous capacity for hard work. As well as his work finding ways for councils to pour more concrete on our green fields, he is on the board of the Homes and Community Agency which exists to build more houses, particularly on publicly owned land. He is also the Lib Dem lead for housing at the Local Government Association.

With so many other jobs where his success depends on building more and more houses, it must be hard to even consider turning down more development in Eastleigh and Hedge End.

Here he is supporting development in Sunderland....

 And here in Newcastle....

Photo Credit: (1)David Neal (2)@NatalieElphicke (3)@CllrKeithHouse

Sunday, 7 December 2014

More on that Resignation

Following the news last week that Cllr Jenny Hughes had resigned from Hedge End Town Council and Eastleigh Borough Council, the plot deepened over the weekend. Another email arrived from Jenny in which she says:

"Thank you for your email. I was just wondering if you could publish a correct date for me. I resigned from council on the 28th November at 7:30am so am surprised to read that it was received and announced on the 2nd December, I feel that the cover up about when I resigned should be questioned. It also raises the question of how much control does Keith House have over Hedge End TC?"

So according to a Lib Dem insider, there was a cover up, and Cllr House has some kind of control over Hedge End Town Council. We need to bear in mind that he is leader of the local Lib Dems, and leader of the Borough Council, and leader of the Lib Dem group on the County Council, but on the Town Council the only formally elected role he holds is chair of the strategy and personnel committees. And the strategy committee has not met since October 2012.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Lib Dem Svengali's New Secret

Cllr Jenny Hughes has resigned as a Hedge End Town and Borough Councillor. This is reported at length on Eastleigh News and The Hedge End Trumpet.

Some of the questions and speculation on those sites are answered by an unsolicited email Hedge End Blogger has received from Jenny. In it she unambiguously puts the responsibility for any delay in publicly announcing her resignation with Lib Dem leader Cllr Keith House who, she says, was trying to keep it quiet. You have to admire Cllr House's svengali-like control over his councillors.

It has clearly been of benefit to the Lib Dems to keep this secret and avoid a potentially embarrassing council by-election with opinion polls putting them in fourth of fifth place behind the Greens and UKIP. I'm sure Cllr House would not like a repeat of Rochester and Strood in his own back yard.

Picture Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images