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|Ken Plans New Housing Scheme for Families |
- Mayor to get new powers from the government to build homes
KEN LIVINGSTONE is to be handed control over social housing in London next month.
The London mayor revealed that the government has agreed to give him the powers in a bid to increase the stock of social housing in an era in which Londonís population is rising and is set to rise further. An announcement to confirm the news is expected in July.
"We are breeding more rapidly than anywhere else in Europe," said Livingstone, speaking on BBC London. "We need more family sized homes."
Livingstone linked the issue of housing to the rise in parts of London of the racist British National Party, which argues that it is the influx of immigrants that has caused a housing shortage.
"There is not a housing shortage because people are coming here," said the Mayor, "but because we stopped building houses 20 years ago."
In a sneak preview of his plans on housing, Livingstone said he was concerned that many of the new homes built recently were small flats. "What people need is larger homes" he said.
"Iíd rather build less homes but bigger ones. We need more family sized homes."
On the issue of jobs for native-born Londoners being threatened by newcomers seeking work, another issue which has been used by the BNP, Livingstone stressed the importance of education.
"People born and brought up here assumed they didnít need academic skills. But by the time the Olympics come [in 2012], half the jobs will need a degree and 80 per cent of jobs created will be in finance."
To help those without the necessary education to fit into this brave new world, Livingstone is to launch a Ďsecond chanceí scheme of adult education.
The mayor said he was unconcerned that many people loathed him, though did admit that "if there is an afterlife, Iím really worried."
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