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Meeting held over future of Norwich

PUBLISHED: 09:00 13 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:14 01 July 2010

Norwich South MP Simon Wright

Norwich South MP Simon Wright

Repairs to council homes, future funding for thousands of homes in Norwich and the "unfair" way money for housing is shared out came under the spotlight when Norwich's two MPs met the leader of Norwich City Council.

Steve Morphew

Repairs to council homes, future funding for thousands of homes in Norwich and the “unfair” way money for housing is shared out came under the spotlight when Norwich's two MPs met the leader of Norwich City Council.

The meeting on Friday saw Norwich North MP Chloe Smith and Norwich South MP Simon Wright meet Steve Morphew to discuss housing issues at a time when they are taking centre stage.

Plans to build the first new council homes in Norwich for more than two decades have been put on hold by the new government because of a review of the future of the Homes and Communities Agency which was funding them, plans for more than 400 homes in St Anne's Wharf are hanging in the balance because the developer has gone into administration and families have raised concerns over the new contract with Connaught to repair and maintain council homes in the city.

Chloe Smith said: “As the two city MPs we want to work as constructively as possible with the local councils. We had a very constructive discussion on many elements of housing across the city.

“It ranged from worries about repairs, maintenance in terms of council housing to what is happening with the HCA and the Housing Revenue Account.

“The coaltion government is keen to review the Housing Revenue Account, which it considers to be unfair. It's unfair because any council which raises a surplus from housing gets it grabbed back by the Treasury, which reduces the ability of councils to manage their own affairs.

“Simon and I offered our support to the city council on that. On the future of the HCA, we will be contacting ministers in various ways on how Norwich can be best served, despite such severe financial constraints.”

Mr Morphew said he was always keen to lobby the city's MPs to make sure they continued to fight for the interests of the city.

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