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Protesters demand full disclosure of DfT advice on link road

Protesters demand full disclosure of DfT advice on link road

Protesters are to launch a series of actions on Monday demanding that the Department for Transport disclose in full its advice on the building of the controversial Bexhill-Hastings link road.

Work is set to start in earnest on the £86m, 3.5-mile road this spring, after protesters were evicted from a forest camp in Combe Haven, East Sussex, last month. But campaigners believe that the crucial part of a report submitted to transport under-secretary Norman Baker may show that officials recommended the scheme should not go ahead.

Documents were released to campaigners after freedom of information requests, but parts were redacted. In correspondence from March 2012, the unnamed DfT official states that the scheme was “likely to offer either low or medium value for money” and adds that material submitted by “the promoter” of the link road “significantly overstates the benefits of the scheme”. However, the recommendation from officials to the minister has been redacted. Read more.

Gwyn Topham | The Guardian | 3rd March 2013

Great Tory housing shame: Third of ex-council homes now owned by rich landlords

The multi-millionaire son of a Tory minister who presided over the controversial “right-to -buy” scheme is a buy-to-let landlord owning scores of former council flats.

A Daily Mirror investigation found a third of ex-council homes sold in the 1980s under Margaret Thatcher were now owned by private landlords.

In one London borough almost half of ex-council properties are now sub-let to tenants.

[The Mirror] used the Freedom of Information Act to ask city councils how many of their ex-flats, where they still own the freehold, were being sub-let by the leaseholder.

The 13 that responded told us in 32% of the properties, the leaseholder had an “away address” for ­correspondence – a clear sign the flat was being rented out. Read more.

Nick Sommerlad | The Mirror | 5th March 2013

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