Despite the England football team’s disappointing World Cup display I’m pleased to say that Central Beds has been faring much better in national performance rankings for roads and housing – two key areas for our residents.
Latest government figures have shown that Central Beds has the best roads in the Eastern region and the second best nationally. The Department for Transport’s annual road condition survey showed that just two per cent of our main roads need repair compared to national figures of six per cent for A roads and eight per cent for B and C roads. Just about everyone uses our roads and we hope to maintain our continued improvement by ongoing investment and innovating with new techniques such as jet-patching potholes.
We are also leading the way regionally and are ranked third nationally for Help to Buy house sales. Across Central Beds 458 households have accessed equity loans to buy newly-built homes since the Help to Buy scheme was launched 14 months ago.
This is encouraging news for those looking to get on the first rung of the housing ladder. Many families want to put down roots in the area or stay close to where they grew up, and we have a number of schemes to increase the supply of affordable housing for local people.
The draft Development Strategy sets out our aspirations for a third of new homes being affordable – including social rent and shared ownership.
There’s no doubt that housing growth needs to happen but we’re working hard to make sure it happens in the right place and in the right way to build real communities.
To comment on the strategy up to August 26 go to www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/devstrat