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Grant Shapps exposes the lie of Brown's promise of "local homes for local people"

SHAPPS GRANT-1 Grant Shapps, the shadow housing spokesman, is suggesting today that Gordon Brown's announcement yesterday that local people who have been waiting a long time for a council house will be moved to the front of the queue falls foul of the government's own equality legislation.

According to his understanding of the law:

The Equality Bill, recently introduced before Parliament by Harriet Harman, will impose a duty on all public sector bodies to reduce socio-economic disadvantage when making ‘strategic decisions’. Giving housing priority to someone who is local above someone who is socially or economically disadvantaged will potentially breach the new duty.

Councils will also still have a duty under existing legislation to give 'reasonable preference' to the homeless, those in overcrowded or unsatisfactory housing, and those with medical or welfare problems.

Jonathan Isaby


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