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Tory MPs back plan to give people a vote on new housing in their areas

new housing

Tory MPs back plan to give people a vote on new housing in their areas

Conservative MPs are calling on the housing secretary, Michael Gove, to hand greater decision-making powers over new housing to local people in an attempt to boost acceptance of new developments.

Steve Baker and Greg Smith, Tory MPs in house-price hotspots in Buckinghamshire, are backing a plan to strip councils of decision-making powers over some new developments and incentivise residents instead to approve new schemes.

The proposal to extend localism comes as Gove and his advisers rethink government planning reforms, which ran into angry opposition in the Tory shires because they reduced local participation in planning and gave developers a freer hand.

Baker and Smith are backing an idea floated by the Social Market Foundation thinktank to allow residents of streets or villages to vote on whether to accept additional development in their close vicinity. The theory is that they are more likely to support allowing more extensions or new homes on underused sites if they stand to benefit themselves from the planning consents.

“It is clear that we cannot continue with our current planning system,” said Baker. “Costs and disbenefits are imposed on individuals without adequate inclusion in the process or adequate compensation being provided. We need to give the public the opportunity to say ‘no’ to planning proposals, but the incentives to say ‘yes’ because they see the gains for their community.”

The government has said 300,000 new homes need to be built each year to meet demand. In the last 12 months for which data is available – up to the end of June 2021 – 183,450 were built in England.

The report, written by John Myers, who runs the YIMBY Alliance (yes in my back yard) campaign, suggests villagers “should have more power to allow high-quality, attractive development next to the village when they see benefits for the community”.

“In towns or cities, residents of a stretch of street should have the right to conduct a street vote to set out the rules for new extensions or more ambitious development,” Myers writes. “A mews vote could similarly allow residents of houses surrounding a stretch of waste ground to give permissions to add new mews cottages.”

Greg Smith, the MP for Buckingham, said: “Planning in the UK is broken. Driving through our villages, signs proclaiming ‘no to xxx houses’ or ‘no new development here’ are commonplace – and politicians ignore that at our peril. This new paper proposes a fundamentally good principle of genuine localism and people power.”

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Chukwudi Ajaegbu, 35, Arraigned For $11,000 Fraud

A 35-year-old importer, Chukwudi Ajaegbu, has been arraigned before the Ogba Magistrate’s Court for allegedly obtaining $11,000 fraudulently from one Austine Ukaoha in the Ikeja area of Lagos State.

Ajaegbu appeared before Magistrate F.M. Onamusi on a three count charge.

The defendant, with others at large, were said to have conspired to commit felony, to wit stealing, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 411 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, Nigeria 2015.

According to the police, sometime in 2010 on Bread Fraint Street, in the Balogun area of Lagos, the defendant, with others at large, conspired among themselves to obtain the sum under false pretences.

The charges read in part, “That you, Chukwudi Ajaegbu, on the same date, time and place, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did fraudulently obtain the sum of $11,000 from one Austine Ukaoha, under the pretence of importing goods from China, the presentation known to be false, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 314 (3) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, Nigeria 2015.”

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Magistrate Onamusi adjourned the matter till December 7, 2022.

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2023: NBC Tasks Broadcasters On Professionalism

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has tasked broadcasters to handle political campaigns with professionalism.

The director-general of NBC, Balarabe Ilelah said this on Monday at a multi-stakeholders dialogue held in Abuja.

As campaigns for the 2023 elections are set to begin on September 28, Ilelah asked broadcasters to ensure not to allow hate speech or fake news on their platforms.

“This is in addition to ensuring equity in airtime allocation and coverage of political parties’ activities, particularly during prime times,” he said.

“It is also the time for you to make money from political adverts and campaigns, but ensure that this is done within the ambit of law.

“Broadcasters are also required to handle live political rallies with care and due professionalism. This is in addition to studio-based live political interviews/broadcasts. Because of the sensitivities of such programmes, broadcasters are advised to install delay mechanisms.

“Remember that broadcast stations are held responsible for any breach. The stations shall, therefore, assume and accept editorial responsibility”, he added.

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IPOB Accuses Police Of Blackmail

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has reacted to a statement credited to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, linking ESN and IPOB to a planned attack on political campaigns and the forthcoming 2023 elections.

Director of Media and Public Relations of the group, Comrade Emma Powerful, in a statement on Monday, said the IG of Police should “leave IPOB volunteers and ESN Operatives alone to focus on things that matter instead of trying to get them involved in Nigeria Government and its fraudulent political processes.”

He also added that Nigeria’s security agencies were fond of blackmailing the organization with allegations of sundry crimes.

The statement read: “If Nigeria Police have concluded their plans to commit crimes during political campaigns and tag it on IPOB and ESN they will fail as usual.

“Any time Nigeria Security Agencies raise a false alarm, know that they have planned attacks to blackmail IPOB and ESN Operatives but we cannot allow them to continue their business of blackmail.

“These Security agencies have allegedly killed innocent people in an effort to blackmail IPOB but Chukwu Okike Abiama (God) has always vindicated us,” they said.

“We have always maintained that we are not interested in anything that has to do with Nigeria let alone taking any side in their fraudulent political process. IPOB are not Zoo politicians. The only political process that IPOB will participate in is an UN-supervised Biafra Referendum that will usher in Biafra Sovereignty and Independence”, he added.

 

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