Empty houses in Worksop

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During the election campaign I walked around most of the ward I contested (Worksop South) and one of the things that hit was the number of empty houses and buildings that I saw.

From asking around, I found that many of them had been empty for months and, in many cases, years. With many families in the area that need a home and council housing being at a premium, having houses and other buildings left empty is a waste of a valuable resource. This is also the problems that empty properties cause to those that live around them.

What has been worrying has been the lack of action by the council to bring these houses back into use. There are an estimated 775 empty houses in Bassetlaw but over the last five years less than 15 houses have been re-occupied following direct action by the council and none in the last year.

The current Government have made it easier for the council to act on the problem. It is to be hoped that the current administration in Bassetlaw will do more in this issue than the Tories did. I believe that a new policy on empty houses is being drafted but it is actions that we need to see, not just fine words.

I hope by the time of the next elections next spring that there will be less empty houses to see around Worksop.

Leon Duveen

Treasurer, Bassetlaw & Sherwood Liberal Democrats