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Eastbourne & Willingdon Lib Dems

Conservative think tank calls for millions of new houses in the south of England

August 15, 2008 12:00 AM

Stephen LloydLib Dem campaigners have described a call by a Conservative-leaning think tank for people from towns and cities of the North to pack their bags and move to the South, as appalling.

Policy Exchange, described as David Cameron's favourite think tank in the media, claimed many towns and cities in the North were failing and regeneration would not save them. They suggested people should move to the South East instead. Policy Exchange was set up by Michael Gove, now a senior Conservative MP.

"The idea that people should abandon the North and move to the already crowded South East, where house prices and living costs are sky high, is an insult to people living here," said Stephen Lloyd, Lib Dem parliamentary campaigner.

"I am staggered that a think tank so close to the Conservatives is making such a call. I am appalled that they are saying that large swathes of the North can simply be abandoned.

Stephen added: "What the Policy Exchange has done is to highlight the lack of understanding many Conservatives have of the North as well as demonstrating a staggering ignorance of the determination of many local people to keep hold of the remaining green space that we have in the South East of England. Coming on top of Boris Johnson's gaffe about our town a couple of week ago I'm bound to wander exactly what the Tories will come up with next. Granting Eastbourne residents a referendum on their unpopular Pay to Park scheme would be a nice surprise."