Fall in housing cash handout

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DECLINING numbers of new homes being built or old ones brought back into use means a bonus payment received by Sheffield Council will fall by £500,000 next year.

The authority received £1.96 m in 2011/12 but will only be given £1.4m in 2012/13 under the New Homes Bonus scheme, which aims to encourage councils to increase the supply of housing.

Opposition Lib Dems said the total for next year could have been higher, had ruling Labour councillors spent some of this year’s money on housing projects. The 2011/12 sum remains unspent.

Lib Dem Coun Alison Brelsford said: “Labour’s failure to act has also meant Sheffield taxpayers have lost out on at least £500,000 at a time when we can afford it the least.”

But Labour cabinet member for housing, Coun Harry Harpham, replied: “The money is small beer compared to the millions Sheffield was receiving for housing regeneration which has been cut.”