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Stortford MP and Secretary of State to discuss infrastructure challenges

Bishop's Stortford's MP has called on the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to help East Herts set up a strategic infrastructure fund.

Conservative Mark Prisk, who has represented the town since 2001, asked to meet James Brokenshire to discuss East Herts' challenges as thousands of new homes are built in Stortford and elsewhere in the district.

He intervened in a House of Commons debate and asked: "Part of the Government's policy is to enable large urban councils to establish a strategic infrastructure fund of their own, but at present this excludes smaller councils such as mine in East Herts.

"May I, therefore, urge the Secretary of State to amend his proposals so that any council with a local plan that is planning to deliver a new settlement is included in that and can establish such a fund? May I meet him to discuss that further?"

Mr Brokenshire said: "I recognise the concerted work and effort that is going on to deliver homes and infrastructure through the local plan in his area.

"He rightly says that combined authorities with strategic planning powers will be able to introduce a strategic infrastructure tariff, but charging authorities can already pool their community infrastructure levy receipts to fund infrastructure jointly. We are updating the guidance to make that clearer, but I would be happy to continue that discussion with him."

The exchange was part of a debate in the Commons titled "Housing, Communities and Local Government: Land Value Capture".

Earlier this year the Government confirmed £866m investment in local housing projects. Mr Brokenshire's predecessor, Sajid Javid, announced that 133 council-led projects across the country would receive funding to support key local infrastructure projects, including new roads, schools, cycle paths, flood defences and land remediation work.

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