York Council leader calls for compromise on housing

York Council leader James Alexander

York Council leader James Alexander

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OUTGOING York Council leader James Alexander has called on opposition parties to “do what’s right” for the city and thrash out a deal with Labour over controversial housing plans.

In his final report, to be presented to the full council meeting where he will stand down next week, Coun Alexander says his Labour colleagues are ready to discuss the number of houses included in the city’s local plan and urges opposition councillors to do the same.

“The irony is that the longer they procrastinate, the longer developers have to get their applications together and submitted before a local plan is adopted, leaving the draft green belt open to potentially inappropriate development.

“The opportunity to do what’s right for York and its residents must be taken now.”

York’s proposed local plan initially included land for 22,000 homes over 15 years, later reduced to 17,000.

Coun Alexander announced last month he was stepping down both as council leader and leader of the Labour group which is currently running the city as a minority administration.

Dafydd Williams was selected as the Labour group’s new leader last week and will be nominated to lead the council at next week’s meeting.

In his final report to the council, Coun Alexander writes: “It has been an honour to serve York as the Leader of City of York Council for the past four years.

“I wish the city, its residents and those who serve York all the best for the future. York’s best days are ahead, not in the past.”

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