Labour waffle

Ed Miliband’s latest attempt to woo the millions now revolves around local government with a pledge that the next Labour government will set up a network of “regional ministers” to oversee plans to transfer £20 billion to “city regions” over five years for council and business leaders to spend on job creation, housing and transport projects.

Well it makes a change from drivelling on about the “squeezed middle classes” and the mythical “hard working families” that Labour’s spin doctors think are the only oppressed sectors of British society today.

Labour’s plans for regional devolution in England are all right as far as they go. No one can object to improved public transport and anything that injects new money into depressed areas will help alleviate the worst aspects of the slump.

But if Miliband & Co are serious about restoring powers to local councils they should start by ending the divisive “right to buy” legislation and restoring council powers on borrowing to fund the building of new council housing estates to end homelessness and provide more work for the building industry.