Published:

Following my piece on Monday about the large number of councils who are refusing to change their housing allocation policy to give priority to the armed forces the Housing Minister Grant Shapps has issued a statement urging councillors to challenge their officials over the matter.

Mr Shapps says:

"Local residents will be shocked that council officials are covertly opposing housing support for members of the Armed Forces. Given the backing from across the political spectrum for the Military Covenant, I strongly suspect that councillors are being kept in the dark by officers who oppose reform. Councillors actively need to ask what their council is doing to help those who have put their lives on the line in service of our country."

I know that a number are already doing just that. In the comments Cllr Bruce Finch wrote:

I'm a District Councillor on Chichester District Council and I wasn't aware of this but I will be taking it up with the Leader and Chief Executive.

Cllr Roger Mazillius, the Cabinet Member for Housing on the Isle of Wight, has given an indication that some of the comments from his Council's submission to the DCLG do not reflect his views.

Others from various councils have been in touch privately to let me know they are pursuing the matter.

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