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Yesterday's Evening Standard included the results of their Freedom of Information requests to London's borough councils on empty Council properties. A summary is on line although the table seems only to have been in the printed edition. It was Labour Councils who were the worst offenders.

The worst by far was Labour Lambeth with a staggering 1,090 empty council properties. Even allowing for their high total of state owned properties – 26,421 – this is still quite appalling. Instead of accepting it the spokesman makes excuses. In second place in the League of Shame comes Labour Greenwich with 575 empty council homes (out of 24,011.) In third place, but with an even worse ratio, we have Labour Lewisham with 490 (out of 18,000.) Labour Tower Hamlets does a bit better with 326 (out of 21,612). But they have a staggering 121 of these squatted.

Labour talk about caring about the homeless but such is their ideological belief in state ownership and their addiction to municipal empire building that they would rather keep hold of an empty property rather than sell it off. Not, of course, that Conservative councils are immune from criticism. Kensington and Chelsea has a £1 million council house in Billing Street sitting empty. It should be sold.

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