By Tim Montgomerie
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Tonight's London Evening Standard reports that Wandsworth is to ringfence fifteen council properties with immediate effect for use by armed services personnel and their families. The families must have a link to the borough to qualify.
Cabinet member for housing, Cllr Paul Ellis said:
"With the nation making increased demands on Armed Forces members and their families, councils should be doing all they can to support our services staff on the home front, especially in meeting their housing needs. Many of these brave men and women are risking their lives on our behalf. Providing them and their families with a decent roof over their heads is just one small way in which we can begin to repay them."
A spokesman at the Department for Communities and Local Government confirmed to the Standard's Miranda Bryant that the Coalition was considering changes to the law so that other councils did the same:
"We want to make sure that services families are given proper priority and are not left to languish on council housing waiting lists. One option we are considering is to change the law so councils in England would be required to give additional preference for social housing to those who have a pressing housing need when they leave the Armed Forces. Any such changes would follow a full public consultation."