Nanny loves to spend money on her pet projects and ill thought out schemes, especially when its our money.
The National Audit Office (NAO) has issued a damning report on Nanny's pathfinder housing market renewal programme, launched in 2002 by our old friend the Smooth Talking Bar Steward.
The "plan" was designed to revive nine areas in the Midlands and the North of England, which had suffered long-standing deprivation.
Unfortunately, as with so many of Nanny's "plans", it was utter bollocks.
The NAO found that despite £2.2BN of OUR money being committed to the scheme, it could find no "causal" link between pathfinder activity and improvements in housing markets.
That's accountant/audit speak for saying that it didn't work.
Although conditions had improved in some neighbourhoods, in others it had led to increased stress in the short term.
Under the programme, 40,000 homes have been refurbished and 1,100 new homes built. About 10,200 properties have also been demolished. In a number of areas there has been opposition to demolition projects and the original plans to demolish 90,000 properties have been reduced to 57,100.
Sir John Bourn departing head of the NAO (who managed to spend a large sum of our money on his and his wife's personal "business" expenses...that's another story folks, which I will cover at a later date) said:
"Housing market renewal is a radical programme
but it is a high-risk approach.
While there have been physical improvements
in some neighbourhoods, it is unclear whether
intervention itself has led to improvement
in the problems of low demand.
And in some cases intervention has
exacerbated problems in the short-term."
Nanny doesn't get it:
- You cannot create demand, where there is none to be created.
- You cannot buck the market.
- You cannot force people to live in areas that they don't want to live in, unless of course you are a dictatorship.
- Throwing money at a problem does not work.