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09/05/2016

Elections 2016: The results

Words: Laura Edgar

On 5 May, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and London voted in the 2016 Elections. Here, The Planner takes a look at the results and the manifesto pledges of the winners.

Scotland

 

The Scottish National Party (SNP) won for the third election victory in a row. The SNP won 63 of 129 seats, losing six seats.

The Conservatives won 31 seats, gaining 16, while Labour lost 13 seats, winning 24. The Liberal Democrat Party has five seats.

Party leader Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that she would form a minority government, saying her aim is to “persuade, not divide”.

In its manifesto, the SNP pledged to create a Rural Housing Fund, with investment of £25 million over the next three years, to build new, affordable homes. The party will bring forward a Planning Reform Bill that would be based on the recommendations made as a result of the current planning review.

The manifesto, Moving Scotland Forward, outlines the party’s commitment to increasing low-carbon transport and travel in Scotland while there are also plans to refresh the National Transport Strategy.

Read more here. 

Wales

 

The Welsh Labour party won the most seats in the Assembly election, while Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood takes the Rhondda seat – something that has been described as a shock win.

Labour won 29 seats, losing one. Plaid Cymru won 12 seats, gaining one. The Conservative party lost three seats, winning 11, while UKIP won seven seats.

The Liberal Democrats hold just one, having lost four.

Labour outlined plans to protect social housing by ending the Right to Buy scheme and building an extra 20,000 affordable homes in its manifesto, Together for Wales.

More about the Welsh Labour party's manifesto can be found here. 

Northern Ireland

 

The Democratic Unionist (DUP) remains the largest party in the Assembly. Party leader Arlene Foster will continue as First Minister.

DUP remain unchanged in the Assembly with 38 seats out of 108. Sinn Féin has 28 seats, losing one, while the Ulster Unionist Party has 16 seats.

The Social Democratic and Labour Party lost two seats and has 12 seats, and Alliance Party Northern Ireland has eight seats.

In Our Plan For Northern Ireland, the DUP is committed to delivering 8,000 social and affordable housing units by 2020 as well as establishing funds aimed at tackling energy efficiency and urban regeneration.

Read more about the party’s manifesto here. 

London

 

Labour candidate Sadiq Khan has been elected as the Mayor of London and has been formally signed into the role at a Southwark Cathedral ceremony.

Khan won 56.8 per cent of the vote (1,310,143), with Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith winning 994,614 votes, after both the first and second choice votes had been counted. Sian Berry finished third and Caroline Pidgeon fourth.

The new mayor has said he will stand down as Labour MP for Tooting.

In A Manifesto For All Londoners, Khan said the housing crisis is the “single biggest barrier” to prosperity, growth and fairness facing the capital today. He outlined plans to have half of all homes built in London to be “genuinely affordable” to rent or buy and he plans to set up ‘Homes for Londoners’ to “break the house building logjam”.

Additionally, Khan said he would personally chair Transport for London (TfL), and work alongside businesses and boroughs to plan the transport capacity needed for the capital’s future. He is also committed to freezing TfL fares for the next four years.

Read more from Khan’s manifesto here.


Election result responses:

 

"The first priority in RTPI Scotland's election manifesto is to provide a quality home for everyone who needs one. Given this we are keen to work with the new government to develop approaches that maximise the potential of the planning system to build sustainable and affordable homes and communities. The Planning Review and subsequent work programme provide a real opportunity to do this."

Craig McLaren, RTPI director of Scotland and Ireland


“Commitments to increasing the amount of affordable housing, introducing extra energy efficiency measures to fight fuel poverty and using the new welfare powers to, amongst other measures, abolish the ‘bedroom tax’ are supported across the Scottish Parliament. It is vital that these pledges are realised over the lifetime of the next Parliament in order for everyone in Scotland to have a warm, energy-efficient, affordable home and to improve the life chances, health and wellbeing of some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in Scotland.”

Mary Taylor, chief executive of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations


“Certainty and stability are key to property investment, development and a vibrant economy. We would encourage the new government to be clear on how they will work to deliver that stability, given that they have no overall majority.

“We look forward to working together on the implementation of the SNP pledge to develop a Rural Infrastructure Plan, which has been long called for by RICS. This should have a considered and coherent remit, with sufficient provisions for transport, energy and broadband connectivity at the fore.

“The biggest challenge for Scotland’s next government will be tackling the chronic shortage of houses across all tenures. Key to this will be developing plans to swiftly bring back into use Scotland’s 27,000 long-term empty properties.”

Sarah Speirs, director Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors in Scotland


“New London Mayor Sadiq Khan arrives at City Hall to face the challenge of improving London’s competitiveness to maintain its position as a leading global city.

“Failure to address London’s escalating housing crisis will eliminate the capital’s ability to compete with major global cities. London needs a proactive strategy for growth that integrates house building with infrastructure development and employment opportunities. Increased volume and a wider choice of dwelling types and tenures is key to stimulating economic prosperity, retaining a skilled workforce and maintaining London’s status as a leading global city."

Patrick Flaherty, Chief Executive – UK & Ireland, AECOM


“With a huge focus placed on housing policy, Khan’s promise to ensure that 50 per cent of all new homes built in London are affordable will be one of the benchmarks upon which he is judged. The increase of red tape needed to enforce these measures however, such as viability assessments for all of London’s housing projects over 150 homes, could extend processing times further.

“The cost and time required to produce and scrutinise an increased number of viability assessments risks overwhelming a planning approval system which is already slow.

“To ensure this 50 per cent quota is met by large developments, the Mayoral “call-in” process will be invoked. With Khan in charge of determining planning applications and showing no sign of any real flexibility with regard to viability assessments, developers will need to present a scrupulous case in order to overcome these new rules.”

Claire Lindsay, planner, Nexus Planning


“Every party elected to the Assembly supported the Homes for Wales campaign and pledged to end the housing crisis in Wales. They must now deliver on this promise with an ambitious plan for housing in the new Programme for Government.

“Community Housing Cymru and our members look forward to working with the next Welsh Government to deliver more Homes for Wales. As a sector, we exceeded the affordable housing target of 10,000 in the last Assembly term. To ensure that we can continue to build more homes, the next Welsh Government must restate its commitment to the sector with continued investment and promptly bringing forward proposed legislation to end the Right to Buy in the new Assembly.”

Stuart Ropke, chief executive, CHC, the membership body for Welsh housing associations


“London needs a pragmatic front man who is able to connect with people at all levels and Sadiq Khan has proven he can do that. We welcome to the new mayor to his post and appreciated his keenness to attract further institutional investment into London’s housing sector. There is a particular challenge of delivering housing that people can afford to access and we firmly believe the rental sector has a key role to play in helping achieve this.”

Martin Bellinger, chief operating officer, Essential Living, developer and operator of homes for rent

Image credit | iStock

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