Council leader claims BBC failed to do basic research

Council leader claims BBC failed to do basic research

Council leader claims BBC failed to do basic research

First published in News
Last updated
by , Reporter

COTSWOLD District Council’s leader has accused the BBC of failing to do basic research into a story about the relative cost of housing.

The BBC report stated that houses in the Cotswolds were the most expensive outside the southeast when compared to salaries, allegedly 19 times higher than the average wage.

Council leader Councillor Lynden Stowe claimed the BBC has neglected to do the necessary research and turned up misleading statistics as a result.

He added: “We are well aware that the cost of housing is higher here than the national average.  

“The Cotswold district is a very attractive place to live and work - it is within commuting distance of London, offers an excellent range of shopping, good schools, and people aspire to live here. Market forces dictate that this will result in an increase in property prices and also rents.”

Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Cllr Sue Jepson said: “While we cannot deny that there is a big demand for housing in this district, which pushes up prices on the open market, the average earnings figure for Cotswold quoted by the BBC is questionable.”

She explained that according to the council’s research the mean wage for full time employees was over £25,000, not the £18,000 the BBC claimed.

Cllr Jepson added that as well as the attractiveness of the area, houses in the Cotswolds one third larger than larger than the national average.

Shortly after this response Cllr Paul Hodgkinson criticised the council, calling its leaders out of touch.
He said: “The fact is that this area has a huge and growing gulf between earnings and house prices.”

“Instead of concreting over the Water Park with thousands of holiday homes, CDC's bosses should be sorting out small scale developments of affordable homes in villages and towns which need them.

“For those aged under 40 in particular the Cotswolds is fast becoming off limits for housing – that is an intolerable situation.”

Cllr Jepson defended the Council’s record on affordable housing adding that the council was giving priority to those already living in the area and helping first time buyers through their Local Lend a Hand scheme.

She said: “Between 2011-12 and 2013-14, some 1,317 homes were built in the district and 556 of them were affordable. Our record on affordable housing provision is very good in comparison with many other local authorities and we are on course to continue this good performance.”

Comments (5)

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12:28pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Iansky says...

I think they need to survey only the people who live and work locally rather than include those that live in the Cotswolds yet commute and work elsewhere, if they do this they will find that those living & working locally do have a far lower average earnings and £18k does seem an average salary for many jobs skilled/unskilled in the South West.

Head of the council trying to squeeze out of a situation their party has allowed / encouraged over the years with more "prestige.higher priced" housing being built that affordable housing - no surprises really!
I think they need to survey only the people who live and work locally rather than include those that live in the Cotswolds yet commute and work elsewhere, if they do this they will find that those living & working locally do have a far lower average earnings and £18k does seem an average salary for many jobs skilled/unskilled in the South West. Head of the council trying to squeeze out of a situation their party has allowed / encouraged over the years with more "prestige.higher priced" housing being built that affordable housing - no surprises really! Iansky
  • Score: 2

7:08pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Olly Cromwell says...

Perhaps Cllr Sue Jepson can tell us how much Cllr Stowe was actually paying her whilst he was employing her in Cotswold Media Ltd ?

Be prepared to talk specifics if you want to grumble about empirical BBC research.

Thought not....
Perhaps Cllr Sue Jepson can tell us how much Cllr Stowe was actually paying her whilst he was employing her in Cotswold Media Ltd ? Be prepared to talk specifics if you want to grumble about empirical BBC research. Thought not.... Olly Cromwell
  • Score: 3

8:03pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Rex Cooper says...

Is it the case that the conservative leader has a PR company that employs other conservative councillors ? That's almost as bad as the housing developer, Bathurst, being president of the local Conservative association.
If I were them I'd be careful about criticising the BBC,especially when the broadcaster is stating the obvious.
Is it the case that the conservative leader has a PR company that employs other conservative councillors ? That's almost as bad as the housing developer, Bathurst, being president of the local Conservative association. If I were them I'd be careful about criticising the BBC,especially when the broadcaster is stating the obvious. Rex Cooper
  • Score: 4

9:01pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Olly Cromwell says...

Haven't you heard, Rex ?

Until recently 43% of Cotswold District Council's entire Tory Cabinet was stuffed with employees of the Leader's business. It's the only way it can work; do as you are told or lose your real job (literally).

It's an afront to democracy and speaks volumes of the weak Tory backbenchers who are unable to exert any influence as the Leader has them all by the proverbials too. Their election material is printed by......you guessed it !

It's why 'Private Eye' keep writing about it.
Haven't you heard, Rex ? Until recently 43% of Cotswold District Council's entire Tory Cabinet was stuffed with employees of the Leader's business. It's the only way it can work; do as you are told or lose your real job (literally). It's an afront to democracy and speaks volumes of the weak Tory backbenchers who are unable to exert any influence as the Leader has them all by the proverbials too. Their election material is printed by......you guessed it ! It's why 'Private Eye' keep writing about it. Olly Cromwell
  • Score: 4

10:31am Sun 31 Aug 14

Alan Dickinson says...

"Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Cllr Sue Jepson said: “While we cannot deny that there is a big demand for housing in this district, which pushes up prices on the open market, the average earnings figure for Cotswold quoted by the BBC is questionable"

Would Cllr Jepson please publish in the W&G the figures she has so the "informed " public can make a decison on who is lying ? The BBC or the Conservatives .

For info :
A report from the National Housing Federation published earlier this month warned that house prices in south-west England have increased by 116 per cent since 2000, with the average house in the Cotswolds now costing almost 20 times the average income in the region.
"Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Cllr Sue Jepson said: “While we cannot deny that there is a big demand for housing in this district, which pushes up prices on the open market, the average earnings figure for Cotswold quoted by the BBC is questionable" Would Cllr Jepson please publish in the W&G the figures she has so the "informed " public can make a decison on who is lying ? The BBC or the Conservatives . For info : A report from the National Housing Federation published earlier this month warned that house prices in south-west England have increased by 116 per cent since 2000, with the average house in the Cotswolds now costing almost 20 times the average income in the region. Alan Dickinson
  • Score: 3
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