Page last updated at 14:34 GMT, Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Council marked down over housing

A Norfolk council has been marked down in a rating by an independent commission on the grounds that it is "failing" to provide enough homes.

North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) was rated by the Audit Commission.

NNDC had scored three out of four but this was reduced to two, a rating of adequate, because it was not providing enough homes for people.

Councillor Virginia Gay, leader of NNDC, said: "The whole thing seems strange and unfair to me."

As we were praised for so many things in our assessment, and there were so few negatives, the whole thing seems strange and unfair to me
Virginia Gay NNDC

All councils have been rated for a Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA) to allow residents to compare the standards of services.

The Audit Commission's report said NNDC "performs well" for its use of resources and scored it 3 out of 4.

The report said: "We decided that the overall score should be that North Norfolk District Council performs adequately because, while it generally provides good services, it is failing in the important priority of making sure that there are enough homes, especially affordable ones for local people."

NNDC appealed against the scoring but an Audit Commission review panel dismissed the challenge.

Homes 'empty'

Councillor Virginia Gay, leader of NNDC said: "It seems we have been marked down for one reason, and that's the lack of housing.

"Yet the report notes that, in the current recession, developers are struggling to build new homes.

"It also recognises the fact that there are hundreds of homes sitting empty on two former RAF bases, sites that we don't own or control.

"But as we were praised for so many things in our assessment, and there were so few negatives, the whole thing seems strange and unfair to me."

The results of the CAA are now available on the Oneplace site for residents to see.

Norfolk has been awarded a green flag in recognition of "exceptional performance" by the county's public services in getting residents involved in local decision-making.

There are no red flags, which would highlight areas of significant concern that need swift action to put them right.

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