Local LibDems are angry that the Tories running Welwyn Hatfield council have missed an opportunity to help house-buyers in the district. The Local Authority Mortgage Scheme (LAMS) provides support to first-time buyers. The county council, who are leading the scheme, provide £1m per district to make deposits affordable. Welwyn Hatfield are one of just two districts in Herts not to join in. Contrary to what councillors were told in papers for the cancelled council meeting on Monday, the district does not have to put up any money and thus cannot be subject to a legal challenge.
"The council would have been able to have its name on a Welwyn Hatfield scheme of its own at no cost, but even that was not enough - or did they fail to ask the basic questions that I did?" said LibDem councillor Malcolm Cowan. "Either way, it reduces help for people wanting to buy here, and that of course makes it harder to sell. So we miss out twice over."