Citizen Editor: Economy needs a shot in the arm
REVIVING the economy in its current parlous state is virtually mission impossible.
That is why we welcome yesterday's announcements from the Government on easing the planning laws to encourage families to extend their homes.
And that is why putting more money into the Government's FirstBuy scheme to give more help to hard pressed first time buyers is also to be welcomed.
This has been very successful in Gloucestershire.
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Potential homeowners without a deposit are given an equity loan of up to 20 per cent of the purchase price.
As a result of more money being injected into the Government's guaranteed FirstBuy scheme to allow easier mortgages, more young people will find it easier to stay in Gloucestershire where most homes are out of reach of their budget.
Gloucestershire's skills are, therefore, more easily retained in the county so that their companies benefit now and in the future.
We also welcome the Government's move to relax the rules governing developers on the proportion of "affordable" houses they must build on a development.
Hopefully, this will kick start new housing developments currently put on ice by builders.
But the Labour Party is right when it articulates the dire need for more skilled jobs and apprenticeships to give young people a real start in life and lay the foundations of planned growth through earnings.
LIKE most cities, Gloucester is plagued with empty shops.
It seems as soon as we get a trader opening and trying to do something different, another shop closes its doors.
Not good for confidence in the city.
But now we have something of a shot in the arm for Gloucester's shops through a £100,000 handout to improve their fortunes.
It gives the city council a great opportunity to spend the money in five key areas to increase the attraction of our shops.
Included in the handout there would be £20,000 for evening markets, attractions and football cameras plus £30,000 for business rates grants and another £25,000 for a property facelift scheme.
All good ideas and welcome.