London SE1 website team

Bermondsey councillor Ben Johnson warns of 'segregated city'

A Bermondsey Liberal Democrat councillor has told his party conference in Glasgow that people on low incomes are being priced out of north Southwark.

Cllr Dr Ben Johnson, who was elected to represent Grange ward at the local elections in May, spoke in a debate at the Lib Dem conference on Monday morning.

He told delegates that the average house price in Bermondsey is now 650,000, and average private rents in the London Bridge area have now hit 765 a week.

Cllr Johnson also reiterated Liberal Democrat criticisms of Southwark Labour's policy of accepting payments in lieu of the construction of affordable homes as part of private developments in SE1.

"This is leading to a segregated borough where those on low incomes cannot afford to live in the north of Southwark – and people on low incomes cannot afford to live in central London at all," he said.

"I want to live in a mixed community, not a segregated city.

"So yes we need more homes, yes we need more affordable homes – but they have to be truly affordable – and there's a clear role for all of us in local government to insist that we get real affordability.

"Only then can we solve the housing crisis for London and the rest of the UK."

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