NORTHWICH MP Mike Amesbury says that he fears the Government is attempting to kick help for victims of the leaseholding scandal ‘into the long grass’.

The Weaver Vale Labour MP has been a longstanding opponent of the practice, where someone buys their property but not the land it’s built on, leaving them trapped with spiralling ground rents or facing exorbitant buy out costs further down the line. Mike says many Northwich residents have contacted him for help on the issue and he has previously raised it on numerous occasions in parliament, directly with ministers and also at public meetings with residents.

The Government conducted a consultation last year and pledged to tackle the practice, which previous communities secretary Sajid Javid branded ‘feudal’, but so far no firm commitments in terms of time and details have been forthcoming.

And this week in his role on the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, Mike pressed new housing and communities secretary James Brokenshire to provide a specific date on when the Government plans to help those trapped.

In his response, Mr Brokenshire said: “I’ve stated that we’ll be consulting over the summer about how we ban new leaseholds and restrict ground rents”. He also said the Government was awaiting input from the Law Commission which would be available ‘later this year’.

Speaking outside the Chamber, Mike said: “There’s a lot of talk at the moment but few details, I do genuinely fear that the government is trying to kick this into the long grass.

“I’ve been contacted by many constituents over this issue, unable to sell their homes and also unable to have that added security of knowing they can buy the land and not simply be expected to pay rents which are just going to go up and up.

“I’ll continue working with MPs from all parties to fight this deeply unjust practice.”

The National Leasehold Campaign (NLC) is holding a peaceful demonstration on Wednesday, July 18, outside Westminster from 11am to 2pm.

Katie Kendrick of the National Leasehold Campaign, said moves to help future leaseholders should not mean those already trapped in existing arrangements are forgotten.

She said: “Our homes should be our safe haven but instead for many it has turned into a living nightmare.

“Developers and freeholders should be held to account for this mess and we urge the government to launch an inquiry.

“I appreciate retrospective action is difficult but not impossible and definitely should not be ruled out.”