THE announcement of £2billion extra Government funding designed to alleviate Britain’s housing crisis can be of “huge benefit” to Canvey, according to veteran councillor Ray Howard.

Known as “Mr Canvey”, Mr Howard welcomed the pledge from Prime Minister Theresa May during her address at the Conservative conference in Manchester,

Mr Howard believes Canvey will need even more affordable housing if residents living in mobile homes at Thorney Bay have to move from the site due to redevelopment.

Former County councillor Mr Howard said: “I welcome any help we can get in south east Essex, but particularly Canvey because it’s a popular place and we have the potential problem of Thorney Bay.

“People reside in caravans but then ask the council for proper homes and I understand that, but there is such a shortage and it has to be addressed.

“Canvey is such a popular place to live.

“Fifty years ago we were building plenty of homes but successive governments have stopped building them. There is a desperate need, especially on Canvey.”

Local authorities and housing associations will be encouraged to bid for money to support a “new generation of council houses”.

John Lamb, leader of Southend Council, said the extra cash could speed up a major housing scheme. He said: “It is excellent news. We can start to put money in rather than searching for it from developers or finding it from our reserves.

“If we get some of this for our Queensway development it would push it forward much quicker. We’re hoping her money is where her mouth is, but if it is, it will help councils right across the country which are struggling to build affordable housing.”

Kerry Smith, Independent chairman of Basildon Council’s housing committee, was not so impressed. He said: “She’s said there will be £2billion extra but she needs to put another nought on it. It’s just a gimmick. It’s like saying to a starving person “here’s a cheese sandwich”. Look, £2billion might help up north where land is cheaper but it will go nowhere down south.”

Mrs May said solving the crisis would not be “quick or easy” but vowed to “make it my mission to solve this problem”.