MORE effort will be put into cutting the “scandalous” number of empty homes.

Kirklees Council’s Cabinet decided yesterday to spend £560,000 on the problem.

There are currently nearly 5,000 empty houses in the district.

Council officers will spend more on compulsory purchase orders and enforced sales to increase the number of empty properties brought into use each year from 80 to 150.

Cabinet member Clr Andrew Palfreeman welcomed the spending.

He said: “The number of homes which are left deliberately empty is a scandal. We should do whatever we can to bring these houses back into use.

“This should help us increase the number of affordable homes in Kirklees.”

Fellow Cabinet member Clr Margaret Bates agreed.

She said: “I hear time and time again of residents having to live next-door to properties which have been vacant for years. It’s unfair to them.

“Taking action on this is a great idea and it will be welcomed by people in Kirklees.”