27/01/2017 House of Commons


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27/01/2017

Live coverage of the day's proceedings in the House of Commons, including the remaining stages of the Homelessness Reduction Bill.


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Order, order! Point of order Mr Burrows. The question is that this

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House to sit in Private. As many as are of the opinion, say, "aye". To

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the contrary, "no". The noes have it, the noes have it. That was

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close, that! Sometimes we can do things very swiftly! The clerk will

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now proceed to read the orders of the day. Homelessness Reduction Bill

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as amended in the public bill committed to be considered. We begin

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with new clause one with which it with new clause one with which it

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will be convenient to consider new clauses two and three. Mr Andy

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Slaughter to move new clause one. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. It

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really is a pleasure to be opening a series of debates this morning on

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this important bill which, if passed, will mark a sea change in

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the way that homelessness treated in this country, and this is a rare

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creature, a Private members Bill with a hope of success. I should not

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tempt fate this only in proceedings! But I cannot see the usual suspect

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sitting behind the, said that encourages me already. It has

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support from I think all parties, it importantly has Government support,

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I suspect we would not have got this far, and indeed we should not forget

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the good work that the Select Committee and the chair of the

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Select Committee have done in supporting it getting this far. And

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of course I pay tribute at this stage to the sponsor of the bill,

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who I think now knows more about the intricacies of homelessness law that

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he perhaps ever wanted to. There are matters still to be resolved, but I

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hope, and I said is advisedly, that all those matters are discussed and

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can be resolved this morning, and certainly for my part I don't intend

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to go long on this, and although there are certainly important

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matters that need to be covered, I hope in the time we have available

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this morning that we will be able to complete all stages. Let me begin by

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addressing the new clauses and let me be clear from the beginning that

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it is not my intention to press clauses two and three to a vote, and

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I'm hopeful when the Minister speaks I will hear words that encourage me

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not to press new clause one to either. An interesting feature of

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this bill has been the constructive discussions that have gone on

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outside of committee, of course, not in committee, that would not be

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appropriate at all! Outside committee, my last e-mail at about

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11pm last night, I appreciate it might have been passed his bedtime

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so he might not have had time to respond, but I think we are getting

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where we want to go. Having said that, new clause one in particular

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does deal with perhaps the central unresolved issue, which relates not

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to the content of the bill, we will come onto that in the Government

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amendments later on, but the implementation, and in particular

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whether the resources the Government has set aside are sufficient. New

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clause to back row and three, which I will address in a moment, are also

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important because they really are what stands behind this bill, which

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is legislation in itself is not going to tackle the homelessness

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crisis in this country. To be fair to the sponsor, he has at all stages

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that that is the case and indeed the article published this morning

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repeats that and I appreciate that, but nevertheless we cannot look at

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this bill in a vacuum, we have to look at the surrounding

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circumstances and nothing illustrates that better than the

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figures that were released two days ago in relation to rough sleeping

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which repealed absolutely shocking 16% increase year on year -- which

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revealed. There are now more than 4000 people sleeping rough on the

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streets of the UK, and that is one person which is one person to many.

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What should particularly alarmed this House is the fact that this is

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a crisis that does not need to be there. Under the last Labour

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Government, rough sleeping fell by three quarters because of direct

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Government intervention and coordination not only with the local

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authorities but also many homelessness charities who also

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stand behind this bill. It is a solvable crisis and the fact that

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street homelessness has gone up since 2010, since the coalition and

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now the current Government, by over 130% is something which is should

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shame the Government. Whereas we are here to Pascual legislation, this

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does not get the Government off the hook in relation to that issue. Let

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me go back to new clause one before I come onto two and three. One small

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note of discord, which is... We could not avoid that, could we?! We

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don't want this to become a battle about who is more in favour of this

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bill, and I did note in the comments that the sponsor made this morning

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in his article that there may be a danger of the bill being delayed

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because of the new clauses that we have tabled. There are lots of

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confused pots and kettles out there, because the Government I notice have

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tabled 21 amendments today, quite complicated amendments, which I

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don't think anybody would wish to be seen taken at the report stage. If

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they were not able to be on the face of the bill then they should have

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been dealt with in committee. I'm hopeful nevertheless that we will be

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able to deal with those amendments but I think for the opposition to

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take one part of this time to debate some important principles of the

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bill is not unreasonable or irrational in any way. I noted that

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in the time we spent in committee, the members of the governing party

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spoke for 2.5 times the members of the opposition. I will in a moment,

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I will in a moment. We all have to sometimes curb our prolixity, even I

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have to do that from time to time, but we were very disciplined in

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committee. We withdrew a large number of new clauses and amendments

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before the Christmas break in order to speed the bill through. I think,

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notwithstanding that my colleagues on the bill have huge expertise in

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this matter and a lot to say, we were very disciplined about the way

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we conducted ourselves. I wish I could say the same for the

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opposition, front and back benches, including the honourable gentleman.

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I'm grateful for him for giving way. It was a pleasure to serve on the

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bill committee with him and I'm delighted to hear that he still is

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speaking in favour of this bill, that it still attracts cross-party

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support, and he can rely upon my discipline today, and I'm sure that

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all colleagues, to ensure this goes through. Excellent! Rousing words,

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and I'm sure they will be followed by action and that may be the last

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we hear from the honourable gentleman today, I don't know! The

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difficulty, I don't want to labour this point, I just said that we were

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hopeful, notwithstanding it is an important bill and quite a long bill

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for a Private Members Bill, considerably longer than a bill we

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are going to be debated next week, which I suspect will take rather

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more time! But nevertheless we should be able to get through it in

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less time, and it is rational, really, and we know why we are doing

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it, because the Government were filibustering in order to keep the

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honourable member for North West Durham's bill on boundaries out of

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who is delaying and not delaying not

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this bill, let's just get on with it now. Let me deal with this point on

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money. Right at the beginning of the process, the committee process, the

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Minister said, I will hope to tell you before the end of the committee

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process how much money there will be, because there was a commitment

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from the Government that they would fully fund the additional costs, and

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we know there are going to be substantial additional costs to

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local authorities under the new burdens, that money has to come from

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central Government, and we waited week by week with bated breath to

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see what that money would be. At the last moment on the bill, somebody

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came forward, and that is not a negligible sum of money, it is about

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?48 million spread over two years, but that ?48 million compares with

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estimates, I think sensible estimates, by both individual local

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authorities and by the collective body of local authorities, the local

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government Association and local councils -- London councils as to

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what the cost would be. One example, against the 37, 30 ?8 million

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prescribed for the first year of implementation of the bill, there is

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an estimate by London councils that it will cost about 160 million.

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There is a massive disparity in figures there. I think it is right

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to say that because we are in new territory with this bill, nobody

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really knows what the full cost is going to be, and so the solution

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that was lighted upon was, let's have a review at an early stage so

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we can see both whether the amounts that have been allocated to the bill

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in those two years are sufficient, and perhaps, more controversial,

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whether the Government's assertion that after two years there will be

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no need for additional funding because the bill will be self

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financing, whether that will prove to be true or not, because there is

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a huge scepticism, and I disagree with one other thing in the article,

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that there is no support for our new clauses. There is total support for

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our new clauses, there is an issue about timing and about making sure

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the bill completes its stages both here and in the other place, but the

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scepticism about the financing of this bill is shared not just by

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local government but by the charities who have supported the

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bill. And the crucial importance of this is not just that it is only

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fair and reasonable and right that local government is properly funded,

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because that is what the burdens doctrine says, but that if it does

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not work then the bill is not going to work, and it will simply be words

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on a piece of paper and we will not see that sea change in addressing

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homelessness and, in particular, extending duties of homelessness,

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both prevention and cure, to those in priority need to everybody, two

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single homeless people and to everybody who present themselves as

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homeless. If we are sincere What new clause 1 does, Madame

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Deputy Speaker t puts that review on the face of the bill. It simply

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says, after we have had time to see the implementation of the provisions

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of the bill, that we judge whether that money, and the Government says

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it is and everybody else says it isn't, sufficient for the purposes

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set out in the bill. The minister has raised one or two procedural

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points on this, as to when the provisions of the bill will take

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effect and when the appropriate time is to have that review. I'm open to

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debate on those matters, but on the principle -- and this is what I

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would hope to hear from the minister when he spokes - but on the

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principle we have a review t must be when reasonable time or money is

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still available to local authorities and it must be in particular cover,

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not just whether the bill is succeeding in purposes but whether

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the money is enough to cover all costs. I would think the minister

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would like to see that happen. They would not want their local authority

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to fail and where local authorities have seen cuts nor their budgets

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over the last few years, it is not just unfireworks but it is

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impossible for local authorities to cover the substantial costs

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themselves. -- unfair. The minister says that - or the only

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- apart from the clause 13 of this bill, the rest of the clauses,

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substantive clause of this bill will not actually take effect until

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regulations have taken effect. I appreciate that indeed it is an

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entirely reasonable thing to happen because there will be a substantial

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period of time to which local authorities have to gear up to these

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responsibilities. They will need to recruit staff, train staff, and put

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procedures in place and there will be - and often the devil will be in

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the details of the guidance produced. I think the minister can

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speak for himself but I think he is thinking it could be up for a year

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before we see the full implementation of that bill and

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clearly until we have implementation, we do not know what

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the costs are likely to be and it is a question of what is a reasonable

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period of time to see that. We think in claw clause 1 it is between one

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and two years. I would say, let's go to the end of that period, the end

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of the two-year period but let's make sure we are in a position tow

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end of the two-year period and the implementation, to see whether the

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money has been sufficient, because that's when the money runs out. And

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there is a slight disconnect between the money as announced in the

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written ministerial statement last week, which deals with the two

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financial years immediately coming up, that is to say, 2017-18, and

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2018-19 and what the minister is now saying, which is in fact

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theismentation is unlikely to happen until 2018. So either the Government

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is giving local authorities upfront front which would be slightly

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unusual in my experience or that needs to be corrected. In any event,

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two years' money that. Money may be two years' money that. Money may be

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insufficient and at the end of that two-year period the money runs out.

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. I give way. Can I tell my honourable friend that Newham

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Council has looked a at this and think it is going to cost them ?2.5

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million in the first year alone toisment this. I'm delighted this

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bill is going through, but does he honestly believe this Government is

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going to fully compensate the councils for the money they are

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going to need to expend? Well I'm one of nature's optimists, Madame

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Deputy Speaker. The minister is such a reasonable fellow and I know he is

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so kind-hearted I'm sure that he says he wishes to fully fund this.

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Unfortunately the Government's record as a whole is not being kind

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what theed, particularly to local Government and they do have a bit of

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a habit, which we see from the fact of all the cuts made across

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Government the biggest cuts are in local government, ie passing the

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buck to somebody else by cutting the local government budget and,

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therefore, my honourable friend is absolutely right to be sceptical

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about this and this is what we want it hear. But we could - there are

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many figures floating around. The Newham - Newham council know what

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they are talking B they have one of the most pressing needs for housing

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in the country. We have some of the poorest communities in the country

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and I'm afraid some of the worst housing, particularly in the private

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rented sector, so these are matters of real concern, but all we're

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asking for in this new clause or a commitment we hope to have from the

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minister today is not just that there will be a review but it will

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be at the right time and all-encompassing. In one moment I

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will give way to both. I mention I mention the role of the Select

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Committee. The Select Committee has been key, my honourable friend for

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Sheffield South East, as the Chair is an expert on this but he has help

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from abled members on both sides. So any process of review should also

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involve the Select Committee as well as local authorities themselves. On

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the issue of funding, the prevention duties, like you, Enfield also has

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the accommodation for poorest people, with the greatest need. We

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want obviously this bill but isn't it a reality that good councils are

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already embarking on prevention and doing what is in the bill and they

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are doing it under the coming settlement and they'll welcome they

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will have more money to do what they are already doing now. I think the

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best thing to say is it there is a mixed economy of local authorities.

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Some do very well. Some have to do very well because of the priors on

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them and some do less well and part of the purpose of this bill is to

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try to bring everyone up to the same standard. The honourable gentleman's

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point cuts both ways. If, for example, Camden Council already

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carries out prevention work, with 80% of people who present to them,

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if that's right, then the savings that are likely to be made, because

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most of the savings as I understand it are going to be by increasing

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prevention work, and therefore avoiding the need to find

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alternative accommodation or to in other ways fund the cost of

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homelessness, then those savings are going to be less. So that's the

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problem. The problem, will, after two years, as the Government hoped,

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there will be none need to fundk, I don't think anybody believes that,

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probably not the Government. I thank high honourable friend for giving

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away. It isn't just a probably in London, in Wirral there were over

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1,000 prevention and relief cases Wirral council taking action to

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prevent homelessness occurring, would the honourable member agree

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that any new duties councils have to take on should be fully funded both

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now and in the future. My honourable friend is right. This is not just a

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problem - it is clearly a greater problem in some areas than others

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and the resident for this -- precedent legislation is the

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legislation passed by the Labour-run Government of Wales which has be

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been successful and we are seeing substantial falls of homelessness in

:21:28.:21:31.

Wales. Of course there are areas in Wales in which there is a real

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crisis, as there are around the rest of the United Kingdom. But, there

:21:36.:21:42.

are also hotspots and the big cities and London, in particular, are

:21:43.:21:46.

hotspots and we cannot rely on the example of Wales, for example, to

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see that that is what would happen in England. It is still possible, in

:21:50.:21:55.

many Welsh authorities for accommodation to be made available,

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including to those who are not in priority need. In London Boroughs,

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and I suspect in my honourable friend's constituency and many

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others, that opportunity disappeared years ago and the reverse is true.

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We spent sometime in committee talking about the disgraceful

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attitude of Westminster Council who are sending their homelessness

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homelessness quite literally to Coventry and I'm afraid other

:22:24.:22:33.

boroughs are doing exactly the same. That's the issue we are grappling

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with, madam deputy speaker. I will not labour thep point. We want

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assurances which we believe that new clause 1 delivers. That what my

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honourable friend rightly says is actually delivered, that there is

:22:48.:22:51.

full funding of the provisions of this bill for local government. Yes

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the Government has made a start. Yes, I think we are going to hear

:22:56.:23:00.

more today about money, on the basis that some of the amendments the

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Government is putting forward will have additional costs. We are

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pleased with that so far but I say we must have that funding because

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otherwise this bill will fail and local authorities will be in an even

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more perilous state. Let me move on briefly, madam deputy speaker to new

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clauses 2 and 3. We couldn't table a great deal of

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extra new clauses such as this which illustrates what these new clauses

:23:34.:23:36.

do, because you cannot look at the provisions in this bill in a vacuum.

:23:37.:23:40.

We all welcome the great convery tracing, as the honourable gentleman

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said, on prevention and welcome the new duties on relief that are upon

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local authorities, in terms of assisting homeless people who are

:23:51.:23:53.

not in priority needs, into accommodation. But, the pattern of

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homelessness in this country is utterly bleak. And that is a perfect

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storm which I'm afraid has derived from the Government's own actions or

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inactions. The fist point, which is what is illustrated by new clauses 2

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and 3, is the crisis in the private rented sector. The huge inflation in

:24:15.:24:19.

rents that has occurred over the past few years, has meant that many

:24:20.:24:25.

private landlords take advantage of the no-fault eviction process under

:24:26.:24:32.

the 1988 Act, so simply say - you are on benefit and your benefit is

:24:33.:24:37.

not, I can get more rent somewhere else or simply, I think I want a

:24:38.:24:42.

different tenant, I don't have to give any reason for it, so off you

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go. And that swift process, without

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providing the papers are in order, without any argument to the

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contrary, means that many, many thousands of people are presenting

:24:54.:24:55.

themselves to local authorities civilly for that reason. I believe

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it is now more than 40% of homelessness homelessness cases are

:25:02.:25:04.

caused by private sector evictions and all the misery that that brings.

:25:05.:25:09.

Again, this is not an insoluable problem and what is in these two

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clauses would make a significant difference. This is a modest

:25:14.:25:22.

proposal. It suggests that if there were longer tenancies, three-year

:25:23.:25:25.

tenancies, and within the period of that tenancy, there were controls

:25:26.:25:29.

over the level of rent increase, we would not have that th chaotic

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market in -- not have that chaotic market.

:25:38.:25:43.

I will pass over the typo in line 4 of new clause 2 to say this, does he

:25:44.:25:48.

remember in the bill committee the average length of tenancies were in

:25:49.:25:52.

fact four years and in his new clause 2 he is merely referring to

:25:53.:25:56.

three years, does he not accept that there needs to be a billion to

:25:57.:26:01.

encourage sufficient landlords snore I'm not sure what the honourable

:26:02.:26:05.

member does when he is not passing over typos. His argument, I'm afraid

:26:06.:26:15.

works both ways. I think the point he is making,

:26:16.:26:21.

tenancies if they are longer than three years, what is the problem in

:26:22.:26:25.

ensuring that is the case? Again, good practice would suggest a good

:26:26.:26:29.

landlord wants to keep a tenant for a period of time. That gives

:26:30.:26:33.

stability, continuity, there are no breaks in tenancy or additional fees

:26:34.:26:37.

involved and that matter but not all landlords are good landlords and

:26:38.:26:40.

some landlords are playing this lottery game where they think they

:26:41.:26:46.

can get more money and we've even had local authorities outbidding

:26:47.:26:50.

each other for tenancies, so desperate are there for that. As I

:26:51.:26:55.

say, I think what the honourable gentleman illustrates is how modest

:26:56.:26:58.

this proposal is and how reasonable it is, and when the minister applies

:26:59.:27:03.

he may want to say what the Government' thinking is along these

:27:04.:27:08.

lines. It is an not just an issue about homelessness homelessness but

:27:09.:27:10.

these specific clauses relate to the issue of homelessness homelessness

:27:11.:27:15.

and they say that would you would achieve the purposes of this Bill,

:27:16.:27:20.

ie you would put less pressure on local authorities, you would have

:27:21.:27:27.

less than a need if some land Lords were not acting in the manner they

:27:28.:27:28.

are. That's the purpose of it. I appreciate given the time

:27:29.:27:39.

constraints, unless the Government suddenly decides to accept them this

:27:40.:27:43.

morning, we are unlikely to make progress on them in the course of

:27:44.:27:46.

this bill but this is something we will return to again and again until

:27:47.:27:52.

it is resolved. There is an extremely high rate of homelessness

:27:53.:27:56.

in tooting amongst those aged over 60. I know Wandsworth Council

:27:57.:28:01.

battles with this greatly Day in day out. Would you agree it is

:28:02.:28:05.

absolutely unacceptable but we are failing the older members of our

:28:06.:28:09.

society and people over 60 need to be taken into account? Would the

:28:10.:28:14.

honourable lady mind asking the honourable gentleman to agree,

:28:15.:28:17.

rather than asking the chair to agree? Would he agree, because she

:28:18.:28:26.

doesn't care whether I agree or not? Would my honourable friend agree

:28:27.:28:30.

that it is outrageous that residents aged 60 and over have to suffer in

:28:31.:28:35.

this way and that he must do all he can to ensure the Government

:28:36.:28:39.

addresses this issue. Absolutely, I know that you, Madam Deputy Speaker,

:28:40.:28:44.

also care about homelessness in tooting. What my honourable friend

:28:45.:28:48.

illustrates is that we are in new territory. I doubt 20 or 30 years

:28:49.:28:58.

ago there were big problems, that we would be talking about homelessness

:28:59.:29:01.

amongst people of pensionable age. It illustrates how deep this goes in

:29:02.:29:08.

society now that we are worried about not just the groups that were

:29:09.:29:16.

at risk in the days of Cathy Come Home but people who, at a time in

:29:17.:29:19.

their life when they deserve and should have security and stability

:29:20.:29:22.

in that way, and it illustrates that point. I am going to wind up now,

:29:23.:29:31.

let me just say this, yes, it new clauses two and three illustrate a

:29:32.:29:35.

clear point that is a part of the problem, alongside that is the issue

:29:36.:29:39.

of housing supply and the terrible record, I'm afraid, that this

:29:40.:29:41.

Government has on genuinely affordable housing, on allowing

:29:42.:29:47.

councils to build and ensure there is specialist housing... Could you

:29:48.:29:58.

not make it in your own comments? I thank the honourable gentleman for

:29:59.:30:02.

his forbearance in taking my intervention. Does he not welcome

:30:03.:30:10.

the record of ?3.15 billion that this Government is providing to the

:30:11.:30:15.

GLA to provide affordable housing in London, which has been welcomed by

:30:16.:30:21.

the London man? I welcome everything the London mayor welcomes! But I

:30:22.:30:31.

think, let's not go off on a tangent other than just to say we were

:30:32.:30:39.

beginning to make progress towards the end of the last Labour

:30:40.:30:42.

Government and the best illustration of that is that under the coalition

:30:43.:30:46.

Government eight out of ten council homes that were completed were

:30:47.:30:50.

started under the previous Labour Government, so I don't mind him

:30:51.:30:54.

taking credit, I don't mind him talking about additional building of

:30:55.:30:58.

affordable homes and social homes, but they need to have their own

:30:59.:31:03.

record, not to leech off hours. For the last time, I give way. I'm

:31:04.:31:11.

extremely grateful. The Institute of Housing have estimated a quarter of

:31:12.:31:16.

the million social homes will be lost as a result of right to buy and

:31:17.:31:21.

other measures between now and 2020, so whatever assurances are being

:31:22.:31:25.

given by the benches opposite, the construction of new housing is the

:31:26.:31:28.

equivalent of turning on the taps whilst leaving the plug out.

:31:29.:31:34.

Absolutely, and when I mentioned the quality of members on the committee

:31:35.:31:40.

on my side I was of course particularly referring to my

:31:41.:31:46.

honourable Friends on the committee. They put my feeble efforts to shame,

:31:47.:31:51.

but their writ is. Absolutely right, we have a crisis in housing supply,

:31:52.:31:55.

a crisis in the private rental sector, and we also have, which the

:31:56.:32:00.

Government is directly responsible for through the benefit caps,

:32:01.:32:04.

through freezing local housing, through cuts in supporting people,

:32:05.:32:08.

we have a manufactured crisis of homelessness which we are now seeing

:32:09.:32:11.

reflected in the figures I quoted earlier. I pay tribute to the

:32:12.:32:17.

Minister for the work done on this bill, as well as to the sponsor and

:32:18.:32:21.

the sincere comments made by Government backbenchers during the

:32:22.:32:24.

course of this bill, but they cannot put their heads in the sand and look

:32:25.:32:29.

at this bill in isolation from everything else that is happening.

:32:30.:32:33.

When they have looked at that, they have to change their policy. I'm

:32:34.:32:41.

sure we are going to get the white paper this year but when it comes we

:32:42.:32:43.

will be looking for those matters to be dealt with and that is the

:32:44.:32:46.

purpose of these new clauses, to make sure at this bill functions and

:32:47.:32:50.

to make sure Government policy as a whole functions in relation to

:32:51.:32:53.

homelessness, and that is why I would like to hear from the Minister

:32:54.:32:57.

is not warm support and acceptance of the clauses, at least what he

:32:58.:33:02.

intends to do in relation to them. The question is that new clause

:33:03.:33:08.

one... I beg your pardon, de Klerk will read it first. Duty to

:33:09.:33:16.

undertake a review of the Act. The question is that new clause one B

:33:17.:33:24.

read a second time. Mr Bob Blackman. Thank you, it is a pleasure to serve

:33:25.:33:29.

under you as always. It is also a pleasure to follow the honourable

:33:30.:33:33.

gentleman fat Hammersmith. Before I start, May I draw the House's

:33:34.:33:38.

attention to my entry in the register of members interests. I

:33:39.:33:44.

think we should get back to the fact that this bill is about reducing

:33:45.:33:49.

homelessness, and it is entitled to be Homelessness Reduction Bill. At

:33:50.:33:53.

some stages during the honourable member's rather link the speech, I

:33:54.:33:57.

began to wonder if we were moving off onto the whole policy of

:33:58.:34:01.

housing, and I think we should confine ourselves to this bill,

:34:02.:34:07.

rather than broadening out to the wider aspects. I accept absolutely

:34:08.:34:12.

that one person sleeping rough on our streets at any one time is a

:34:13.:34:16.

disgrace, a national disgrace. I have regularly gone on record, and

:34:17.:34:22.

equally that we do not know the exact level of homelessness in this

:34:23.:34:26.

country. So I start from that principle. And of course it is fair

:34:27.:34:32.

to say that the level of rough sleeping has increased. It is all to

:34:33.:34:37.

-- also fair to say that the level has increased of homelessness.

:34:38.:34:40.

However, as the honourable member will well know, the level of

:34:41.:34:45.

homelessness in this country peaked back in 2002three, I suspect someone

:34:46.:34:50.

else was actually in charge of Government at that time. And there

:34:51.:34:56.

was a reduction which took place as a result of both Government

:34:57.:35:00.

intervention and local authorities taking appropriate action, but

:35:01.:35:05.

actually no change in legislation. We should remember, Madam Deputy

:35:06.:35:10.

Speaker, that legislation on this subject has not changed effectively

:35:11.:35:14.

for 40 years, so we must get back to that particular issue. I would also

:35:15.:35:17.

draw attention, we will come onto more details about the bill

:35:18.:35:21.

hopefully when we get to third reading, but I would just a bench

:35:22.:35:25.

and gently that we spent some 15 hours in the committee debating the

:35:26.:35:32.

clauses, the 13 clauses in this bill, and there were opportunities

:35:33.:35:37.

for amendments, and the honourable member for Hammersmith did make

:35:38.:35:40.

amendments but then withdrew them before we could even debate them,

:35:41.:35:46.

and therefore the difference between the amendments that my honourable

:35:47.:35:49.

Friends the Minister is proposing later on and the proposals from the

:35:50.:35:53.

honourable member for Hammersmith are that the amendments from the

:35:54.:35:58.

Government's side are as a direct consequence of the debates and

:35:59.:36:02.

discussions we had in committee and are there to improve the bill and

:36:03.:36:07.

also to achieve what has happened in terms of discussions with housing

:36:08.:36:11.

charities, local government bodies, representative bodies, local

:36:12.:36:15.

government generally, and the landlord associations. So there is a

:36:16.:36:18.

marked difference between those amendments, and there are 21 of

:36:19.:36:22.

them, I accept, and the amendments being moved by the honourable member

:36:23.:36:29.

for Hammersmith. The key on new clause one, and for those of us that

:36:30.:36:33.

were members of the committee, and I commend my honourable Friends across

:36:34.:36:36.

the House for their service on the bill committee, when they were

:36:37.:36:40.

present at the last session they will be aware that the Government

:36:41.:36:44.

has already given a very firm commitment to review the bill at an

:36:45.:36:48.

appropriate point after implementation. I would suggest to

:36:49.:36:54.

my honourable friend the Minister for local government that it would

:36:55.:36:57.

be helpful if you repeat that commitment today and clarifies it

:36:58.:37:02.

further so that no one is in any doubt of the willingness of the

:37:03.:37:08.

Government to accept the fact that we have got funding, and I thank the

:37:09.:37:14.

Minister for the funding of 48 million over two years. We hope that

:37:15.:37:21.

that will lead to providing all the funding that local authorities need

:37:22.:37:26.

to carry out their duties under this new bill which hopefully will become

:37:27.:37:29.

an Act in the not too distant future. However, as I said at the

:37:30.:37:35.

beginning of my remarks, we do not know the level of demand that the

:37:36.:37:38.

local authorities will experience as a result of the new burdens that

:37:39.:37:45.

they face. What we do know is that many local authorities are already

:37:46.:37:53.

taking prevention duty already and that funding will be welcome to

:37:54.:37:56.

those authorities acting in a good and positive way. But the reality is

:37:57.:38:05.

that we could look at the stats from every local authority in terms of

:38:06.:38:08.

how many people are turning up for help but we also know that the vast

:38:09.:38:13.

majority of single homeless people will get turned away by their local

:38:14.:38:17.

authority without any help or advice. Now, because of the major

:38:18.:38:21.

change, the massive change not only in the law but the culture of local

:38:22.:38:26.

authorities, that the numbers of people are likely to increase

:38:27.:38:29.

especially during the first year... I will indeed give way. What we do

:38:30.:38:35.

know is that across the House and particularly the Government are

:38:36.:38:41.

committed wholeheartedly to fulfil what is within the terms of its

:38:42.:38:45.

responsibilities, which has included financial responsibilities. If

:38:46.:38:51.

beyond the spending round that we are in there are additional

:38:52.:38:54.

financial requirements to fulfil the duties in this bill, having taken

:38:55.:38:57.

account of savings, doesn't he recognise as I do that the

:38:58.:39:00.

responsibility of that wholehearted commitment will continue? I thank

:39:01.:39:08.

him for his intervention. Clearly we would expect, I think the whole

:39:09.:39:12.

house would expect, the Government to recognise that there would be

:39:13.:39:16.

potentially extra cost pressures on local authorities and, given the

:39:17.:39:19.

commitment made by the Government, that they will continue to fund that

:39:20.:39:27.

in the years to come. One of the problems of the amendments proposed

:39:28.:39:30.

by the honourable member for Hammersmith is it proposes a review

:39:31.:39:33.

after a fixed period of time, and that will be at. Frankly, I don't

:39:34.:39:38.

accept that is an acceptable way forward. I want the Government to

:39:39.:39:45.

continually keep this under review, and I'm sure that the communities

:39:46.:39:49.

and local of the select Committee and the rest of the committee, who

:39:50.:39:52.

are joint sponsors of this bill, will ensure that the Minister, or

:39:53.:39:57.

whoever is the Minister at the time, have their feet kept under fire in

:39:58.:40:03.

terms of... Long may he reign, of course! But he cannot commit his

:40:04.:40:09.

successor to the position as yet, but what we do know is that we, as a

:40:10.:40:14.

Select Committee, will keep this under review and will make sure that

:40:15.:40:19.

we scrutinise both the level of activity and the funding that

:40:20.:40:29.

follows. One of the key areas here, as the honourable member for

:40:30.:40:33.

Hammersmith pointed out, there is a whole range of different activities

:40:34.:40:37.

that are going to be going on by local authorities, and many of those

:40:38.:40:40.

will be such that there will be additional funds raised and actually

:40:41.:40:47.

costs reduced. One of the stats that we have looked at is that London

:40:48.:40:54.

councils will only say that in 2014-15 the total expenditure on

:40:55.:40:59.

temporary accommodation is some, was some 611 million. If we can reduce

:41:00.:41:06.

that figure just by 5% then we will pay for the costs of this bill. So

:41:07.:41:12.

that is one of the elements, because one of the problems about temporary

:41:13.:41:16.

accommodation which happens with local authorities is because they

:41:17.:41:19.

don't take prevention duty early enough yet then one of the problems

:41:20.:41:23.

that happens is that families and other people end up in temporary

:41:24.:41:27.

accommodation at the last minute in a crisis, which is very, very

:41:28.:41:32.

expensive. So if we can reduce that Bill marginally, and 5% is not a

:41:33.:41:37.

huge amount to seek to reduce, then we pay for the cost of the bill. If

:41:38.:41:43.

councils across the country achieve the prevention duty, we will prevent

:41:44.:41:49.

anyone from becoming homeless at all and therefore the cost reduction to

:41:50.:41:51.

local authorities will be enormous. I accept there will be a peak in the

:41:52.:42:01.

first year and I think we should all understand and appreciate that. The

:42:02.:42:08.

Bill committee and select committee spent a considerable time discussing

:42:09.:42:11.

how much time it would take for councils to prepare for the extra

:42:12.:42:13.

duties the bill will require. Obviously they are going to need to

:42:14.:42:20.

recruit and train staff, and change absolutely the culture that exists

:42:21.:42:25.

within housing departments. So because of that, the bill is drafted

:42:26.:42:31.

to allow the substantive clauses to commenced only once the preparations

:42:32.:42:40.

have been completed. It seems to me that the new clauses drafted by the

:42:41.:42:44.

honourable member for Hammersmith, could therefore put this commitment

:42:45.:42:47.

to review the act before we have the data and before some of the clauses

:42:48.:42:52.

have actually even commenced. I'm sure that's not what the honourable

:42:53.:42:55.

member intended but I would urge him on that basis to reconsider his

:42:56.:43:02.

amendment. I trust we are going to get a commitment from the minister

:43:03.:43:05.

on reviews. I'm sure we will hold him to account and clarify that if

:43:06.:43:10.

we don't get that amount of commitment, but I'm sure we will get

:43:11.:43:22.

that later this morning. On new clauses 2 and 3 I must commend the

:43:23.:43:29.

honourable member for his ingenuity in getting them in the scope of this

:43:30.:43:42.

bill. But since they relate to the private rental sector and not

:43:43.:43:45.

homelessness duty, I welcome the detail. But what I will say, is we

:43:46.:43:52.

intervene in markets at our peril. Often we get be unintended

:43:53.:43:58.

consequences. Can I draw the house's attention tension to some of the

:43:59.:44:05.

problems going on right now. I'm a great supporter of longer tenancies

:44:06.:44:09.

and think it has been regularly campaigned for and I would stress it

:44:10.:44:12.

needs to happen. One of the problems in the market is that mortgage

:44:13.:44:24.

lenders are very reluctant, indeed, to offer mortgages to landlords who

:44:25.:44:28.

have having tennants that are longer than six-month ten an si.s I

:44:29.:44:32.

understand recently a number of mortgage lenders have relaxed their

:44:33.:44:36.

rules to allow for 12-month tenancies which is a very welcome

:44:37.:44:41.

move and I would suggest, in the longer term, with the CLG select

:44:42.:44:45.

committee we will be looking at that and looking to encourage that

:44:46.:44:49.

process but, to implement such a decision in this bill, would run the

:44:50.:45:00.

risk of actually reducing the supply of private selected accommodation

:45:01.:45:02.

and putting up the rents of the people we are trying to help, so

:45:03.:45:07.

this amendment today in my view is counter-productive. There is the

:45:08.:45:09.

issue that mortgage lenders right now are insisting on between a 25%

:45:10.:45:21.

or a 40% deposit for landlords and then insisting that the rent level

:45:22.:45:25.

is 1.4 times the mortgage payment going out. The reality of that is

:45:26.:45:29.

landlords are forcing up rents and the lenders are forcing up rents to

:45:30.:45:32.

private sector landlords. That does not make sense. I think that's

:45:33.:45:42.

something where Government policy is going to have to intervene. I also

:45:43.:45:45.

think the issue of rent controls have been tried and failed. The

:45:46.:45:49.

reality is that if you try and impose rent controls, what happens

:45:50.:45:55.

is that rents are forced up to start with artificially. The market is

:45:56.:46:00.

over-burdened with red tape and actually, the supply of rent rented

:46:01.:46:04.

housing goes down. So, the scone sequence of that is we will actually

:46:05.:46:08.

contribute to more homelessness than actually reducing it. So, for those

:46:09.:46:17.

reasons,eddes Madame Deputy Speaker, where we woop end up creating more

:46:18.:46:22.

homelessness than we've involved I would urge the honourable member to

:46:23.:46:28.

withdraw his amendments, clearly a matter of policy, clearly that needs

:46:29.:46:31.

to be debated and discussed. I would concur with him on the one aspect I

:46:32.:46:36.

have been very clear on from the beginning. My bill, once it becomes

:46:37.:46:41.

law, will not actually increase the supply of housing, the number of

:46:42.:46:44.

units in this country. That is a matter for Government policy. I

:46:45.:46:48.

think that's an area where we need to achieve that. What it will do, is

:46:49.:46:57.

make sure that the experience of those people that are homeless,

:46:58.:46:59.

particularly those who are homeless for the first time is such that they

:47:00.:47:03.

get the help and advice and I'm very concerned that the amendments as

:47:04.:47:06.

proposed by the honourable member would reduce the supply and make

:47:07.:47:10.

the, would actually penalise the very people that we are so helping.

:47:11.:47:16.

So, on those basis, Madame Deputy Speaker, I will look forward to the

:47:17.:47:20.

minister spopding and also invite the honourable member to withdraw

:47:21.:47:28.

his amendment. Thank you, Madame Deputy Speaker, I rise to support

:47:29.:47:35.

new clause 1. As this is my first intervention on this important bill,

:47:36.:47:39.

it gives me an opportunity to congratulate the honourable member

:47:40.:47:41.

for Harrow East in bringing it forward. I think he has done so with

:47:42.:47:49.

great persuasion, and has really performed an important service on

:47:50.:47:54.

behalf of us all and indeed congratedlations to both

:47:55.:47:57.

frontbenches for working constructively to bring the bill to

:47:58.:48:04.

this particular point. I support the bill, Madame Deputy Speaker but as

:48:05.:48:08.

good as it goes, we will be kidding ourselves today if we will leave

:48:09.:48:12.

this House, pat ourselves on the back and believe we have done

:48:13.:48:16.

everything this House could do to tackle what is an unfolding

:48:17.:48:20.

emergency before our eyes. The reason I have chosen to come to

:48:21.:48:25.

speak in this debate today is to reflect the rising concern amongst

:48:26.:48:35.

my constituents in Leigh but a concern that is widely shared across

:48:36.:48:41.

Greater Manchester that there are visibly increasing numbers of people

:48:42.:48:45.

huddled in door way across our city region and people will not just walk

:48:46.:48:49.

on bi. They do not accept it has to be like this. Homelessness and rough

:48:50.:48:54.

sleeping is not an inevitable fact of life in 2017. We are wealthy

:48:55.:48:59.

enough as a society to ensure that nobody should spend the night

:49:00.:49:03.

without a roof over their head. And there needs to be a new urgency on

:49:04.:49:11.

both sides of the House in bringing forward appropriate action to

:49:12.:49:17.

address it. And that's the problem f there is with this bill, it is good

:49:18.:49:22.

as far as it goes but in my view doesn't go anywhere near enough to

:49:23.:49:26.

tackle the scale of the problem. And actually, it doesn't go cross the

:49:27.:49:35.

mental response needed. A reality check, figures came out this week,

:49:36.:49:39.

the minister will be aware of them, that shows a 16% rise in rough

:49:40.:49:43.

sleeping over the last year. My honourable member in his opening

:49:44.:49:48.

remarks made reference to that. In the last five or six years, since

:49:49.:49:53.

2010, rough sleeping across England has doubled. It is going up at an

:49:54.:49:58.

alarming rate. In Greater Manchester, the problem is even

:49:59.:50:02.

worse. Across the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester, there has been a

:50:03.:50:08.

41% increase in rough sleeping in the last year. I would say to the

:50:09.:50:16.

minister, those figures, according to local officials, don't actually

:50:17.:50:20.

reflect the full picture. They believe that tonight at least 300

:50:21.:50:23.

people across Greater Manchester will be out on streets spending the

:50:24.:50:27.

night there. Now that is simply unacceptable. And I don't hear from

:50:28.:50:30.

the Government what they are doing about that. What are they doing

:50:31.:50:37.

about that now to help people find warmth and help them find shelter?

:50:38.:50:40.

As I say rough sleeping has doubled but this bill won't reverse that and

:50:41.:50:44.

we need to have our eyes open to that. And that's why I support new

:50:45.:50:54.

clause 1. Because it is absolutely crucial that there is urgency in

:50:55.:50:58.

this debate and a clear commitment to review what is happening. Not a -

:50:59.:51:03.

I take the honourable gentleman's point - but, a committee to review

:51:04.:51:09.

from a minister at the Despatch Box, we all know that timetables shift,

:51:10.:51:12.

the Civil Service will say - we'll review it in the autumn. That

:51:13.:51:15.

becomes the winter and that becomes the spring much that's what happens

:51:16.:51:18.

we all know that. It is not good enough. This problem is bigger than

:51:19.:51:21.

that. We need clarity and certainty. There should be a commitment to a

:51:22.:51:25.

review of how this legislation is working, both in whether it is

:51:26.:51:30.

reducing homelessness, as the clause says, but, also, whether or not the

:51:31.:51:34.

funding that the Government has given to councils is adequate. For

:51:35.:51:39.

the reasons given by my friend, the honourable member for West Ham a

:51:40.:51:42.

moment ago, I don't believe the funding is adequate. Here is how I

:51:43.:51:47.

would differ slightly with my own front bench. I would say that this

:51:48.:51:51.

review should take place within one year. There needs to be more

:51:52.:51:55.

urgency. I believe that annual review would reveal - firstly, that

:51:56.:52:00.

while I expect this bill to have a modest but welcome impact on

:52:01.:52:03.

reducing homelessness, I don't believe it'll go anywhere near

:52:04.:52:06.

addressing the scale of the problem and secondly, I think that review

:52:07.:52:10.

will also reveal that the council funding that the Government has

:52:11.:52:17.

allocated is inadequate. Let us remember, most funding comes next

:52:18.:52:21.

year. It then reduces sharply in the year after that, then in the third

:52:22.:52:25.

year there is nothing at all. I don't want to wait to the third year

:52:26.:52:31.

to find out whether or not this is working, I think it should be

:52:32.:52:35.

conducted immediately, Madame Deputy Speaker and within 12 months. But we

:52:36.:52:40.

need to hear much more grft. If they want it tackle homelessness -- from

:52:41.:52:44.

the Government. If they won't at that tackle homelessness and rough

:52:45.:52:47.

speaking there needs to be a cross-government response. We

:52:48.:52:52.

established in a rough sleepers department, when West Africa in

:52:53.:52:56.

Government. I don't see that level of cross-Government working on this

:52:57.:53:01.

important issue. But secondly as well as having -- department when in

:53:02.:53:04.

Government. But secondly, there should be a

:53:05.:53:07.

clear ambition. What is the Government's am billings on rough

:53:08.:53:11.

sleeping? I'm in the aware of it. It is going up at an alarming rate.

:53:12.:53:15.

What are they going to do about it? Will they put it into reverse? Will

:53:16.:53:20.

they have made the same commitment I have made in Greater Manchester, by

:53:21.:53:24.

2020 we should work to eradicate rough sleeping. It it is all very

:53:25.:53:28.

well the minister looking the other way, and turning around and talking

:53:29.:53:32.

to his colleagues. What is he going to do about rough sleeping now and

:53:33.:53:35.

in the next few years? What zbft's ambition? -- what is the

:53:36.:53:42.

Government's ambition? Are they committed to eradicating the

:53:43.:53:46.

increase and go further and eradicate. I don't want to inject a

:53:47.:53:52.

partisan note but I am I'm afraid we are doing nobody any favours if we

:53:53.:53:55.

sit here today and think this is enough this. Bill won't reverse the

:53:56.:53:58.

cuts to housing benefit that are looming. I will give way. I'm

:53:59.:54:03.

grateful to the honourable gentleman for giving way. He accepted himself,

:54:04.:54:08.

he wasn't in the bill committee or he wasn't here at contributing at

:54:09.:54:12.

second reading. Had he had been he would have seen the cross-party

:54:13.:54:14.

nature of the bill committee and the proceedings to date. The points he

:54:15.:54:18.

is making whilst I'm sure are relevant to new clauses 1, 2 and 3,

:54:19.:54:23.

perhaps don't quite to the point and don't attract the same cross-party

:54:24.:54:27.

support that has been the nature of this bill to date.

:54:28.:54:31.

Well, I hear what the honourable gentleman has said and I have given

:54:32.:54:36.

my support to this bill, so there is cross-party support, he has my

:54:37.:54:37.

support, the honourable gentleman has my support. Government has my

:54:38.:54:42.

entitled to come here today to speak entitled to come here today to speak

:54:43.:54:46.

for those people who will be on the streets of his constituency tonight,

:54:47.:54:51.

who I know will be on the streets of Greater Manchester tonight. I think

:54:52.:54:54.

I'm entitled to come here today to give them a voice in this house.

:54:55.:54:58.

This bill isn't going to change their situation any time soon. I

:54:59.:55:02.

don't believe it is going to reduce rough sleeping any time soon. So who

:55:03.:55:07.

is speaking for them? It is not acceptable for this house to be

:55:08.:55:11.

debating homelessness and do it in a cosy way without facing the reality.

:55:12.:55:16.

That is the reality, rough sleeping is rising at an alarming mate rate.

:55:17.:55:21.

I ask the minister what he is doing about this. I this this House and

:55:22.:55:26.

more importantly those people out on streets, deserve an answer? I am

:55:27.:55:31.

grateful. Can I ask him to take little regard for comments of the

:55:32.:55:34.

member opposite because it is correct that in terms of the

:55:35.:55:38.

provisions and culture underpinning this bill, there was and is a cross

:55:39.:55:43.

of had party consensus we want to see ittismented. During the

:55:44.:55:46.

committee stage of the bill and at second reading, virtually all the

:55:47.:55:51.

direction comments from our side have been the wider con#23r

:55:52.:55:54.

universal credits, and housing cuts and housing supply, the context in

:55:55.:55:58.

which homelessness and rough sleeping exists is going this

:55:59.:56:00.

reverse and it is right we should be drawing attention to that. I'm

:56:01.:56:04.

gritful to my honourable friend. I believe she's absolutely right. This

:56:05.:56:09.

bill solely focuses on the duties of local authorities. And we've got to

:56:10.:56:13.

remember that those local authorities are operating in the

:56:14.:56:17.

context, at the moment, of massive cuts to their budgets. So, we need

:56:18.:56:21.

to be honest with ourselves about whether or not they are going to be

:56:22.:56:26.

able to rise to the extra pressures that this bill places upon them. But

:56:27.:56:32.

as my you honourable friend says, thisably do nothing to reduce the

:56:33.:56:36.

cuts to housing benefit coming down the line and many experts believe

:56:37.:56:40.

will make homelessness and rough sleeping worse. This bill does

:56:41.:56:45.

nothing to reverse cuts to mental health services that is pushing more

:56:46.:56:49.

people out on to the streets and it does nothing to reverse the cuts to

:56:50.:56:54.

social care which is having the same effect or does nothing to build nor

:56:55.:56:57.

affordable social housing I'm sorry if it injects a note the minister

:56:58.:57:02.

doesn't like, but tough, he needs to hear that. He needs a better

:57:03.:57:05.

response that this bill. If he thinks this is t it is not good

:57:06.:57:09.

enough. This bill is a step in the right direction but that, I'm afraid

:57:10.:57:10.

is all that it is. In greater Manchester, we are

:57:11.:57:20.

committing ourselves, between ourselves and our councils, to try

:57:21.:57:24.

to end rough sleeping. If we can do that at our level, the Government

:57:25.:57:28.

should at least do something at their level. Madam Deputy Speaker,

:57:29.:57:31.

in rising to support... I will give way. I am grateful. I am reading the

:57:32.:57:40.

briefing note from Crisis, the housing charity, and I am quoting

:57:41.:57:43.

directly, whilst we understand the intention behind these amendments,

:57:44.:57:48.

we are very worried that there would be further amendments in the House

:57:49.:57:52.

of Lords leading to ping-pong between the two houses. This could

:57:53.:57:56.

result in the bill failing to receive Royal assent before the end

:57:57.:57:59.

of the Parliamentary session, thus of the Parliamentary session, thus

:58:00.:58:01.

killing the bill. My reading of this is that Crisis

:58:02.:58:05.

would like the bill to go through without these new amendments. Does

:58:06.:58:10.

he have maybe B1 that? I have also read the note from Crisis and I

:58:11.:58:13.

think she will see that they don't believe the funding allocated to the

:58:14.:58:17.

bill is adequate to meet the obligations that are being faced on

:58:18.:58:20.

local authorities, nor do they believe that it will do anything to

:58:21.:58:23.

address those wider issues around housing benefit however, I accept

:58:24.:58:29.

the point that the honourable lady has just made. I have not come here

:58:30.:58:33.

today to do anything to disrupt the passage of this bill, I think it

:58:34.:58:37.

would help everybody to have a commitment to review bit, on the

:58:38.:58:40.

face of it, so we all know where we stand and there is a degree of

:58:41.:58:44.

urgency about how this House is addressing this issue. I hear what

:58:45.:58:52.

the honourable gentleman says and I'm slightly disappointed by his

:58:53.:58:56.

approach today in relation to the time that he's taking in relation to

:58:57.:59:01.

the important report stage of this bill. It is as shame he did not come

:59:02.:59:06.

and make the point he is making at second reading. That said, he asked

:59:07.:59:10.

me the serious question of what this Government is doing to help with the

:59:11.:59:14.

important issue of rough sleeping in Manchester, and I would just like to

:59:15.:59:19.

say to him that we have already announced over ?600,000 for a social

:59:20.:59:26.

impact plan in Greater Manchester to support entrenched rough sleepers

:59:27.:59:29.

that have the most complex needs. Does he not welcome that work that

:59:30.:59:34.

is going to be done by Government and with the Greater Manchester

:59:35.:59:38.

authority? Every single thing he does to address this problem, I will

:59:39.:59:42.

welcome, and I welcome that funding, but I do not welcome the alarming

:59:43.:59:47.

rise in rough sleeping on the streets of Greater Manchester, and

:59:48.:59:50.

I'm sorry if it is inconvenient to the Minister to hear this but I'm

:59:51.:59:54.

absolutely clear that it is right to put those concerns to him. I wasn't

:59:55.:00:00.

going to say another word because I want the bill to go well, but I'm

:00:01.:00:06.

amazed by the chutzpah of the honourable member opposite moaning

:00:07.:00:08.

about an excellent speech, relevant and pertinent to the point, on this

:00:09.:00:14.

bill, given that people on the other side of this House, week after week

:00:15.:00:19.

after week after week, talk out excellent bills! If the honourable

:00:20.:00:22.

Minister doesn't mind, I would like to listen to what my honourable

:00:23.:00:27.

friend has to say because it is pertinent, unlike the dribble

:00:28.:00:29.

normally mentioned on the other side of the House week after week after

:00:30.:00:36.

week. I am grateful. The Minister mentions time. If the Government was

:00:37.:00:42.

making this a priority maybe the Government would be making time to

:00:43.:00:45.

debate these issues, maybe it would bring forward its own legislature,

:00:46.:00:50.

as a result of Private Members Bill. as a result of Private Members Bill.

:00:51.:00:54.

I will welcome anything he does to address this issue but I am not

:00:55.:00:58.

accepting that there is just a cosy cross-party debate today when the

:00:59.:01:01.

number of the people sleeping rough on our streets is increasing every

:01:02.:01:06.

single week. It is a bigger issue, I'm afraid, than just patting

:01:07.:01:09.

ourselves on the back. More needs to be done, the Government needs to set

:01:10.:01:14.

out today its ambition to cut Rob sleeping in the next few years, that

:01:15.:01:18.

is why I am here today. I support this bill fully but let's be honest

:01:19.:01:22.

about what it is, a modest first step.

:01:23.:01:30.

I'm interested to follow the honourable gentleman for the,

:01:31.:01:37.

because if I didn't know that he represented Leigh, I would think he

:01:38.:01:44.

was representing some position in Manchester! I would also like to

:01:45.:01:49.

commend my friend from Harrow East for the affected way he has brought

:01:50.:01:52.

forward this debate and also for introducing such a sympathetic bill

:01:53.:01:57.

on a compelling subject. One would hope every debate in this place is

:01:58.:02:02.

worthwhile, but few issues could be more significant than the

:02:03.:02:06.

legislation we are debating today. A bill which endeavours to make sure

:02:07.:02:09.

no one has to endure sleeping rough on the streets of England, that no

:02:10.:02:13.

one has to face the frightening prospect of a lack of a roof over

:02:14.:02:24.

their head if no-one can put them up, and that no one has to be

:02:25.:02:27.

subjected to the appalling mental and physical degradation that

:02:28.:02:28.

accompanies homelessness. It is important to note that homelessness

:02:29.:02:31.

is not the same as Rob sleeping, which I think the honourable

:02:32.:02:35.

gentleman opposite perhaps misunderstood -- rough sleeping. But

:02:36.:02:38.

we must not dismiss the plight of those who, whilst they may not be

:02:39.:02:42.

sleeping on the street itself, are plagued by anxiety because of that

:02:43.:02:47.

very real possibility. Britain is a developed nation with a strong

:02:48.:02:52.

economy and I would be so bold as to say I speak for everyone in this

:02:53.:02:55.

place when I say it is shameful that so many people in our country are

:02:56.:03:00.

homeless and that we must do all we can to help them. Seeing somebody

:03:01.:03:07.

sleeping on the street is of course and agonising thing for us to

:03:08.:03:10.

witness but is more concerning at this time of year when freezing

:03:11.:03:15.

weather comes, as we have two face even here in London this week. A

:03:16.:03:20.

night out on the street becomes even more unbearable than it does as the

:03:21.:03:26.

best of times. It is not possible to scrutinise this bill effectively

:03:27.:03:29.

without understanding the complex nature of homelessness and just how

:03:30.:03:34.

extensive the problem is across this country. Quantifying homelessness is

:03:35.:03:37.

in itself an extremely difficult task. The way in which it is

:03:38.:03:42.

recorded berries and even if a unanimous method were agreed and

:03:43.:03:47.

employed, but numbers might still be underestimated as many people often

:03:48.:03:51.

sleep out of sight and moving from place to place. Indeed because of

:03:52.:03:58.

the appalling physical abuse which rough sleepers and in particular

:03:59.:04:02.

women are subject to, many try to actively leave places where they

:04:03.:04:08.

could be spotted. Despite that difficulty, Government statistics

:04:09.:04:13.

show 4134 people slept rough on any one night across England in 2016.

:04:14.:04:18.

Shockingly that is over double the number recorded in 2010. In London

:04:19.:04:25.

alone local agencies report 8096 people slept rough throughout 2050

:04:26.:04:31.

e-16, a 6% rise on the previous year. -- throughout 2015-16. The

:04:32.:04:38.

rise is shocking since 2010. Does she think I Government is doing

:04:39.:04:45.

enough to tackle rough sleeping? I thank the right honourable

:04:46.:04:52.

gentleman. I think this Government is trying to tackle it, it is a

:04:53.:04:56.

difficult subject, not an easy subject to deal with, and I do think

:04:57.:05:00.

this Government is tackling it, and by allowing this bill to go through

:05:01.:05:04.

I think it shows that they are taking it seriously. I am grateful.

:05:05.:05:11.

One of the issues that both sides of the House need to be aware of is

:05:12.:05:14.

that many of these people sleeping rough, even if they present to local

:05:15.:05:18.

authorities, they will find local authorities do not currently have

:05:19.:05:21.

the powers to help these people. It is not a question of money. Will my

:05:22.:05:25.

honourable friend agree that the powers being proposed in this bill

:05:26.:05:27.

will give them the power to intervene. I am pleased my

:05:28.:05:32.

honourable friend makes that point because I can illustrate it very

:05:33.:05:38.

clearly. Referring to a cave I had over Christmas, I had to ring the

:05:39.:05:42.

helpline over Christmas for a family whose house had burnt down, it was

:05:43.:05:48.

rented, they had four children, and the only thing the local authority,

:05:49.:05:52.

Derbyshire County Council, were interested, not the fact they were

:05:53.:05:56.

homeless and would have to come back from their family after Christmas to

:05:57.:05:59.

homelessness so that they could continue with their jobs and get

:06:00.:06:03.

their children back into school, was, were the children vulnerable?

:06:04.:06:08.

Were they being abused? They were not interested in the homelessness,

:06:09.:06:12.

said this is a clear example where the local authorities really were

:06:13.:06:18.

not interested, even when I phoned in Christmas Day and several days

:06:19.:06:23.

after that, we could not get Derbyshire County Council to put

:06:24.:06:26.

anything in place for these people because their view was, well, they

:06:27.:06:30.

are not homeless, they are staying with friends in Bournemouth, or

:06:31.:06:34.

wherever it was, not that they had to come back to get their children

:06:35.:06:37.

back into school and get their jobs back. I think there are problems at

:06:38.:06:45.

the moment. As I was saying, homelessness is getting worse and as

:06:46.:06:49.

such this bill could not come at a more necessary time. Breaking the

:06:50.:06:53.

numbers down, several groups are at particular risk. In England, women

:06:54.:06:58.

make up 26% of users of homelessness services but as a group they are

:06:59.:07:04.

often much more vulnerable. There are high levels of vulnerability

:07:05.:07:07.

within the female homeless population, mental ill health, drug

:07:08.:07:13.

and alcohol dependency, experience of sexual abuse and other traumatic

:07:14.:07:16.

life experiences are all commonplace. Interviews with

:07:17.:07:24.

homeless women conducted by the fantastic homelessness alleviation

:07:25.:07:27.

charity-macro two, which was quoted a few moments ago... Does the

:07:28.:07:35.

honourable lady agree with me that organisations like Crisis backing

:07:36.:07:40.

this bill shows the Government and my honourable friend has got it

:07:41.:07:46.

right? Yes, I would agree with my honourable friend. The Government is

:07:47.:07:51.

getting it right, it is acting, doing things for the benefit of

:07:52.:07:58.

homeless people in this country. Did somebody else say something? Sorry.

:07:59.:08:05.

As I said, Crisis show over 20% became homeless to escape violence

:08:06.:08:09.

from someone they knew, 70% fleeing violence from a partner. I think

:08:10.:08:15.

this shows that this Government needs this cross-party support which

:08:16.:08:19.

it is getting, or was getting but it seems perhaps not as strongly as it

:08:20.:08:24.

was, and that we do need to move forward for this bill to go through

:08:25.:08:28.

and to go through successfully to the next stage so that it can become

:08:29.:08:43.

law. I rise to speak specifically on new clause two and three in the name

:08:44.:08:46.

of the honourable member for Hammersmith. The new clauses I'm

:08:47.:08:50.

sure our well-intentioned and new clause two 60 of tenants assurance

:08:51.:08:54.

on the length of their tenure and new clause 36 to give assurances on

:08:55.:09:01.

rent increases, but I am concerned that rather than help vulnerable

:09:02.:09:04.

people they will hinder some of the work of this bill as it stands. We

:09:05.:09:08.

know private landlords are increasingly reluctant to accept

:09:09.:09:12.

benefit claimants. This is certainly the experience at Portsmouth City

:09:13.:09:16.

Council. The bill makes efforts to change this, new clause two and

:09:17.:09:19.

three would frustrate this. Tenants are currently encouraged to remain

:09:20.:09:29.

until evicted so that they cannot be termed as homeless. This is a

:09:30.:09:33.

disincentive for landlords to take on cases from local authorities

:09:34.:09:37.

especially under new clause two which would lock landlords into and

:09:38.:09:44.

unbreakable three-year period if the outcome of giving notice was to make

:09:45.:09:49.

the tenant homeless. Dishy agree with me that's the reality is you

:09:50.:09:56.

are only allowed 50% on mortgage providers for buy to let on

:09:57.:10:01.

tenancies of over one year, which will cause more problems than it

:10:02.:10:04.

will fix? That has been discussed earlier today and mortgage lenders

:10:05.:10:10.

could extend even further, even to three years or beyond, because we do

:10:11.:10:16.

want long-term tenancies. But at the moment, under clause two, it would

:10:17.:10:19.

mean landlords are reluctant to take on anyone who could beat authority

:10:20.:10:24.

help, most of which would be vulnerable people in receipt of

:10:25.:10:31.

benefits or on low incomes. A report from the landlords Association has

:10:32.:10:34.

stressed that landlords do not usually evict responsible tenants,

:10:35.:10:38.

nor do they not want to risk finding bad replacement and the costs of

:10:39.:10:42.

addiction, nor do they want their house to be tied. What if they

:10:43.:10:47.

wanted to sell the property or rented themselves? No provision is

:10:48.:10:53.

made for that in clause two. As a result new clause two could propose

:10:54.:10:56.

a strong disincentive for landlords to take on any tenant who might call

:10:57.:11:02.

on the local authorities. New clause three, which seeks to cut rent

:11:03.:11:05.

increases, would have a similar effect. As I have said, landlords do

:11:06.:11:10.

not want to give notice unnecessarily and the recent

:11:11.:11:13.

National Audit Office report this month shows private landlords are

:11:14.:11:18.

not profiteering. Since 2001-2002, social housing rents have increased

:11:19.:11:23.

faster than earnings. By contrast in all regions outside London medium

:11:24.:11:26.

full-time weekly earnings have risen more than private rental prices, or

:11:27.:11:32.

within one or two percent since 2006. New

:11:33.:11:43.

clause three would allow provision to be made for London homes only by

:11:44.:11:47.

setting a The Lovecats. The motivation for this presumably is

:11:48.:11:49.

because in London rents have gone up by 32%, twice as much as earnings.

:11:50.:11:52.

This would be a greater disincentive for landlords in London to take

:11:53.:11:54.

tenants in receipt of housing benefit. The honourable gentleman

:11:55.:11:57.

seeks to cap Private rent increase at CBI, get CPI would almost always

:11:58.:12:06.

be lower than the RPI plus 0.5% cap that the last Labour Government felt

:12:07.:12:11.

reasonable for housing association said the combination of fixed

:12:12.:12:13.

three-year tenancies and the inability to determine their own

:12:14.:12:16.

rent means landlords will either refuse to take on social tenants or

:12:17.:12:21.

be obliged to give notice to get more rent increases. As it stands,

:12:22.:12:26.

the bill seeks to work with landlords to ease the burdens on

:12:27.:12:30.

tenants and local authorities. So new clause two and three, despite

:12:31.:12:34.

Is a I will be brief. I recognise we work and I hope they

:12:35.:12:43.

Is a I will be brief. I recognise we want to get to the final stages of

:12:44.:12:47.

this excellent bill by the end of this morning. In terms of the wider

:12:48.:12:52.

issue, of course this bill is only a partial solution and the committee's

:12:53.:12:55.

report on homelessness drew attention to the wider issues that

:12:56.:12:59.

need addressing. We need to build more homes in this country. We

:13:00.:13:03.

particularly need to build more affordable homes and more affordable

:13:04.:13:08.

homes to rent. Indeed the committee, specifically recognised that housing

:13:09.:13:11.

needs vary why in different parts of the country. There are different

:13:12.:13:16.

housing markets and that needs a different response, particularly in

:13:17.:13:19.

response of tenure mix. We look forward to the housing white paper

:13:20.:13:23.

which we understand is coming soon. We hope soon is before the end of

:13:24.:13:27.

February when ministers will be coming before the committee in

:13:28.:13:31.

response to our inquiry into the capacity of the house building

:13:32.:13:34.

industry when we can pursue some of these points further about the

:13:35.:13:37.

ability to provide the homes that are needed. Particularly from my

:13:38.:13:45.

point of view, I hope that we do see and the Housing Minister seems to be

:13:46.:13:48.

indicating this, a move away from the idea that starting homes and

:13:49.:13:54.

shared ownership can help the housing needs. Hopley we can move in

:13:55.:14:02.

that direction. Lots has been said about longer term tenancies. In the

:14:03.:14:05.

last Parliament we supported that and we want to encourage everyone to

:14:06.:14:10.

tenancies you can get a certainty of tenancies you can get a certainty of

:14:11.:14:14.

an annual increase, which is different than having an artificial

:14:15.:14:16.

imposed renting control from outside. Coming to the here and now,

:14:17.:14:22.

money is absolutely crucially important to the success of this

:14:23.:14:27.

legislation. I think we are getting a bit confused about the timings of

:14:28.:14:32.

reviews. I think from a select committee point of view t would seem

:14:33.:14:34.

to be two years on from to be two years on from

:14:35.:14:37.

theismentation of the act would be a good time to review whether it is

:14:38.:14:40.

working and whether the money is enabling it to work at that point.

:14:41.:14:44.

-- two years on from the implementation of the act.

:14:45.:14:48.

So I think we could commit to having a review, I hope the minister sees

:14:49.:14:53.

that as a helpful proposal, we will look at it alongside Government in

:14:54.:14:55.

reviewing the working of the legislation and the money at that

:14:56.:14:59.

time. My concern, however, is while there is money in the first year to

:15:00.:15:05.

help local government with start-up costs the act probably won't be

:15:06.:15:07.

implemented after regulations have been put in place for about a year.

:15:08.:15:12.

We have a second year with a limited amount of funding and in funding in

:15:13.:15:15.

the third year which is probably the second year of actual operation. I

:15:16.:15:18.

have concerns about that. I can't see there won't be any costs to

:15:19.:15:22.

local councils, so I think there is a need for a more immediate review

:15:23.:15:26.

after the act is passed with regard to that third year. Now, if

:15:27.:15:33.

ministers are looking at potentially quicker, immediate review of the

:15:34.:15:37.

finances, as soon as the act is passed, I think it will be helpful

:15:38.:15:39.

and certainly the committee will be ready I think to do an immediate

:15:40.:15:43.

review on that very limited basis at that time if that would assist in

:15:44.:15:49.

the process. Thank you, Madame Deputy Speaker,

:15:50.:15:55.

its a pleasure to follow the honourable gentleman for Sheffield

:15:56.:15:57.

South East, the Chairman the Select Committee. Now, Madame Deputy

:15:58.:16:06.

Speaker, many honourable, or the honourable and Right Honourable

:16:07.:16:09.

colleagues that have spoken in this date have talked a will the about

:16:10.:16:15.

the whys and where fors of process and who tabled which amendments

:16:16.:16:19.

where and when and which side is more sankty moanous than the other T

:16:20.:16:32.

almost springs to mind here. -- snactimonious.

:16:33.:16:38.

I'm in the going to get into that. This is about outcomes for people

:16:39.:16:45.

who are homelessness and who have unfortunately become homelessness. I

:16:46.:16:48.

am able it speak to the two clauses laid out today. New clause 1 would

:16:49.:16:54.

put on the face of the bill a statutory requirement for the

:16:55.:16:57.

Secretary of State to review this act, no earlier than one year after

:16:58.:17:02.

commencement and no litter than two years. And requires that the review,

:17:03.:17:08.

considering funding for the provisions of the act. The

:17:09.:17:12.

honourable member will recall that the question of reviewing the costs

:17:13.:17:17.

of the bill was raised and discussed at length during our deliberations

:17:18.:17:20.

in committee. But, for the benefit of those who were not there, let me

:17:21.:17:28.

state my commitment very clearly. I will review the implementation of

:17:29.:17:33.

the bill, including the resources of it, and how it is working in

:17:34.:17:40.

practice, concluding no later than two years after commencement of the

:17:41.:17:45.

substantive clauses of the bill. I will give way in just a moment.

:17:46.:17:54.

I will also carry out, in the same time frame, a post-implementation

:17:55.:17:59.

review of the new burdens, to review the robustness of our assessment of

:18:00.:18:05.

the estimated cost to local authorities and the underlying

:18:06.:18:09.

assumptions. As part of both reviews, I would welcome the input

:18:10.:18:15.

and expertees of the CLG select committee and would be very happy to

:18:16.:18:23.

discuss how they can be involved. The resources and funding

:18:24.:18:27.

requirements related to these duties will also be considered alongside

:18:28.:18:34.

all other responsibilities of local authorities, as part of future

:18:35.:18:38.

spending reviews. I think it is also important to bear in mind that the

:18:39.:18:41.

provisions of the bill will not be implemented on the day that the bill

:18:42.:18:47.

gets royal assent, as has been acknowledged by the opposition front

:18:48.:18:51.

bench. At committee we were very clear that the successful

:18:52.:18:53.

implementation of the bill will depend on working with local

:18:54.:18:57.

government to ensure that the resources, guidance and training are

:18:58.:19:00.

in place before the bill provisions are enacted. For that reason, each

:19:01.:19:06.

measure in the bill can be commenced independently once local authorities

:19:07.:19:13.

are ready. Given this is a statutory requirement to review, tied to the

:19:14.:19:18.

commencement date if the act is unworkable, since the substantive

:19:19.:19:23.

clause will be commenced at a later date I would also argue that a

:19:24.:19:26.

statutory requirement is unnecessary given the commitments already in

:19:27.:19:32.

place and the long-standing new burdens assessment procedures. I

:19:33.:19:36.

will give way. I would just say to my honourable friend, as he always

:19:37.:19:41.

does, will he make sure that his Civil Service is completely aligned

:19:42.:19:45.

with his objective. And secondly, I welcome his commitment to work with

:19:46.:19:49.

local authorities, I know my local authority Broxbourne would welcome

:19:50.:19:51.

the chance to discuss these matters with imhad, to make sure this bill

:19:52.:19:55.

is successful, as I know it is going to be and can I finally thank my

:19:56.:20:00.

honourable friend for Harrow East for his excellent work over the past

:20:01.:20:03.

few months, making sure today happens and new legislation comes

:20:04.:20:07.

into law. My honourable friend mentions an important point about

:20:08.:20:11.

working with local authorities. And we are actually determined to do

:20:12.:20:14.

that in the implementation of this bill. He know I have already met

:20:15.:20:20.

Broxbourne before to discuss these important issues and I would

:20:21.:20:23.

certainly be keen to do that again. He also mentioned my civil servants

:20:24.:20:28.

and making sure that their intention is aligned with my own. I can tell

:20:29.:20:32.

him that the civil servants working on this bill have done an absolutely

:20:33.:20:39.

excellent job, in very testing circumstances, whilst the Government

:20:40.:20:41.

has wanted to bring forward legislation. I think we need to

:20:42.:20:45.

acknowledge that this legislation has been very different, in that it

:20:46.:20:49.

has been a private member's bill that has been then worked upon by

:20:50.:20:52.

the select committee as well. That is then not just had that input but

:20:53.:20:59.

had input from local government association and the housing

:21:00.:21:02.

charities. So, our civil servants have done a magnificent job of

:21:03.:21:06.

helping us bring all of those groups together and coming out with a

:21:07.:21:13.

product that has broad support. On the issue of working with local

:21:14.:21:17.

authorities, he will know, it was raised in committee, my concerns

:21:18.:21:21.

about Westminster Council's recent decision to discharge duty to

:21:22.:21:24.

homeless people mainly outside local authority, and in some cases as far

:21:25.:21:28.

as the Midlands. His colleague on the front bench. The honourable

:21:29.:21:32.

member for Croydon South told me on the Sunday politics last week that

:21:33.:21:36.

Westminster Council was wrong to do this and in the long-run it should

:21:37.:21:40.

be stopped. I wonder if he can confirm that in the House today and

:21:41.:21:44.

tell me what he thinks the long run actually means? What I would say to

:21:45.:21:48.

the honourable lady and we discussed this in some detail in the committee

:21:49.:21:52.

and I'm not going to go into great detail today but what I would say to

:21:53.:21:57.

the honourable lady that the law is very clear on placements out of

:21:58.:22:03.

borough. And we are absolutely certain, as a Government, that we

:22:04.:22:10.

want that law to be observed and particularly in relation to making

:22:11.:22:13.

sure that councils look at people's circumstances, things such as where

:22:14.:22:18.

children go to school, and where people work, before they make any

:22:19.:22:22.

decisions that may affect a particular family.

:22:23.:22:27.

I will give way and then I'll make progress I'm grateful to the

:22:28.:22:32.

minister. Spoke a moment ago about successful implementation and

:22:33.:22:35.

reviewing that to check it has been achieved. Obviously that's partly

:22:36.:22:40.

the bureaucracy, if you like, successfully implementing the powers

:22:41.:22:44.

and money to meet it, so local authorities can discharge the

:22:45.:22:46.

function but the clause says it is about the fact it actually has on

:22:47.:22:50.

reducing homelessness. Before he finishes this point, can he tell us

:22:51.:22:54.

what is the Government's objective? What test is it setting itself with

:22:55.:22:58.

respect to reduce both rough sleeping and homelessness by 2020,

:22:59.:23:02.

so we can judge whether or not that has been a success? I would say to

:23:03.:23:09.

the right honourable gentleman that we have set out a significant

:23:10.:23:18.

determination to reduce both rough sleeping and homelessness in

:23:19.:23:21.

general. Nobody should ever have to spend the night on the street. It's

:23:22.:23:27.

greatable at this point that that is the case and that Government is

:23:28.:23:31.

absolutely determined to make sure that nobody has to sleep rough. But

:23:32.:23:37.

I would say to him that it is a complex matter, as I'm sure he is

:23:38.:23:40.

well awhich are. Some of the things that we are doing will have a

:23:41.:23:46.

significant impact. So, for example, there is a challenge of getting

:23:47.:23:51.

people moved on from hostel accommodation, into an intermediate

:23:52.:23:54.

position before they are able to go into accommodation of their own and

:23:55.:24:01.

we are bringing forward a sum of ?100 million for move-on

:24:02.:24:05.

accommodation, which will - there will be a bidding process for, which

:24:06.:24:10.

will open very shortly. I hope the honourable gentleman, in the spirit

:24:11.:24:14.

of the way this bill, or the right honourable gentleman, sorry, in the

:24:15.:24:18.

spirit of this bill will acknowledge that the government is not sitting

:24:19.:24:22.

on its laurels and it does not see this bill be a the be all and end

:24:23.:24:28.

all to deal with homelessness and rough sleeping and we take it very

:24:29.:24:34.

seriously and are doing a whole package of things to try and improve

:24:35.:24:39.

the situation for people. Madame Deputy Speaker, moving on to new

:24:40.:24:44.

clause 2, if enacted, this would mean that private sector landlords

:24:45.:24:50.

would not be able to rely on the no-fault ground for possession,

:24:51.:24:54.

known as section 21. Within the first three years of a tenancy,

:24:55.:25:01.

where the termation of the tenancy would result in a tenant becoming

:25:02.:25:06.

homeless, lands Lords and in many case tennants welcome the

:25:07.:25:10.

flexibility of the current assured short hold tenancy regime, which

:25:11.:25:14.

does not lock the parties into long-term commitments and promotes

:25:15.:25:20.

mobility. Without the certainty that landlords can seek possession,

:25:21.:25:23.

repossession when required. Perhaps for their own family to live in.

:25:24.:25:27.

Many would be reluctant to let their own properties. The unwanted outcome

:25:28.:25:32.

would be landlords withdrawing from the market and this would not help

:25:33.:25:40.

landlords or indeed tennants. Let me explain further, Madame

:25:41.:25:44.

Deputy Speaker, that before the assured short hold tenancies were

:25:45.:25:49.

introduced by the Housing Act in 1988, the private rental market was

:25:50.:25:54.

in decline. Regulated rents meant that being landlord was simply not

:25:55.:26:01.

commercially viable for many property owners but since since

:26:02.:26:06.

1988, the private rented sector has grown steadily, grown from just over

:26:07.:26:10.

9% of the market in 1988 to 19% today. I believe that the current

:26:11.:26:15.

framework strikes the right balance between the rights of land Lords and

:26:16.:26:20.

tennants and our efforts should be focussed on encouraging a voluntary

:26:21.:26:23.

approach to longer tenancies for those who want them. With these

:26:24.:26:29.

points in mind, I hope the honourable gentleman is going to

:26:30.:26:31.

follow through on the comments he made at the start of the debate and

:26:32.:26:35.

withdraw new clause 2. I will give way.

:26:36.:26:39.

I thank the Minister. It is true that the liberalisation of permitted

:26:40.:26:46.

development rights has released many more properties for rental and that

:26:47.:26:50.

is a very good thing. Will he agree with me that pressure in changes of

:26:51.:26:54.

fiscal policy in buy to let and four incidents in my own area selective

:26:55.:27:00.

licensing is encouraging more landlords to resist letting

:27:01.:27:03.

properties, and this proposal put forward by the opposition will

:27:04.:27:08.

exacerbate that trend? I think the very point he is making I would

:27:09.:27:12.

agree with, the more regulation is such that we lay on to residential

:27:13.:27:18.

landlords, the net effect will be that the supply will reduce and many

:27:19.:27:24.

of our constituents rely on renting private rental sector properties and

:27:25.:27:28.

we need to therefore be very careful that the balance is right. Madam

:27:29.:27:33.

Deputy Speaker, finally I would just like to talk about new clause three.

:27:34.:27:39.

If enacted it would introduce rent controls in private rented sector by

:27:40.:27:43.

compelling landlords to limit rent rises to no more than once a year

:27:44.:27:48.

and by no more than inflation in cases where there is a risk of the

:27:49.:27:54.

tenant becoming homeless as a result of a rent rise. Whilst I understand

:27:55.:28:00.

the spirit in which this amendment has been tabled, introducing rent

:28:01.:28:04.

controls is fundamentally the wrong approach and is not borne out by

:28:05.:28:09.

evidence. Experience from Britain and around the world shows

:28:10.:28:13.

rent-controlled leads to fewer properties on the market and less

:28:14.:28:17.

choice were tenants. Returning to the situation that we had in the

:28:18.:28:20.

1980s when the Private rented sector was in decline would not help

:28:21.:28:25.

landlords or tenants. The key to improving affordability and choice

:28:26.:28:29.

but tenants is to build more homes, rather than imposing rent controls.

:28:30.:28:35.

Our build to rent fund has contracted investment worth ?630

:28:36.:28:40.

million to deliver over 5600 high-quality homes specifically for

:28:41.:28:45.

Private rent, our ?3.5 million private rented sector housing

:28:46.:28:50.

guarantee scheme will increase investment into private sector

:28:51.:28:54.

housing. We have also established the Private rented sector

:28:55.:28:58.

affordability working group to explore options to reduce the cost

:28:59.:29:01.

of the tenant to access and move within the sector. This group is

:29:02.:29:06.

expected to submit its report to ministers next month. I therefore

:29:07.:29:10.

urge the House to agree that this amendment is not desirable and as

:29:11.:29:15.

with new clause two and hopefully new clause one with the commitment

:29:16.:29:18.

that I have made to the opposition front bench I hope new clauses one,

:29:19.:29:23.

two and three will indeed be withdrawn. Thank you very much,

:29:24.:29:30.

Madam Deputy Speaker. Could I quickly thank everybody who has

:29:31.:29:33.

spoken in this debate. I appreciate all the comments that have been

:29:34.:29:38.

made. I thank my right honourable friend for Leigh for speaking

:29:39.:29:43.

passionately about the situation in Manchester and the reminder that

:29:44.:29:45.

these are problems that go around the country. I said in my opening

:29:46.:29:53.

remarks that I would not propose new clauses two and three to vote, and I

:29:54.:29:57.

don't intend to do that. The purpose of being here was to try to elicit

:29:58.:30:01.

positive comments from the Minister, and we have failed in that respect.

:30:02.:30:07.

We will return to these matters no doubt at an early date. Eviction by

:30:08.:30:17.

landlords is the single greatest immediate cause of homelessness and

:30:18.:30:21.

it does need to be tackled, and we are not living in the world of 1988

:30:22.:30:25.

now, we are living in a very different and less stable economy

:30:26.:30:32.

will stop I was disappointed by the minister's rather wholesale

:30:33.:30:35.

rejection of that issue today, but I hope we will return to this on a

:30:36.:30:40.

future occasion. More positive, in relation to new clause one, I'm

:30:41.:30:47.

greatly encouraged by the Minister and thank him for entering into the

:30:48.:30:51.

spirit of the discussion on that and for the specific words that he used,

:30:52.:30:55.

that does give us the comfort we were looking for in relation to a

:30:56.:31:01.

proper and timely and comprehensive review of the finances behind the

:31:02.:31:07.

bill, and I'm particularly pleased that he said the chairman of the

:31:08.:31:11.

select committee and Select Committee itself will be engaged in

:31:12.:31:15.

that process as well as the Government, and I think that is

:31:16.:31:20.

extremely helpful, given the time pressures, to get these matters

:31:21.:31:23.

sorted out here rather than in the other place, and I'm sure the other

:31:24.:31:27.

place will be watching and listening and on that basis I wish to withdraw

:31:28.:31:36.

clause one. Is it the wish of the House that new clause one is

:31:37.:31:46.

withdrawn? The question is... Where are we now? OK, sorry. I apologise.

:31:47.:31:55.

I was waiting for the honourable gentleman... We come now to

:31:56.:31:59.

Government amendment one with which it will be convenient to consider

:32:00.:32:11.

Government amendment to -- two to nine. I am grateful for the

:32:12.:32:13.

opportunity to move these amendments. I shall start with

:32:14.:32:20.

amendment one. At our last committee session on January 18, I committed

:32:21.:32:23.

delaying an amendment to clause four to ensure that tenants at risk of

:32:24.:32:29.

becoming homeless were sufficiently protected and have access to the

:32:30.:32:36.

required help and support. The committee agreed amendments to

:32:37.:32:41.

clause one so that it now extends the period an applicant is

:32:42.:32:47.

threatened with homelessness from 28 to 56 days, and clarifies that an

:32:48.:32:51.

applicant is threatened with homelessness if they have a valid

:32:52.:32:56.

section 21 eviction notice that expires in 56 days or less.

:32:57.:33:05.

Amendment one to clause four extends the prevention duty to cover

:33:06.:33:09.

instances where a household that has been served with a valid section 21

:33:10.:33:15.

note still remains in the property after receiving 56 days of help from

:33:16.:33:22.

the local housing authority under the prevention duty and is still at

:33:23.:33:25.

risk of becoming homeless, specifically where is valid section

:33:26.:33:30.

21 notice has already expired or will expire in relation to the only

:33:31.:33:39.

accommodation the household has available. This amendment ensures

:33:40.:33:44.

that in such instances the prevention duty will continue to

:33:45.:33:50.

operate until such time as the local housing authority brings it to an

:33:51.:33:56.

end for one of the reasons set out in clause four, even if the 56 days

:33:57.:34:02.

have passed. If I may also address a related question about other ways of

:34:03.:34:09.

ending a tenancy, raised by a number of honourable members during the

:34:10.:34:13.

committee's consideration of clause one, particularly my honourable

:34:14.:34:16.

friend from mid Dorset and North Pole, that clause and this amendment

:34:17.:34:24.

address the particular need to clarify the status of an applicant

:34:25.:34:27.

who has been served with a section 21 notice, but obviously people can

:34:28.:34:34.

be threatened with homelessness in a number of ways, as was pointed out

:34:35.:34:39.

to the committee, and any eligible applicant who is at risk of being

:34:40.:34:45.

homeless in 56 days or less will absolutely be entitled to support

:34:46.:34:49.

under the new prevention duty. I will give way. Does the Minister

:34:50.:34:55.

agree with me that what we are doing today is absolutely fantastic, to

:34:56.:35:03.

address this situation, but is he not shocked that the leader of the

:35:04.:35:06.

Liberal Democrats is on the front page of my local paper today saying

:35:07.:35:12.

that if a liberal -- if the Liberal Democrats were elected to the

:35:13.:35:16.

council they would supply more than 1000 new homes to address

:35:17.:35:18.

homelessness, and yet there is not one of them sitting on the benches

:35:19.:35:25.

in this chamber? Well, I have been shocked, I would say, to my

:35:26.:35:30.

honourable friend at how little but there has been from the Liberal

:35:31.:35:35.

Democrats in regard to this bill. There is not one Liberal Democrat

:35:36.:35:39.

here at second reading and, as we can see today year, they do not

:35:40.:35:45.

appear again, so she makes a very good point that whilst at a local

:35:46.:35:49.

level there maybe some suggestion that they want to address this

:35:50.:35:54.

important issue, at a national level there doesn't appear to be a massive

:35:55.:35:56.

amount of interest the Liberal Democrats. One of the concerns that

:35:57.:36:05.

have been expressed not least by my honourable friend the Member for

:36:06.:36:09.

Colchester is in terms of councils that seek to ignore statutory

:36:10.:36:13.

guidance and will only get involved in terms of recognising someone is

:36:14.:36:18.

homeless when the notice is served. Shelter have expressed concerns

:36:19.:36:23.

around that in clause one, can the Minister give assurance in terms of

:36:24.:36:28.

guidance and prevents on duty that councils cannot simply hide and wait

:36:29.:36:32.

for that notice before they Act on vulnerable households and those at

:36:33.:36:38.

risk? I can give my honourable friend that reassurance and what I

:36:39.:36:44.

can also say to him is that the way in which the legislation will work,

:36:45.:36:48.

it will be in the local authorities' in trust themselves to work more

:36:49.:36:56.

quickly -- in their interest to work more quickly with people at risk of

:36:57.:37:00.

becoming homeless and, as we discussed many times at the

:37:01.:37:06.

committee, this will very much drive a culture change, this legislation

:37:07.:37:12.

will drive a culture change, so people are helped much further

:37:13.:37:16.

upstream than they are to date, particularly we are very, very keen

:37:17.:37:23.

to end the practice of people waiting, all councils seem to

:37:24.:37:26.

people, just wait for the bailiffs to arrive, then we will try and help

:37:27.:37:30.

you. We want people to be helped far earlier, we don't want them in a

:37:31.:37:35.

position where they face a court appearance and ACC J, which will not

:37:36.:37:40.

help their situation further on in trying to secure further

:37:41.:37:46.

accommodation -- or face a CCJ. Moving on, the remainder of the

:37:47.:37:50.

amendments in this group relate to the issues we identified with clause

:37:51.:37:56.

seven that were, unfortunately, unable to address at an earlier

:37:57.:38:00.

stage. A key issue we identified was a workable balance between

:38:01.:38:05.

incentives and protections in cases where an applicant with fuses a

:38:06.:38:09.

suitable offer of accommodation at the prevention and relief stages. We

:38:10.:38:16.

have been working closely with the local government sector and with

:38:17.:38:20.

homelessness charities to resolve this and develop a way forward. I

:38:21.:38:28.

want to thank all of those who have provided their expertise and

:38:29.:38:31.

support. We will discuss the core amendments to clause seven in the

:38:32.:38:35.

next group. This deals with the consequential amendments to clause

:38:36.:38:41.

is four, five and six. Amendments two and four clarify the

:38:42.:38:45.

circumstances when the new prevention and relief duties can be

:38:46.:38:49.

brought to an end by the local housing authority. They would

:38:50.:38:54.

require not only that a suitable accommodation offer had been turned

:38:55.:38:58.

down, but also that accommodation would have been available for at

:38:59.:39:05.

least six months. Clause is four and five insert sections 195, new

:39:06.:39:13.

sections 195 and 185 he respectably into the housing Act 1996. The set

:39:14.:39:19.

out the duties owed to those either threatened with homelessness or who

:39:20.:39:23.

are homeless, both clauses contain provision allowing these duties to

:39:24.:39:28.

be brought to an end where a number of circumstances apply. Amendments

:39:29.:39:33.

two and four amend these new sections. I will in just a moment.

:39:34.:39:38.

Amendments two and four amend these new sections 189 e-macro and 1952 at

:39:39.:39:47.

knowledge that the grounds the giving notice would not just be a

:39:48.:39:51.

refusal of suitable accommodation but also on the date the

:39:52.:39:55.

accommodation was refused there was a reasonable prospect that the

:39:56.:39:58.

accommodation would not have been available for at least six months,

:39:59.:40:05.

or such longer period not exceeding 12 months as may be prescribed in

:40:06.:40:11.

regulations. These amendments are relatively simple and ensure

:40:12.:40:15.

consistency with provisions elsewhere in the bill. I will give

:40:16.:40:20.

way. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker, I appreciate The right

:40:21.:40:24.

honourable member giving way and I don't want to take up much time in

:40:25.:40:27.

the spirit of the cross-party nature of this, I want to pay credit to my

:40:28.:40:34.

Council and all councillors in Richmond upon Thames on the work

:40:35.:40:39.

that has been done. My concern is that every single homeless this case

:40:40.:40:45.

in my area, in my constituency of Twickenham, is absolutely unique. I

:40:46.:40:48.

have come across a small number, very small number of cases where the

:40:49.:40:53.

actual homeless person has refused accommodation that has been suitable

:40:54.:41:01.

and they have refused it for individual situation, they are not

:41:02.:41:04.

section of all, but it is to do with mental health. Will the final

:41:05.:41:11.

accommodation not be a full stop and can the person come back and ask

:41:12.:41:12.

again for the accommodation? Auto What I will say to my

:41:13.:41:23.

honourable friend, I certainly agree that there are many local

:41:24.:41:25.

authorities across the country working very hard to help people who

:41:26.:41:32.

are homeless and we hope that the provisions in this bill will improve

:41:33.:41:37.

the situation further. In relation to the particular circumstances she

:41:38.:41:40.

mentions a person may be in, what I can say to her is there would be a

:41:41.:41:47.

position where a person could go back to that local authority for a

:41:48.:41:53.

review. So, certainly there is a safeguard for people in that sense.

:41:54.:41:58.

Madame Deputy Speaker, amendments, yes I will give wanchts I thank the

:41:59.:42:03.

minister for giving way. Would he confirm my understanding that the

:42:04.:42:08.

bill incorporates a particular and special safeguard that is a full

:42:09.:42:13.

written warning before any duty is then withdrawn, so that is an extra

:42:14.:42:20.

bit of protection to make sure those that are facing a termination of

:42:21.:42:23.

duty know what they are getting themselves into? My honourable

:42:24.:42:28.

friend has been a diligent member of the bill committee and I thank him

:42:29.:42:35.

for that and he is indeed correct that there is provision within this

:42:36.:42:40.

bill for, in that sense a final written warning.

:42:41.:42:47.

We obviously want to make sure that there is an inventive for people to

:42:48.:42:51.

do the right thing and accept an offer of suitable accommodation but

:42:52.:43:00.

I think we also need to consider those people where there are

:43:01.:43:04.

challenges and they do need that final warning to, in some

:43:05.:43:08.

circumstances, perhaps, make them think again and actually take up the

:43:09.:43:16.

offer that they have been provided with by the local authority in

:43:17.:43:25.

question. So sections 3 and 5 insert helpful signposts in clauses 4 and 5

:43:26.:43:29.

to ensure they are cross-referenced with clause 7. Specifically they

:43:30.:43:35.

insert references to the clause 7 provisions about the ending the

:43:36.:43:42.

prevention and relief duties in case whereas an applicant has

:43:43.:43:45.

deliberately and unreasonably refused to cooperate and to

:43:46.:43:49.

provisions about ending the relief duty where an applicant has refused

:43:50.:43:54.

a final accommodation offer or a final part 6 offer. This shrimp

:43:55.:44:00.

means that the ways in which the prevention and relief duties can be

:44:01.:44:05.

ended are easier to see and understand when reading those

:44:06.:44:09.

clauses. Amendment 8, together with amendment

:44:10.:44:16.

6 and 7 deal with the provision of interim accommodation while a local

:44:17.:44:22.

housing authority is helping an applicant to secure accommodation

:44:23.:44:28.

under clause 5. Amendment 6 sets out that where a local housing authority

:44:29.:44:35.

has reason to believe that an applicant may be homeless, eligible

:44:36.:44:39.

for assistance and in priority need, they must secure interim

:44:40.:44:42.

accommodation. It also sets out how this duty comes to an end. In cases

:44:43.:44:49.

where the local housing authority, having concluded their inquiries

:44:50.:44:53.

under the homelessness legislation, conclude that the applicant does not

:44:54.:44:58.

have a priority need, this duty comes to an end into circumstances.

:44:59.:45:04.

First, if the local housing authority notifies the applicant

:45:05.:45:09.

that the relief duty is not owed. Second, if the local housing

:45:10.:45:13.

authority notifies the applicant that once the relief duty ends, they

:45:14.:45:19.

will not be owed any further duty to accommodate. Amendment 7 is a

:45:20.:45:23.

technical amendment to the Housing Act required as a result of

:45:24.:45:30.

amendment 6 and 8. Where an application has been provided with

:45:31.:45:35.

interim - where an applicant has been provided with interim

:45:36.:45:38.

accommodation and refuses a final offer, they may request a review of

:45:39.:45:43.

the suitability of that offer. Amendment 8 ensures the duty to

:45:44.:45:46.

secure interim accommodation continues until any review has been

:45:47.:45:52.

concluded and the decision has been notified to the applicant.

:45:53.:46:00.

And finally, in this group, I turn to amendment 9. The duties to

:46:01.:46:07.

applicants under clauses 4 and #5, the prevention and relief duties are

:46:08.:46:11.

to help the applicants secure accommodation. In some cases this

:46:12.:46:16.

will entail the local housing authority actually securing this

:46:17.:46:19.

accommodation directly, rather than helping the applicant by, for

:46:20.:46:23.

example, providing a deposit guarantee. Amendment 9 provides that

:46:24.:46:31.

where this is the case, the provisions of sections 206 and 209

:46:32.:46:36.

of the Housing Act, 1996 apply in the same way, they would, if the

:46:37.:46:42.

local housing authority secured accommodation under the main

:46:43.:46:47.

homelessness duty. These sections contain various

:46:48.:46:53.

provisions about how a local housing authority's housing functions are to

:46:54.:46:56.

be discharged. For example, how they may secure that accommodation is

:46:57.:47:00.

available, and how they can require an applicant to pay a reasonable

:47:01.:47:07.

charge for the accommodation. Provisions also cover the

:47:08.:47:14.

requirements relating to placements in and out of district, including

:47:15.:47:18.

notifications to the hosting local housing authority. So, I will leave

:47:19.:47:26.

it at that in terms of amendments 1 to 9, Madame Deputy Speaker and hope

:47:27.:47:30.

the House will look on these amendments in the spirit this bill

:47:31.:47:34.

has been conducted within and look favourably to support the said

:47:35.:47:38.

amendments. The question is that amendment 1 be

:47:39.:47:44.

made. Andy Slaughter. Thank you very much, Madame Deputy Speaker, I must

:47:45.:47:48.

say after the 14 hours and seven sittings of the committee we have

:47:49.:47:55.

heard about, I saw some alarm when 21 amendments over six pages were

:47:56.:48:02.

tabled by the Government earlier this week, last week, and read

:48:03.:48:07.

through them and I have to say on the first reading through was not

:48:08.:48:10.

much the wiser as to what was happening. However, one perseveres

:48:11.:48:15.

as one always does with legislation and I must say two things - firstly,

:48:16.:48:20.

I do appreciate the difficulties that the minister and his sponsor

:48:21.:48:28.

have had in squaring a circle whereby localp government, landlords

:48:29.:48:31.

and the homelessness charities all need to be happy about the way the

:48:32.:48:35.

bill is working, not the principles of the bill, which I think have been

:48:36.:48:43.

agreed. I take that. And I also, am grateful for the minister giving the

:48:44.:48:48.

time of his officials to go through in some detail about the clauses,

:48:49.:48:52.

what the implications were and why they were necessary and I speak to

:48:53.:48:58.

for my honourable friend on that as well. I don't take point about that.

:48:59.:49:02.

It is questionable about whether it could be done differently but we are

:49:03.:49:06.

where we are and I can say as far as the opposition is concerned, we do

:49:07.:49:10.

regard these amendment and the second set we will come on to in due

:49:11.:49:15.

course, as being either necessary, or improving of the bill and,

:49:16.:49:19.

therefore, we are not going to be opposing any of them today. And,

:49:20.:49:25.

indeed I can be fairly brief in responding. The only two concerns I

:49:26.:49:31.

would raise are this: I think we've all struggled with clause 1. I think

:49:32.:49:35.

when you start debating clause 1, I think in the sixth sessions of the

:49:36.:49:39.

committee, you know that something is awry. -- when you are still

:49:40.:49:45.

debating. And there had been real difficulties getting that operative

:49:46.:49:49.

clause of the bill correct. I think it is still not perfect. Much of the

:49:50.:49:55.

original articles had to be owe committed because it created more

:49:56.:50:01.

problems than it resolved. The key point about extending duty from 28

:50:02.:50:06.

to 56 days is still there. But, there are concerns. And they have

:50:07.:50:14.

been expressed the concerns, but notwithstanding that,

:50:15.:50:15.

notwithstanding the further amendments here which will extend

:50:16.:50:20.

that doubty beyond the 56 days where necessary, that this does allow

:50:21.:50:24.

local authorities to continue to drag their feet in some cases.

:50:25.:50:28.

But, I think everything that has been said on all sides and the rep

:50:29.:50:36.

finements here which add to -- refinements here which add to clause

:50:37.:50:39.

1, certainly shows the spirit of this bill and I hope the letter when

:50:40.:50:45.

we come to the codes of guidance attached to it, that it really does

:50:46.:50:49.

require all local authorities to act at an early stage and to deal with,

:50:50.:50:55.

in the case of section 21 notice, and deal with the issue of

:50:56.:50:58.

homelessness and threat enidea homelessness at an early stage. The

:50:59.:51:06.

-- and threatened homelessness. The other point made, and ministers may

:51:07.:51:13.

come on to discuss this when we Dell with subsequent section, what

:51:14.:51:16.

additional costs there are likely to be here, both in relation to

:51:17.:51:23.

prevention assistance beyond 56 days and, which is quite proper, about

:51:24.:51:27.

being clear about when interim duties come to an end and continuing

:51:28.:51:32.

those interim duties while reviews are continuing, there are

:51:33.:51:35.

undoubtedly going to be cost implications and I would like to

:51:36.:51:39.

hear from the Government, not only that those will be fully funded but

:51:40.:51:44.

whether those funds have been calculated and whether they are,

:51:45.:51:47.

whether we are going to hear about them today? We certainly need it

:51:48.:51:53.

hear about them before the bill leaves both Houses. But with those

:51:54.:52:01.

two caveats and reservations, Madame Deputy Speaker, I think I can be

:52:02.:52:08.

commendably brief in my comments. Bob Blackman? Thank you Madame

:52:09.:52:15.

Deputy Speaker. I'm pleased to rise in support of the amendments to and

:52:16.:52:19.

to follow the honourable member in Hammersmith. These amendments have

:52:20.:52:23.

been sometime in coming, it is fair to say and I would commend my

:52:24.:52:27.

honourable friend the minister and officials and also the homelessness

:52:28.:52:33.

charities and the landlords associations in assisting us to get

:52:34.:52:39.

to an appropriate compromise. The honourable member for Hammersmith

:52:40.:52:45.

pointed out that clause 1 was debated for some time, well into the

:52:46.:52:51.

actual debating time in committee. And indeed so was clause 7 by which

:52:52.:52:57.

time we had passed clauses 4, 5 and 6.

:52:58.:53:01.

And these of Government amendments today relate to those particular

:53:02.:53:05.

clauses that we debated in committee and clearly the amendments that we

:53:06.:53:14.

made to adelaus 1, in committee, had consequential impacts and needed to

:53:15.:53:19.

be reflected in clauses 4, 5 and 6. They, of course refer to the duty in

:53:20.:53:27.

cases of threatened homelessness, the duties owed to those who were

:53:28.:53:35.

actually homeless and the duties toer secure accommodation. So they

:53:36.:53:39.

are very largely technical in nature and follow-up on the changes that

:53:40.:53:42.

the bill committee made in committee. The most important aspect

:53:43.:53:50.

of this is that the prevention dutedy cannot end, after 56 days

:53:51.:53:55.

with the individual or family still sitting in their current home,

:53:56.:53:58.

facing eviction under a section 21 notice of the Housing Act and where

:53:59.:54:05.

nowhere else to go. It is one of the consequences that clause 1, which

:54:06.:54:10.

was in the original draft bill, got substantially changed before second

:54:11.:54:13.

reading, after prelegislative scrutiny and then has been

:54:14.:54:15.

substantially changed again in committee. And that has a

:54:16.:54:20.

consequential knock-on effect with the other clauses in the bill and

:54:21.:54:27.

that is why these are essential. I certainly believe that we've now

:54:28.:54:31.

got to a position with these particular clauses that that will

:54:32.:54:35.

help make sure that local housing authorities act at an early stage.

:54:36.:54:39.

We do not want - and I think we should place on record and I think

:54:40.:54:43.

it is right across the House. We do not want a single individual or

:54:44.:54:48.

family to be told by a local housing authority - yes, you may be

:54:49.:54:52.

threatened with homelessness, go back to your home, stay put and wait

:54:53.:54:56.

until the court action follow and the bailiffs arrive. That is

:54:57.:55:03.

completely against both the spirit of this bill and indeed against what

:55:04.:55:08.

everyone wants to see. If we get to a point whereby landlords are taking

:55:09.:55:13.

tennants to court, gaining possession orders, getting bailiffs,

:55:14.:55:16.

getting County Court judgments against tennants, it makes it

:55:17.:55:20.

extremely unlikely that those tennants, who will then be evicted,

:55:21.:55:25.

face huge bills for cost, will then be able to get accommodation in a

:55:26.:55:29.

private rented sector ever again. And I think the problem has been

:55:30.:55:34.

that in correcting this position, that what we want to make sure is

:55:35.:55:41.

the bad practice, followed by some local authorities, by no means all,

:55:42.:55:45.

of telling tennants to go back and stay put has to end. That, above all

:55:46.:55:51.

else, is important. But the individuals who are faced with

:55:52.:55:56.

homelessness can get help and advice from the word go, once they approach

:55:57.:56:01.

the local housing authority and that if beget to a technical -- and that

:56:02.:56:05.

if we get to a technical position that actually the 56 days has

:56:06.:56:09.

expired under the duty, then actually these clarification that is

:56:10.:56:12.

my honourable friend the Minster is proposing, make sure that that

:56:13.:56:15.

doesn't allow the local housing authority toned their duty. I think

:56:16.:56:18.

that's a very positive move. The rest of the amendments in the

:56:19.:56:28.

group reflect the changes which we made on Clause seven in Bill

:56:29.:56:33.

committee, and once again ensure that protectionism is in place for

:56:34.:56:39.

applicants. I will give way to the right honourable gentleman. I've

:56:40.:56:45.

listened very carefully and he says he thinks protections are in place.

:56:46.:56:52.

I'm looking at Amendment two, which guarantees a tenancy of at least six

:56:53.:56:56.

months. As I understand that that is a reduction in the current level of

:56:57.:57:01.

service, which is a tendency of at least 12 months. I'm not saying that

:57:02.:57:06.

is wrong, but I want to ask the honourable gentleman to comment,

:57:07.:57:10.

people often need the security in their tenancies so they can sort out

:57:11.:57:14.

may be other problems that they may have, and is six months long enough?

:57:15.:57:19.

Might it not lead to repeat homelessness as people do not have

:57:20.:57:21.

that longer term security beneath them? I think the right honourable

:57:22.:57:28.

gentleman. Clearly both in the select committee during our

:57:29.:57:31.

homelessness inquiry, during the Bill committee, during the debates

:57:32.:57:40.

we have had, not only in this plan that tenancies should be longer than

:57:41.:57:43.

six months or more case doing some of the debates

:57:44.:58:05.

where we've got this unrighteous circle if you forgive me, Madam

:58:06.:58:12.

Deputy Speaker, of people becoming but in accommodation by the local

:58:13.:58:16.

authority, that tenancy comes to an end, back they come and it is a

:58:17.:58:21.

repeat cycle. We are all committed that we want to end that cycle. The

:58:22.:58:27.

concern we had in presenting this particular legislation is that we do

:58:28.:58:29.

not get the opportunity to convey -- change the loan that when hit, but

:58:30.:59:22.

where we got to, in terms of the debate and discussion, was that in

:59:23.:59:27.

certain clauses with the legislation there is provision for 12 months

:59:28.:59:32.

tenancies, and we were just down the position to six months. With a cap

:59:33.:59:37.

at 12 months. But remember, and the right honourable gentleman should

:59:38.:59:41.

remember, there is the relief duty, and of course the duty owed to

:59:42.:59:50.

priority need applicants. So there is a variety of different duties

:59:51.:59:54.

that we are seeking to address within this legislation, and the

:59:55.:00:01.

predominant aim has always been not to place priority needs -- need

:00:02.:00:04.

families in a worse position than they would otherwise have been in by

:00:05.:00:10.

the changes to the law. I will give way. My honourable friend, I pay

:00:11.:00:17.

tribute to him getting this debate in the first place. I have been

:00:18.:00:24.

listening to both sides, but what I would like to ask in the provisions,

:00:25.:00:30.

with the Minister and this has consider the effects that would

:00:31.:00:35.

happen to our service who live in Mac leave the Armed Forces under the

:00:36.:00:39.

Armed Forces covenant? Because due to problems that they have, in

:00:40.:00:42.

certain cases, and each one could be unique, but we are all issues that

:00:43.:03:52.

are, and with great complexity, but the complexity, but, this. I'm sure

:03:53.:03:56.

my honourable friend and that is used indicated that this is not one

:03:57.:04:01.

of those occasions, at that point that my friend the Member for the

:04:02.:04:07.

House made that there is a great deal of discussion, not really

:04:08.:04:12.

within this has caused both sides of the chamber, but as far organisation

:04:13.:04:21.

that the charity fight the case of people, landlords and association of

:04:22.:04:25.

-- and others. So it is important you get this right. A lot of

:04:26.:04:30.

follow-up on the As many as are of the opinion, say "aye". To the

:04:31.:04:33.

contrary, "no". Forehand is, and page views and unfulfilled visit as

:04:34.:04:38.

a form of a professional manner of issues. He is absolutely right,

:04:39.:04:45.

coming back to Clause one, is a long time to get there. It goes back to

:04:46.:04:51.

the heart of the fifth of that many of us have a Father Cullen working

:04:52.:04:57.

of the legislation, says that one of the worst aspects of the way from

:04:58.:05:03.

the families are treated, even those privileged to have a fantasy, is

:05:04.:05:09.

that they are full to go away, successfully for the fourth year the

:05:10.:05:15.

case, then the authorities in fact a court order has the faith and the

:05:16.:05:24.

situation. For the cases, and the phases of life, and and is if as

:05:25.:05:39.

that is the fact that the fact the fifth. The in the faith 56 days

:05:40.:05:48.

division effectively and responsibility, the provisional duty

:05:49.:05:51.

can you feel as if a family have settled the his father. And I have

:05:52.:05:56.

observed that specific disease of homelessness in the section on the

:05:57.:06:01.

serve, rather than a forgetful, this was an version of Clause one

:06:02.:06:09.

activity on stage. I have the effect that the requirement to exercise the

:06:10.:06:15.

provisional duty does not just lack of vision that is of a section his

:06:16.:06:29.

sister is in what is to be very important of course is the code of

:06:30.:06:37.

guidance. We talked at some length about this. I had a discussion

:06:38.:06:43.

outside the committee which we then referred to in committee. The code

:06:44.:06:50.

of guidance can be so important on how local authorities treat a family

:06:51.:06:51.

with a Shelter It is also important in terms of

:06:52.:07:05.

making sure aven evident, as far as possible, recognises a family's

:07:06.:07:08.

individual circumstances, in regards to the schooling of children,

:07:09.:07:11.

employment, the family members, care responsibilities and other things

:07:12.:07:14.

they may have. They are absolutely important or indeed where a family

:07:15.:07:18.

unfortunately has to be offered accommodation outside a borough,

:07:19.:07:21.

that the receiving borough is actually notified of that family

:07:22.:07:24.

coming. All those are important issues. Many are in the code of

:07:25.:07:29.

guidance already, and they aren't actually implemented and properly

:07:30.:07:33.

addressed by authorities. So, Madame Deputy Speaker, going on from the

:07:34.:07:41.

final adoption of this bill, with an act, when the code of guidance is

:07:42.:07:46.

issued, the minister has very helpfully said, in committee, he

:07:47.:07:49.

will bring that code for approval by Parliament and I think that's a

:07:50.:07:53.

really welcome step by the minister, I think we have said as a select

:07:54.:07:59.

committee, that we will very quickly take an evidence session on that

:08:00.:08:03.

code of guidance because we want to make sure that is right as well.

:08:04.:08:08.

Getting the act right and a code of guidance that doesn't work, will

:08:09.:08:11.

make us no Bert off, but getting both right ting -- no better off,

:08:12.:08:23.

but getting both right means we can address getting homelessness and

:08:24.:08:29.

homeless families better. And I welcome that we can get

:08:30.:08:33.

legislation in the end, on a cross-party, cross the House basis,

:08:34.:08:37.

really work. I thank my honourable friend for

:08:38.:08:39.

giving way. Not only are we talking about the

:08:40.:09:02.

code of guidance, but the provision for codes of practice to be issued.

:09:03.:09:07.

So if local authorities fail to live up to both the spirit and the letter

:09:08.:09:12.

of the law, the Minister or the Secretary of State will have the

:09:13.:09:15.

opportunity to impose upon them that they're actually do what we are

:09:16.:09:20.

expecting them to do. The select committee may well want to look at

:09:21.:09:23.

the codes of practice as well just to expand our remote and make sure

:09:24.:09:27.

it is working in every respect. Ministers have gone further and said

:09:28.:09:31.

they want local authorities to come forward with an indication to

:09:32.:09:35.

Government about how they intend to implement the act.

:09:36.:09:49.

These are welcome measures, and the Local Government Association will

:09:50.:09:56.

want to be thoroughly involved. So, Madam Deputy Speaker, with those

:09:57.:09:59.

particular comments about how we need to take some of these issues

:10:00.:10:03.

further forward after the Bill becomes an act, I am happy to

:10:04.:10:07.

support the amendments that are before us. Thank you, Madam Deputy

:10:08.:10:21.

Speaker. I would like to start by responding to the comments made by

:10:22.:10:24.

the honourable gentleman for Hammersmith. I think it was quite

:10:25.:10:31.

clear to all in the House at second reading of this Bill that there had

:10:32.:10:39.

been significant concerns raised at second reading, particularly in

:10:40.:10:44.

respect of the view of the residential landlords association.

:10:45.:10:49.

In the spirit of the way in which this Bill has been developed,

:10:50.:10:57.

significant work event took place to try and resolve that issue. So that

:10:58.:11:05.

this legislation was not put at risk later on during the parliamentary

:11:06.:11:13.

process. In terms of that work, it was not just done with the

:11:14.:11:17.

residential landlords' association, it was done in conjunction with a

:11:18.:11:24.

number of charities, and the Local Government Association. Now, in the

:11:25.:11:30.

spirit of wanting to get the registration right, I will

:11:31.:11:34.

acknowledge that the amendments that we are bringing forward today, it

:11:35.:11:37.

would have been desirable to bring them forward before now, and that

:11:38.:11:43.

committee stage. But unfortunately, due to challenges, and I thank my

:11:44.:11:48.

honourable member -- my honourable friend for Harrow East, who has

:11:49.:11:51.

outlined some of those challenges, and getting to a position where we

:11:52.:11:56.

have a Bill that works across the housing sector, it has taken some

:11:57.:12:03.

time to get where we are today. But I think we have now, Madam Deputy

:12:04.:12:07.

Speaker, a good product so to speak. I would like to quickly thank the

:12:08.:12:20.

various charities that have contributed to dealing with this

:12:21.:12:24.

particular group - I will in just one moment - the charities that have

:12:25.:12:28.

contributed to towards this. I would like to thank the Residential Lands

:12:29.:12:34.

Lords' Association and the Local Government Association and,

:12:35.:12:37.

particularly, my honourable friend for Harrow East, who has shown a

:12:38.:12:41.

great deal of patience within all this. I would certainly like to

:12:42.:12:51.

thank my officials who have worked tirelessly and all hours to tie up

:12:52.:12:56.

with various organisations that I've already mentioned to try to make

:12:57.:13:04.

this bill come to a position to give way.

:13:05.:13:11.

If the honourable member could address this. Why cap it at 12

:13:12.:13:15.

months? It seems it is encouraging local authorities to give offers of

:13:16.:13:19.

shorter-term tens a sis rather than standed a offers of longer term tens

:13:20.:13:24.

a sis. The select committee I don't believe recommended a 12-month cap?

:13:25.:13:27.

Why was the Government inserted that? What I will do, if the right

:13:28.:13:32.

honourable gentleman will forgive me for just a few minutes, I will just

:13:33.:13:36.

clear off some of the points I was going to make and I will come on to

:13:37.:13:41.

address the very point he raises directly. Now the honourable

:13:42.:13:46.

gentleman for Hammersmith mentioned some concerns with that shelter had

:13:47.:13:52.

got with regard to the way clause 1 has now been produced. I would just

:13:53.:13:58.

say to the honourable gentleman that I can assure him that agreement,

:13:59.:14:08.

before this clause 1 was tabled and the amendments was tabled agreement

:14:09.:14:11.

was reached with Shlter amongst other organisations that this clause

:14:12.:14:15.

would be acceptable. The honourable gentleman also mentioned costings

:14:16.:14:19.

and we had a long, long debate at committee stage in regard to costs.

:14:20.:14:24.

I hope he is - I know he has been reassured by my comments today,

:14:25.:14:28.

particularly in terms of his willingness to withdraw new clause

:14:29.:14:32.

1. I did under take to look at the cost of any aamendments that will be

:14:33.:14:36.

brought to this bill and once this bill has been amended I will be more

:14:37.:14:42.

than willing to share with the House what the additional costs will be.

:14:43.:14:51.

I can come on to the comments my honourable friend for Leigh

:14:52.:14:59.

addressed. I can assure him that the reference to 12 months means the

:15:00.:15:04.

minimum amount of tenancy can be increased to 127 months by

:15:05.:15:09.

regulations. So, basically, if the rental market changed, and if we

:15:10.:15:16.

were in a position to change this legislation to reflect a 12-month

:15:17.:15:21.

tenancy, rather than 6-month tenancy that provision provides us with the

:15:22.:15:26.

flexibility to do so but it does not put a maximum cap on the tenancy

:15:27.:15:31.

that can be secured. If a local authority is able it secure a

:15:32.:15:35.

three-year tenancy because that's what landlord saufrg, they would be

:15:36.:15:42.

able to take up that offer -- able to secure a three-year tenancy

:15:43.:15:47.

because that's what the land Lord a offering, they would be able to take

:15:48.:15:53.

up that offer of a longer tenancy for people who are homeless or

:15:54.:15:59.

facial homelessness. In regard to the honourable gentleman's comments

:16:00.:16:02.

for Sheffield South East and I would like it thank the honourable

:16:03.:16:10.

gentleman for - I nearly went to far - and I'm not sure as to whether

:16:11.:16:14.

honourable friend would be right, bearing in mind I have another

:16:15.:16:17.

appearance before the select committee onp Monday but I would

:16:18.:16:21.

like to thank the honourable gentleman for his part that he

:16:22.:16:24.

played, not just on the select committee but for the part that he

:16:25.:16:34.

has played alongside the honourable gentleman for Hammersmith and a

:16:35.:16:42.

number of other Right Honourable colleagues, particularly the

:16:43.:16:45.

honourable lady for Dulwich and West Norwood who is also on the select

:16:46.:16:49.

committee for the work that they have been willing to do behind the

:16:50.:16:56.

scenes, to make this bill get to the point that it has so far.

:16:57.:17:01.

In regard to the code of guidance that he mentioned, it is absolutely

:17:02.:17:06.

critical that we get that right. As the honourable gentleman knows, the

:17:07.:17:12.

code of guidance will be updated. Within the legislation there is

:17:13.:17:16.

commitment to put that before the House and we will certainly be

:17:17.:17:22.

working with the Local Government Association in relation to that code

:17:23.:17:26.

of guidance, to make sure we get it as right as we possibly can. As my

:17:27.:17:34.

honourable friend for Harrow East also pointed out, there are

:17:35.:17:40.

provisions in this bill that give powers for a code of practice. So,

:17:41.:17:46.

the Secretary of State can make regulations to reinforce any current

:17:47.:17:52.

legislation that is currently available in this sense. Or he can

:17:53.:18:01.

introduce new regulations in regard to the provisions of this bill. So,

:18:02.:18:08.

I think what we have here,m Madame Deputy Speaker, is a very positive

:18:09.:18:14.

consensus from across the House, that this package of aamendments in

:18:15.:18:20.

the second grouping, does actually improve the bill and does actually

:18:21.:18:25.

seek to put the bill in a place where it'll make the bill far more

:18:26.:18:31.

workable. I'll leave it at that. The question is that amendment 1 be

:18:32.:18:35.

made. As many of that opinion say aye. Of the contrary noe. I think

:18:36.:18:41.

the ayes have T with leave we will take Government aamendments 2 to 9

:18:42.:18:47.

together. Minster to move Government amendment 2 to 9 forward. Move

:18:48.:18:51.

forward. The question is that they made be made as many of that opinion

:18:52.:18:58.

say aye. Of the contrary no. The eyes have T we come to Government

:18:59.:19:02.

amendment 10 which will be considered to consider Government 11

:19:03.:19:06.

to 21. Minister to move amendment 10. Thank you, Madame Deputy

:19:07.:19:11.

Speaker, this is the last set of Government amendments to be moved.

:19:12.:19:15.

I'm grateful for the forebearance of the House. As he explained in the

:19:16.:19:21.

last group, we identified a number of issues with clause 7 that we were

:19:22.:19:26.

unfortunately able to resolve during the committee stage. This group

:19:27.:19:32.

contains the core corrections to clause 7 itself. We have already

:19:33.:19:40.

discussed the related amendments to clauses 4, 5 and 6 and this group

:19:41.:19:49.

also contains related amendments to clause 9, to, 10 and 12.

:19:50.:20:02.

This deals with the consequences for applicants refusing offers of

:20:03.:20:05.

accommodation made by the local housing authority during the relief

:20:06.:20:10.

duty. The bill already provides that the local housing authority can

:20:11.:20:15.

bring the relief duty to an end if an applicant refuses an offer of

:20:16.:20:19.

suitable accommodation. The applicant can then go into the main

:20:20.:20:25.

homelessness duty, under section 19369 Housing Act 1996, if they are

:20:26.:20:28.

owed it. We believe that it is right, where

:20:29.:20:33.

an applicant is made a suitable offer under the relief duty, they

:20:34.:20:39.

should not be able to move into the main duty, by refusing that offer.

:20:40.:20:44.

This is an important part of the balance between rights and

:20:45.:20:48.

responsibilities for applicants. However, it is also essential that

:20:49.:20:56.

if the offer is intended to be the applicant's final offer, appropriate

:20:57.:21:01.

safeguards are in place. Amendment 10 provides that where an applicant

:21:02.:21:06.

refuses an offer and the relief duty has ended, the applicant will not

:21:07.:21:10.

proceed to the main duty but this will only be the case if that offer

:21:11.:21:16.

reaches a particular standard. The offer must either be a final

:21:17.:21:21.

accommodation offer or a final part 6 offer. And the applicant must be

:21:22.:21:29.

informed of the consequences of refusing and of their right to

:21:30.:21:33.

request a review of the suitability of the accommodation. A final part 6

:21:34.:21:38.

offer is a suitable offer of social housing. A final accommodation offer

:21:39.:21:45.

is an offer of an assured short-hold tenancy with a term of at least six

:21:46.:21:52.

months in the private rented sector. Aamendments 14, 15 and 16 clarify

:21:53.:21:57.

that a final offer of an assured short hold tenancy, made to an

:21:58.:22:01.

applicant who has refused to cooperate, will be made by a private

:22:02.:22:04.

landlord. This is ification into line with other

:22:05.:22:16.

provisions related to private rented sector offers in the homelessness

:22:17.:22:27.

legislation. Amendments 17, 1819 reflect the clauses introduced by

:22:28.:22:32.

veryrep vent parts of clause 10, providing the applicant with a vee

:22:33.:22:38.

view of the suit afblt accommodation and that that that review is

:22:39.:22:43.

applied. At the moment, delaus 7 is drafted

:22:44.:22:47.

-- clause 7 is drafted in a which that means the definition of

:22:48.:22:50.

deliberate and unreasonable cooperation is drawn more widely

:22:51.:22:56.

than we intended. Covering cooperation with the local housing

:22:57.:23:01.

authority in the exercise of their functions under the prevention and

:23:02.:23:07.

relief duties. Amendments 11, 12 and 13 make it

:23:08.:23:14.

clear that the provisions only apply when the applicants refusal to

:23:15.:23:17.

cooperate relates specifically to the steps set out in their

:23:18.:23:22.

personalised plan. And finally, I turn to amendments 20 and 21. Clause

:23:23.:23:32.

12 of the bill amend article 3 of the homelessness suitability of

:23:33.:23:34.

accommodation, England order 2012. Article 3 currently requires that

:23:35.:23:38.

when a local housing authority aproves an offer in the private

:23:39.:23:44.

rented sector for those in priority need under the main homelessness

:23:45.:23:46.

duty, additional checks are required to assure that the property is in a

:23:47.:23:52.

reasonable physical condition, is safe and a well-managed property.

:23:53.:23:58.

These additional checks are extended by clause 12, to those defined as

:23:59.:24:04.

vulnerable people and to secured accommodation in the private rented

:24:05.:24:08.

sector under the new homeless prevention and relief duties. Now,

:24:09.:24:14.

Madame Deputy Speaker, in committee I heard some concern from both sides

:24:15.:24:19.

of the House that this protection did not go wider. In particular the

:24:20.:24:24.

honourable lady for Westminster North suggested other types of

:24:25.:24:28.

applicant should be afforded this protection, including families with

:24:29.:24:33.

children or pregnant women. These concerns were also echoed by my

:24:34.:24:40.

honourable friend for Mid Dorset and North Poole, Colchester, Northampton

:24:41.:24:44.

South and Chippenham, who all raised this as a very real and pertinent

:24:45.:24:50.

concern. Now, I have listened very carefully to the points made. And I

:24:51.:24:55.

am now pleased to be able to bring forward aamendments 20 and 21 to

:24:56.:24:59.

provide that these additional checks are made for all those with a

:25:00.:25:04.

priority need where the local housing authority secures private

:25:05.:25:09.

rented sector property under the new prevention and relief duties.

:25:10.:25:19.

This has been an unusually long list of amendments for report stage of a

:25:20.:25:25.

a private member's bill I acknowledge but I have worked

:25:26.:25:28.

closely with my honourable friend for Harrow East. As I have said

:25:29.:25:33.

before, from the local government sector, and homeless charities as

:25:34.:25:35.

well had to ensure that this bill is fit for purpose and I want to again

:25:36.:25:41.

thank them for all of their efforts putting together now what I think is

:25:42.:25:48.

a very, very strong package within my honourable friend's private bill.

:25:49.:25:52.

The question is that amendment 10 be made. Andy Slaughter. Thank you very

:25:53.:25:58.

much, Madame Deputy Speaker and, again, we have got a whole series of

:25:59.:26:05.

amendments but the purpose of those being to either clarify or to give

:26:06.:26:12.

certainty where it is required, to certain provisions within the bill.

:26:13.:26:18.

And in some cases to either correct drafting or to extend the am bet

:26:19.:26:22.

causes. None of these gives any problem and

:26:23.:26:27.

I'm pleased to say having just reread the briefings, we have had

:26:28.:26:31.

both the local government side and the charity side that although some

:26:32.:26:34.

are supported more by one side than the other, as one would expect, they

:26:35.:26:38.

are all, as the minister said, in agreement they should go forward and

:26:39.:26:44.

go forward as a package: So we have on the one hand amendment 10, which

:26:45.:26:48.

makes clear when interim duty comes to answered, which is something I

:26:49.:26:55.

know that has been anxious to have certainty on.

:26:56.:27:02.

And we have amendments 20 and 21, which as he mentioned were

:27:03.:27:06.

particularly cold for things from Matt White by which all pirated

:27:07.:27:35.

households are now included rather than just those who are vulnerable.

:27:36.:27:43.

I think that it up at the bottom admission that having dealt with

:27:44.:27:50.

matters which are at or an uptick in, as I said all sides are at least

:27:51.:27:53.

content with them, the other thing they have in common is that they

:27:54.:27:59.

incur costs. I think both particularly amendment turn and run

:28:00.:28:03.

-- 20 and 21 have additional cost and I heard what about that, but

:28:04.:28:08.

when the amendments are passed, but he ought to turn to the matter of

:28:09.:28:13.

course. I hope that means on third reading, because I am assuming what

:28:14.:28:17.

I've heard that the amendments are going to be passed and form part of

:28:18.:28:23.

the Bill in a very few moments' time. And these costs are not going

:28:24.:28:29.

to be negligible, I think obviously the Minister goes into this with his

:28:30.:28:33.

eyes open, but it would be helpful if we can have that update today,

:28:34.:28:38.

and if not, be told when we are going to have it. Because we need

:28:39.:28:43.

not only certainty that this addresses the key points, but also

:28:44.:28:47.

that it will be fully funded. But with those comments, Madam Deputy

:28:48.:28:52.

Speaker, I don't think Aneeta Prem on the debate, because we have as I

:28:53.:28:59.

indicated earlier gone through these not only ourselves and with the

:29:00.:29:03.

Minister responsible, but also with the officials, and I think we have a

:29:04.:29:08.

pretty keen understanding as to why these amendments are now necessary.

:29:09.:29:16.

Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker, I am delighted to rise for the last

:29:17.:29:21.

time in report stage in support of this group of amendments. Again, my

:29:22.:29:26.

honourable friend has introduced them in some detail and length, so I

:29:27.:29:32.

will keep my remarks to the pertinent points. Let me start by

:29:33.:29:39.

thanking my honourable friend the Minister and officials for all the

:29:40.:29:43.

work they have put in to get us to the point of these detailed

:29:44.:29:49.

amendments. It has been a long and almost torturous journey, I think

:29:50.:29:53.

everyone would understand, to identify the various different

:29:54.:29:57.

issues in relation to Clause seven, and working very patiently and

:29:58.:30:02.

appropriately with the Local Government Association, with Crisis

:30:03.:30:08.

and particularly Shelter, to resolve the issues so that everyone, as the

:30:09.:30:13.

Member for Hammersmith pointed out, is in support now of the amended

:30:14.:30:18.

Clause seven, as it will be put after these various different

:30:19.:30:23.

amendments are approved. It is important that we wanted to get, as

:30:24.:30:30.

I said earlier a position whereby changing the law, we were not

:30:31.:30:34.

putting priority need families in a worse position than they already

:30:35.:30:40.

have in existing legislation. But to bring forward a position whereby a

:30:41.:30:46.

single homeless people and those not currently owed a statutory duty, I

:30:47.:30:51.

given help and advice and a -- an offer of suitable position on the

:30:52.:30:55.

certainly at the moment in the private sector but it is up to the

:30:56.:30:59.

local authority whether they can find a socially rented property, to

:31:00.:31:05.

provide for such people. So I particularly welcome amendments 20

:31:06.:31:11.

and 21 two Clause 12. As my honourable friend the Minister has

:31:12.:31:15.

pointed out, during the committee stage we had representations not

:31:16.:31:19.

least from the honourable member for Westminster North who kicked off

:31:20.:31:24.

that particular issue, raising the scope of current Clause 12 in

:31:25.:31:28.

relation to suitability of offers in the plan had been there, Madam

:31:29.:31:34.

Deputy Speaker, the local authority will inspect and approve every

:31:35.:31:38.

single offer they are making, to every potential tenant. But I

:31:39.:31:46.

recognise that during the process of scrutiny on the draft Bill, we

:31:47.:31:49.

determined that actually the cost of that for a local authority would be

:31:50.:31:55.

beyond a reasonable position. So we did centre on the position of

:31:56.:32:01.

priority need, and indeed vulnerable people, and I am delighted that the

:32:02.:32:09.

Minister has seen a way to ensure that that has been extended to all

:32:10.:32:13.

those people, particularly pregnant women and other people but are

:32:14.:32:20.

vulnerable. We've all managed to make this part of the Bill sound

:32:21.:32:25.

very technical, but it seems to me that these clauses will basically

:32:26.:32:28.

mean that the quality of private rented homes offered to families

:32:29.:32:32.

will improve, and that is something a great many people would like to

:32:33.:32:39.

see. I thank the honourable member for that intervention. We do not

:32:40.:32:43.

want to be in a position whereby families or individuals which are

:32:44.:32:47.

reaching a crisis point in their lives get put in completely

:32:48.:32:51.

unsuitable accommodation or with rogue landlords who are unsuitable

:32:52.:32:56.

people to be offering accommodation. That is the duty, I believe that

:32:57.:32:59.

local authorities should carry out, and it is quite clear from these

:33:00.:33:04.

amendments that we are proposing that we will get to a position

:33:05.:33:09.

whereby that is collected in society. Ideally, no one would ever

:33:10.:33:13.

be offered unsuitable accommodation, but I think we all recognise that in

:33:14.:33:18.

certain instances that does take place. I also draw attention of to

:33:19.:33:25.

colleagues that Clause seven is all about the deliberate and

:33:26.:33:28.

unreasonable refusal to cooperate by an applicant. This is a balance, it

:33:29.:33:36.

is not a case whereby, and I want to be abundantly clear to people, it is

:33:37.:33:40.

not going to be a case that individuals who are homeless can

:33:41.:33:44.

just turn up to the local housing authority and say "You've got a duty

:33:45.:33:49.

to find me somewhere to live," fold their arms and wait for it to

:33:50.:33:55.

happen. There will be a duty on individuals to make sure that they

:33:56.:33:59.

cooperate with the plan, and carry out their actions under the plan.

:34:00.:34:05.

And if the fact do so, it is possible for the local housing

:34:06.:34:09.

authority to terminate their duty. So there are duties on both sides, I

:34:10.:34:14.

think, here, and that must be the right way forward. But equally, I do

:34:15.:34:21.

not want us to get to a position whereby an applicant is unfairly

:34:22.:34:26.

penalised for some minor discrepancy on the actions. So, for example,

:34:27.:34:31.

where an individual to fail to meet an appointment because they need to

:34:32.:34:36.

go to the doctor or hospital or some other commitment, then it would be

:34:37.:34:41.

unfair and unreasonable for a local authority to penalised the applicant

:34:42.:34:48.

as a result. -- there will be a process therefore of tightening up

:34:49.:34:51.

on the review process, making sure that individuals will receive a

:34:52.:34:56.

written notice, make sure they are given the opportunity to review

:34:57.:35:01.

under any unfair position, and as a result that the strikes the right

:35:02.:35:05.

balance between wanting to ensure that applicants received a service,

:35:06.:35:11.

help and advice, and an offer in the private sector or the socially

:35:12.:35:15.

rented sector, with the provision they've got to take actions

:35:16.:35:18.

themselves. So I am grateful to the Minister for his time and

:35:19.:35:22.

forbearance, particularly on this issue which has occupied a

:35:23.:35:26.

substantial amount of time for all of us concern. But I think a

:35:27.:35:32.

compromise that has been reached will improve the Bill yet further.

:35:33.:35:38.

-- the compromise. And ensure that all people with a priority need and

:35:39.:35:43.

indeed those who are secured private rented accommodation under this new

:35:44.:35:48.

homelessness prevention duties will have those additional suitability

:35:49.:35:53.

checks carried out by local housing authority, to ensure the property is

:35:54.:35:56.

safe and well managed, and on that basis, I trust that all honourable

:35:57.:36:03.

members will support these and the other amendments that the Minister

:36:04.:36:06.

has put forward, so that we have a suitable package of measures to

:36:07.:36:12.

present to the other place, and so that they will see the wisdom of our

:36:13.:36:17.

lengthy debates and close scrutiny of these particular proposals as a

:36:18.:36:21.

package of measures that together actually improve the lot of those

:36:22.:36:30.

people that are homeless. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I would just

:36:31.:36:38.

like to respond to several of the matters that have been raised by

:36:39.:36:45.

honourable colleagues. The honourable gentleman for Hammersmith

:36:46.:36:51.

mentioned the work with the LGA around the amendment ten, and

:36:52.:36:58.

certainly he is correct on that as he is in relation to the amendments

:36:59.:37:04.

20 and 21 in relation to concerns that were put -- put in place in

:37:05.:37:14.

relation to concerns as regards charities, particularly Shelter. The

:37:15.:37:18.

honourable gentleman showed that he is extremely sharp as well in his

:37:19.:37:23.

comments, when he raised the point about cost and the comments that I

:37:24.:37:28.

made earlier this morning about when I would bring forward further

:37:29.:37:32.

details of the additional cost incurred due to amendments that have

:37:33.:37:40.

been made to the Bill this morning, indeed, my intention was to bring

:37:41.:37:48.

those costs to the House once the Bill had been amended, and I will

:37:49.:37:53.

not tease the honourable gentleman any further, but I will just in a

:37:54.:37:58.

few minutes I hope be expressing further detail in relation to costs.

:37:59.:38:06.

Now, before I conclude, Madam Deputy Speaker, I do just want to collect

:38:07.:38:09.

one point that I have made this morning, when we dealt with the

:38:10.:38:14.

second group of amendments, and I was responding to the points made by

:38:15.:38:18.

the honourable member for Sheffield South East. He did raise the issue

:38:19.:38:26.

of the code of guidance, and the code of guidance being put before

:38:27.:38:31.

the House. Now, I inadvertently expressed that the code of guidance

:38:32.:38:36.

would be put before the House; now, I am sure, going back to all those

:38:37.:38:42.

long committee sessions, the honourable gentleman for Sheffield

:38:43.:38:46.

South East will recall that it is in the legislation that the code of

:38:47.:38:52.

practice will come before the House. Rather than the code of guidance.

:38:53.:38:57.

But what I would do is seek to reassure the honourable gentleman,

:38:58.:39:01.

straying into territory that might be quite risky there again, but I

:39:02.:39:08.

would like to reassure the honourable gentleman by saying that

:39:09.:39:13.

certainly we would welcome his committees -- committees involvement

:39:14.:39:16.

in relation to the consultation process around the revised code of

:39:17.:39:22.

guidance that will come out of the provisions within this Bill. Thank

:39:23.:39:29.

you for the clarification, I think the committee will try and play a

:39:30.:39:33.

constructive role and welcome the code of guidance coming to us, and

:39:34.:39:36.

we will as quickly as possible look at it and get comments back to him.

:39:37.:39:48.

I thank the honourable gentleman as ever during this process, he has

:39:49.:39:53.

actually sought to use a very constructive tone to the way in

:39:54.:39:59.

which this debate has been undertaken, and some pragmatism in

:40:00.:40:07.

how he with -- we have been able to all work together, and that has gone

:40:08.:40:12.

as well for the opposition front bench. It has not been easy at

:40:13.:40:17.

times, but there has been a pragmatic approach to make sure that

:40:18.:40:21.

we get this legislation into a good place, and get this legislation to

:40:22.:40:29.

the other end of this corridor, that will encourage noble Lords to

:40:30.:40:39.

support, not just the amendments that have been laid today, but the

:40:40.:40:43.

overall Bill is a significant package towards helping people that

:40:44.:40:47.

are at risk of becoming homeless or do indeed become homeless. The

:40:48.:40:53.

question is that amendment ten be made, As many as are of the opinion,

:40:54.:40:56.

say "aye". To the contrary, "no". I think the ayes have it. We believe

:40:57.:41:02.

we will take Government amendments 11 to 21 together, Minister to move?

:41:03.:41:07.

The question is that Government amendments 11 to 21 be made, As many

:41:08.:41:10.

as are of the opinion, say "aye". To the contrary, "no". I think the ayes

:41:11.:41:16.

have it. Consideration completed, third reading what day? The question

:41:17.:41:24.

is that the Bill be now read the third time. Bob Blackman.

:41:25.:41:35.

Thank you, I beg to move the Bill now be read a third time and, if I

:41:36.:41:42.

can say, it is a very proud moment for me.

:41:43.:41:47.

Hear, hear, hear. To reach this stage of the

:41:48.:41:53.

proceedings. It has been a very long road to get to this stage. When I

:41:54.:42:01.

was drawn out of the hat at number 2 in the ballot, and considered what

:42:02.:42:06.

to take on I was minded that I wanted to take something that would

:42:07.:42:12.

make a change to literally thousands of people across this country.

:42:13.:42:18.

Little did I know how much work and effort would actually be involved in

:42:19.:42:26.

getting this bill to this stage. And since the expert panel was convene

:42:27.:42:34.

bid Crisis back in the summer of 2015, through the select committee

:42:35.:42:39.

inquiry last summer, which many of us in the House participated in and

:42:40.:42:45.

contributed, plus the presledge slative scrutiny that the select

:42:46.:42:52.

committee consubjectinged in September, of the draft bill, and

:42:53.:42:58.

finally, of course, the unprecedented several committee

:42:59.:43:02.

session was some 15 hours of debate at committee stage, I think it is

:43:03.:43:12.

fair to that there has never been private member's bill that has been

:43:13.:43:19.

so well informed, and examined. This is a unique private member's bill in

:43:20.:43:24.

respect that it has been the subject of a select committee inquiry and

:43:25.:43:28.

ror, subjected to prelegislative scrutiny. I believe, Madame Deputy

:43:29.:43:36.

Speaker, it is the longest with 13 clauses, some 18 pages of detailed

:43:37.:43:44.

Lealifano ease, and probably will be the most expensive and I look

:43:45.:43:47.

forward to some good news from my honourable friend the minister, in a

:43:48.:43:53.

few minute's time, for additional funds allocated in addition to the

:43:54.:43:57.

?48 million he has already set out. And clearly, at this point, I would

:43:58.:44:01.

like to thank a number of people who've got us to this stage and also

:44:02.:44:07.

organisations. It is clear that whilst I may be the

:44:08.:44:13.

sponsor and leader of the bill, it is a team effort. So the

:44:14.:44:18.

contribution of the communities and local government select committee

:44:19.:44:22.

and its chai, the honourable member for Sheffield South East has been

:44:23.:44:25.

invaluable. I think it is fair to say we could not have got to this

:44:26.:44:33.

will stage without that output N particular, the presledgiative

:44:34.:44:36.

scrutiny provides an absolute example that we should all consider,

:44:37.:44:43.

should we, any of us, be fortunate enough in the future private

:44:44.:44:47.

member's bill ballots. Committee members have continued to offer

:44:48.:44:49.

their expertise to the bill committee and I thank them for their

:44:50.:44:56.

time and constructive support. I would obviously place on record at

:44:57.:44:59.

this point in time my thanks and appreciation to all the members of

:45:00.:45:10.

the bill committee for their hard, dedicated work, asking constructive

:45:11.:45:12.

questions, scrutinising the proposed legislation in detail and I believe

:45:13.:45:17.

that one of the reasons why we have some 21 government amendments tabled

:45:18.:45:24.

and passed today is a direct consequence of the very detailed

:45:25.:45:27.

work that has been done, to ensure that we get this bill absolutely

:45:28.:45:32.

right, in the right place. But, Madame Deputy Speaker, I do think

:45:33.:45:35.

that bills such as this should not be left to a lottery. And I'm minded

:45:36.:45:41.

that the recommendations from the procedure committee, of which I have

:45:42.:45:47.

the honour of serving on, recommend that in future that the first four

:45:48.:45:53.

private members' bills be subject to a bidding process through the

:45:54.:45:58.

backbench business committee so we ensure that bills that have

:45:59.:46:01.

cross-party support are well-reserved, can get to this

:46:02.:46:05.

House, rather than depending on the lottery procedure that we currently

:46:06.:46:08.

have. I would also like to thank,

:46:09.:46:13.

particular thanks to Crisis. They've supported me from the start and,

:46:14.:46:20.

indeed facilitated consultations right across the #350es, to make

:46:21.:46:24.

sure that we deliver this bill in a proper state.

:46:25.:46:29.

There's clearly been a huge amount of interest from across the country

:46:30.:46:35.

a whole host of groups and I would particularly like to thank the Local

:46:36.:46:39.

Government Association, the individual local authorities,

:46:40.:46:43.

crisis, obviously, shelter, St Mungoess. The Nags a Landlords

:46:44.:46:48.

Association. The Regulars dense Landlords Association, and many

:46:49.:46:52.

others who have written to me or spoken to me about this bill. -- The

:46:53.:46:57.

National Landlords Association. And I know members across the House

:46:58.:47:00.

willp want to mention their own charities and help groups which

:47:01.:47:04.

provide much-needed help and assistance to rough sleepers and

:47:05.:47:08.

people who are homeless but all the advice I have received, the

:47:09.:47:12.

challenge and insights from working with the very people that are at the

:47:13.:47:17.

sharp end have enabled me to ensure that we get this very strong bill

:47:18.:47:22.

into the best-possible place, for us to send it to the House of Lords

:47:23.:47:28.

and, I believe most importantly, it will have a long-lasting and

:47:29.:47:32.

critical impact to people who suffer from the crisis of being homeless.

:47:33.:47:38.

I would, of course, like to thank my honourable friend, the Minister for

:47:39.:47:43.

Local Government, the honourable friend from Nuneaton for supporting,

:47:44.:47:46.

championing the bill from the outset and ensuring that we've got the full

:47:47.:47:51.

support of the Government. Not only has he committed a considerable

:47:52.:47:57.

amount of his own personal time and his ministerial time, but also

:47:58.:48:00.

ensured that we had the resources from the officials, to ensure that

:48:01.:48:04.

we got the bill to the absolute position that we are in. He's

:48:05.:48:10.

followed through on his commitment to fund the new burdens, associated

:48:11.:48:15.

with the bill and as I've said, the Government will be providing ?48

:48:16.:48:19.

million for funding for local government to implement the new

:48:20.:48:23.

duties in the bill. Now clearly we do not know as yet whether that be

:48:24.:48:28.

sufficient to meet the new duties under the bill. I recognise that and

:48:29.:48:32.

I'm delighted the minister has committed to reviewing this figure

:48:33.:48:37.

in relation to not only the amendments we pass today but also

:48:38.:48:40.

the new burdens that we are placing on local authorities. So, I thank my

:48:41.:48:46.

honourable friend the minister and all the officials for their work in

:48:47.:48:52.

getting the bill to this point. I would also like to thanks on the

:48:53.:48:57.

record, my parliamentary assistpant, Martine Martin.

:48:58.:49:01.

Hear, hear. For those of you that haven't had the pleasure of meeting

:49:02.:49:06.

her, she has ensured that we have kept the whole process in a smooth

:49:07.:49:10.

manner. Her calmness has kept me calm. And I owe a particular debt of

:49:11.:49:19.

gratitude to her. I would also like to thank the honourable member for

:49:20.:49:24.

Hammersmith. Hear, hear. It comes hard, I know, at times... Just the

:49:25.:49:30.

once And all the members of the committee on the Opposition side for

:49:31.:49:35.

ensuring the bill has been well-scrutinised and in good shape

:49:36.:49:41.

ahead of report today. But equally importantly, I would like to thank

:49:42.:49:45.

all the honourable members who are in the House today to wish Godspeed

:49:46.:49:50.

to this bill so we get it on the statute books as fast as possible.

:49:51.:49:55.

Many were here during second reading and we had some 39 individual

:49:56.:50:00.

speeches at second reading, way back in the 28th October. Many of you

:50:01.:50:04.

have followed the progress of the bill with interest and many have

:50:05.:50:09.

subjected me to appropriate scrutiny and challenge on the details of the

:50:10.:50:14.

bill and as the honourable member for Hammersmith pointed out, I have

:50:15.:50:18.

rapidly become an eggs spert in homelessness and housing law, even

:50:19.:50:22.

though I have no background in law whatsoever. -- expert.

:50:23.:50:26.

Shame. But I thank everyone for their time,

:50:27.:50:31.

effort and dedication to the bill. But, we must remember that this is a

:50:32.:50:38.

process and above all else, we arismenting a bill that changes the

:50:39.:50:42.

law, but it is -- we arismenting a bill that changes the law -- we are

:50:43.:50:47.

implementing a bill which changes the law, but it is the members of

:50:48.:50:52.

society who are rough sleeping or faced with homelessness, that must

:50:53.:50:55.

get the home and support they need and deserve. I have said from the

:50:56.:50:59.

word go that one rough sleeper on our streets I regard as a national

:51:00.:51:04.

disgrace. The fact we have so many is something we must put an end to.

:51:05.:51:09.

Equally, I have said from the word go, we are not in the position

:51:10.:51:14.

whereby this bill, which hopefully will be become an act, will deliver

:51:15.:51:18.

any new housing units and that is part and parcel of a new strategy

:51:19.:51:22.

that I look forward to the Government pursuing. What it does do

:51:23.:51:27.

is change the law and the requirements on local authorities to

:51:28.:51:32.

ensure that they deliver help and advice to vulnerable people that

:51:33.:51:37.

need that at a crisis point in their lives. It is also a massive culture

:51:38.:51:42.

change for local authorities and we should not underestimate how much of

:51:43.:51:47.

a culture change it will be. I passionately believe that people

:51:48.:51:50.

enter public service to help people, not to deny them service. And at the

:51:51.:51:55.

moment, for 40 years, we have routinely, at local authority level,

:51:56.:51:59.

denied people, vulnerable people service and help and advice and that

:52:00.:52:05.

has to come to an end. That will be a big shock for most local housing

:52:06.:52:10.

authorities when the bill becomes law and the various different

:52:11.:52:14.

regulations are laid. But the key point here is: We are aiming to

:52:15.:52:19.

ensure that people face the prospect of having nowhere to live. We move

:52:20.:52:24.

on from an approach where homelessness is always a crisis to

:52:25.:52:29.

one where local Government has the duty and ability to work with people

:52:30.:52:34.

as early as possible, so they never get to a position of being homeless.

:52:35.:52:40.

So, we can help them tackle their housing issues, their welfare

:52:41.:52:43.

issues, before the crisis point is reached. So, I sincerely hope that

:52:44.:52:50.

the work we've done over the last year will make a significant

:52:51.:52:54.

difference and I firmly believe it will. So, I end, as I said, I'm

:52:55.:53:00.

extremely proud to be standing here today, with the support of the whole

:53:01.:53:07.

House. Hear hear. In bidding the Bill, God speed, a safe passage

:53:08.:53:13.

through the other place and ending homelessness for once and for all.

:53:14.:53:17.

The question is that the Bill be now read a third time, Andy Slaughter.

:53:18.:53:20.

Thank you very much, Madame Deputy Speaker. Let me begin where the

:53:21.:53:28.

honourable gentleman who sponsored the bill left off in wishing this

:53:29.:53:35.

bill every success in completing its stages as it leaves here and goes to

:53:36.:53:40.

the other place. And, echoing some of his thanks. But let me start by

:53:41.:53:46.

thapging him because the effort that he has put in to this bill has been

:53:47.:53:55.

extraordinary. I suspect that how long he decides it stay in this

:53:56.:53:59.

House but whenever he departs this will be one of the things that he is

:54:00.:54:03.

most proud and this will be lasting testimony to the work he has done

:54:04.:54:09.

and I'm sure many of us are very envious of that in some ways, that

:54:10.:54:12.

he will have that but it is well-deserved. He has put the time

:54:13.:54:17.

and effort and hours in and had to, probably, I suspect now he was

:54:18.:54:25.

thinking - it is all worth it but I suspect there were times he doubted

:54:26.:54:28.

that. I would also say, the bill would not have got where it has got

:54:29.:54:32.

without Government support and that needs to be acknowledged as well, as

:54:33.:54:35.

well as our support and that of others, but I think, I must say that

:54:36.:54:40.

this minister has been particularly aciduous in pushing it through and

:54:41.:54:43.

I'm sure that he, although he may or may not reveal this when he comes to

:54:44.:54:48.

speak, has had equally some difficulty with his colleagues and

:54:49.:54:53.

other departments in doing that. And I think the sponsor will recognise

:54:54.:54:58.

his personal devotion to it as well and count that as a success. But let

:54:59.:55:03.

me extend to to all members who have been involved on both sides. But, it

:55:04.:55:09.

has been helpful to me and particular thanks to the Labour

:55:10.:55:13.

committees of the committee who are behind me, Dulwich and West Norwood

:55:14.:55:18.

and Westminster North and indeed the honourable member for Chester who

:55:19.:55:22.

have absolutely shared the process and the burden with me and have

:55:23.:55:27.

brought their very considerable expert ease to this, but I'm sure

:55:28.:55:33.

the Minster responsible will say the same about members on their side.

:55:34.:55:39.

It's been a good session. We must also acknowledge - both because they

:55:40.:55:44.

have stood up strongly for their own interests but also in the end they

:55:45.:55:49.

wanted the bill to succeed and get through the various interest groups

:55:50.:55:53.

- landlords, charities, but let's not forget local Government. Because

:55:54.:55:57.

it is local Government who are going to have to execute the provision of

:55:58.:56:01.

this bill on whom the burdens fall and who know more than anybody else

:56:02.:56:06.

the difficulties, particularly given the levels of funding and the demand

:56:07.:56:13.

that there is in dealing with homelessness, and those officers and

:56:14.:56:16.

councillors who are at the sharp end of this, I think also deserve our

:56:17.:56:22.

thanks. They do fail - some authorities have got lamentable

:56:23.:56:27.

records in relation to these issues but many do their very best, under

:56:28.:56:31.

difficult circumstances and I know that's true of my own kournings I'm

:56:32.:56:32.

sure it is of many others. So I say this is a collective

:56:33.:56:44.

effort, and the last mention I will give is to the select committee

:56:45.:56:48.

because I think that has formed the basis on which this Bill can go

:56:49.:56:55.

forward. And it has as the Member for Harrow he is said, been

:56:56.:56:59.

something of a template for the way that particularly complex private

:57:00.:57:05.

members bills like this can go forward. -- harrow is. So I hope

:57:06.:57:11.

like him that this can be a president, and this will require a

:57:12.:57:15.

change not just in the way of the House's procedure is but a change in

:57:16.:57:22.

the way some of our colleagues approach private members bills as

:57:23.:57:32.

well. Because we've discussed it for so long, it is quite easy to

:57:33.:57:38.

actually cross over what the Bill does, but it does two or three

:57:39.:57:44.

issues which are very fundamental. It introduces the prevention dude,

:57:45.:57:51.

and although as has been said, it is something which the previous Labour

:57:52.:57:54.

Government encouraged by its legislation which I know -- and

:57:55.:57:58.

which I know that the best practising Government also

:57:59.:58:04.

encourages, and that is a very major change in the way homelessness is

:58:05.:58:09.

addressed. It extends the relief due to to anybody who is currently

:58:10.:58:15.

homeless. And clearly the assistance which is to be given to the

:58:16.:58:19.

non-priority homeless cannot by reasons of resources be as is those

:58:20.:58:29.

priority, that this can unfold. And let us not forget also the duty to

:58:30.:58:35.

cooperate, there was quite extensive discussion about this, and perhaps

:58:36.:58:39.

doesn't go as far as some of us would like a Mike with an amendment

:58:40.:58:47.

in the late committee, in requiring that, because I think that we all

:58:48.:58:52.

have, local authorities cannot avoid their responsibilities, we know that

:58:53.:58:56.

the homelessness sector, the charities, have been king and

:58:57.:59:00.

perfecting the way they did have, and sometimes some of service,

:59:01.:59:10.

edition, do a good job. Read -- we believed everyone to step up to the

:59:11.:59:15.

plate on this, we are pleased to see it but I hope we hear more that

:59:16.:59:24.

because very easy for people to see these things are too difficult. That

:59:25.:59:34.

people have now to help us, they have to come out, Campbell and from

:59:35.:59:41.

charities and local government, everybody has to do their bit. So

:59:42.:59:48.

this is a significant piece of legislation going forward. I'm not

:59:49.:59:56.

going to repeat what I said in the opening debate here, in terms of

:59:57.:00:02.

what remains to be done. Let me just say two things. The first thing is,

:00:03.:00:10.

what I would like to see in chapter one of the White Paper is the same

:00:11.:00:14.

commitment from the Government is why right honourable friend gave

:00:15.:00:20.

before Christmas about a future Labour Government, is that rough

:00:21.:00:25.

sleeping will be eliminated over the course of a single parliament. We

:00:26.:00:29.

saw those shocking figures earlier this week, 4134 people sleeping

:00:30.:00:40.

rough in England, 16% increase. 134% increase over 2010. And I could not

:00:41.:00:43.

agree more with the Member for Harrow East when he says that one

:00:44.:00:48.

person in that situation is one person to many, and 4134 is a

:00:49.:00:55.

national disgrace. But it is a manageable figure. There are many,

:00:56.:00:58.

many other aspects to homelessness which are also get much worse of it.

:00:59.:01:05.

If one looks at statutorily homeless households, they have increased by

:01:06.:01:11.

almost 50% since 2010 crap and understanding at just under 60,000.

:01:12.:01:17.

Problems overcrowding, housing conditions are all need to be

:01:18.:01:20.

tackled. But the first stop has to be dealing dealing with in the

:01:21.:01:27.

street homelessness, and I would particularly look at what it in that

:01:28.:01:31.

White Paper Web adds up over whether that issue is dealt with. Because

:01:32.:01:38.

that would, but if that is, but that would be an effective way of dealing

:01:39.:01:43.

with the points that through the process of this Bill, where we say,

:01:44.:01:49.

yes, legislation is great, it is not actually going to of itself build

:01:50.:02:00.

one more house for one more person. So, that is what I would plead with

:02:01.:02:09.

the Minister to do, and in doing so are up -- I applaud him in taking

:02:10.:02:14.

the lead on that, but he would be the first person to say

:02:15.:02:16.

congratulations at the Government do go ahead with that. Final thing I

:02:17.:02:24.

would say is there are so many aspects that need to be dealt with

:02:25.:02:29.

to start tackling homelessness, but we could think that it is just too

:02:30.:02:35.

much. But I was impressed by what -- the briefing that Shelter is another

:02:36.:02:47.

be able to help people under new duties, councils were significant

:02:48.:02:50.

levels of existing published this will require not only additional

:02:51.:02:56.

resources but adequate supply of accessible, in the social, private

:02:57.:03:02.

rented sector. That is self-evident that two things that are top of

:03:03.:03:06.

their wish list, reversed the freeze on local housing allowance, and an

:03:07.:03:11.

indefinite suspension of the full sale of high-value council homes in

:03:12.:03:16.

areas with high levels of homelessness now, neither of those

:03:17.:03:23.

is going to be check solve the problem, they rendered most

:03:24.:03:27.

effective steps that art, but the two most obvious way in which it is

:03:28.:03:32.

actively making the situation worse. And it is very difficult to accept

:03:33.:03:38.

the Government's wholehearted support for this Bill, but at the

:03:39.:03:41.

same time they are pushing those measures through. And I say this

:03:42.:03:48.

from a very clear personal knowledge, in my own constituency,

:03:49.:03:52.

where, during the time that there was a Conservative council in charge

:03:53.:03:59.

for eight years, homelessness -- social houses were regularly sold

:04:00.:04:03.

when they became vacant. So several hundred individual homes were sold

:04:04.:04:07.

off at market rates rather than being used to rehouse homeless

:04:08.:04:12.

families. Now, if we see, and that has created devastating problems,

:04:13.:04:16.

which we are still suffering the prostitute -- consequences of. If

:04:17.:04:20.

that is replicated on a grand scale across the country, and in my

:04:21.:04:26.

borough that would mean over time 50% of council homes being sold off,

:04:27.:04:30.

then the homelessness situation is going to become a far, far worse

:04:31.:04:35.

situation than it has been. The second point on local housing

:04:36.:04:39.

allowance rates, this is utterly distorting the local housing market

:04:40.:04:42.

and leading to what the Minister and others have said today, they do not

:04:43.:04:47.

want to see people being forced out of central London,

:04:48.:05:01.

being forced altogether, forced out of the south-east altogether,

:05:02.:05:04.

separated entirely from their support networks, their families,

:05:05.:05:05.

sometimes their jobs, their children, their schools -- the

:05:06.:05:07.

children's schools. I'm seeing another disturbing trade -- trend

:05:08.:05:10.

that I hoped never to see occurring, I refer to a case I had in surgery

:05:11.:05:13.

only last week, where landlords are is at rates which are just within

:05:14.:05:20.

local housing and, but doing so letting properties are in an unsafe

:05:21.:05:28.

and a great conflict which had no proper that we were in danger of

:05:29.:05:30.

collapse. Hats and conditions that I thought I would never see in the

:05:31.:05:37.

country. The Government has to come to terms with the effect of its own

:05:38.:05:41.

policy on individual families living in the private sector for that

:05:42.:05:45.

reason. And I begged them to look again at the freeze on local's

:05:46.:05:56.

housed bounce rate persons from Senator and let me forget -- return

:05:57.:06:00.

finally to say this Bill is a good Bill. We were to its further stages

:06:01.:06:10.

in the other we will do we can to assist it. And to ensure that it is

:06:11.:06:15.

enacted. We wish to see, and I am still looking forward to the

:06:16.:06:19.

Minister's comments in relation to that extra funding, and I know there

:06:20.:06:23.

are people in council finance departments all over the country who

:06:24.:06:25.

are hanging on his every word for that. So let us celebrate the Bill

:06:26.:06:34.

today, but that is all so be aware of how much we need to do if we are

:06:35.:06:40.

to tackle one of the worst crisis is -- rises in homelessness certainly

:06:41.:06:43.

in my political lifetime, and one of the worst riots in -- on our

:06:44.:06:49.

society. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I rise to congratulate my

:06:50.:06:54.

honourable friend for Harrow East on getting so close, and relatively

:06:55.:07:00.

speedily, but what I think is interesting is that most of our

:07:01.:07:03.

constituents will not understand that private members bills are

:07:04.:07:08.

really hard to get to the stage. And very few make it. So I think he has

:07:09.:07:14.

done incredibly well. Obviously from what he said earlier, with a lot of

:07:15.:07:20.

help from an awful lot of people, not least a couple of the members

:07:21.:07:25.

opposite, he praised. I think this is a cross-party working, to help

:07:26.:07:30.

vulnerable people out there, is one of the most important that we as is

:07:31.:07:36.

of Parliament that he is fortunate enough to be drawn hard enough the

:07:37.:07:40.

ballot to be given this opportunity to bring something into law.

:07:41.:07:46.

Homelessness is very difficult. I would have, as may be some members

:07:47.:07:52.

but not many in the chamber will remember, the original programme

:07:53.:07:58.

Cathy come home,. So we have progressed hugely in terms of not

:07:59.:08:05.

having those sorts of problems appearing on our streets today. I

:08:06.:08:11.

think the honourable member for Hammersmith, who spoke earlier, talk

:08:12.:08:17.

and -- talk about private rented landlords, who, I think this is a

:08:18.:08:22.

bigger problem in London than places like Mid Derbyshire, we don't have

:08:23.:08:25.

the sorts of landlocked, they are better sorted out I think by local

:08:26.:08:30.

authorities in places like publisher and they are in them, I think it is

:08:31.:08:38.

a much harder market in London to be able to focus on. -- places like Mid

:08:39.:08:44.

Derbyshire. But I would like to focus on something else, women are

:08:45.:08:46.

one of the most vulnerable groups when they are out on the streets,

:08:47.:08:50.

they are very often going out because they have been abused by

:08:51.:08:54.

their partners or husbands or whoever. It is a very difficult

:08:55.:09:00.

situation, when a vulnerable young woman or any age woman is thrown out

:09:01.:09:05.

on the streets or choose to leave, and goes as rough, and I do have

:09:06.:09:10.

experience of this with a family member, who had to because she was

:09:11.:09:15.

being beaten up very severely, to the point where she ran away and set

:09:16.:09:19.

out on the street and went back because nowhere else to go or so she

:09:20.:09:26.

thought. She eventually went back to her family. But it was a very

:09:27.:09:30.

difficult situation, if you are in London and you are vulnerable like

:09:31.:09:35.

that, it doesn't matter where you are, it depends where you're support

:09:36.:09:38.

mechanism is, to be able to pick you up and help you out in that

:09:39.:09:43.

situation. But some people have nowhere to go, and it may be due to

:09:44.:09:48.

being in care as a child, and latterly aerial, and we know as

:09:49.:09:56.

constituency MPs have mentally and are out there, who write to us on a

:09:57.:10:00.

regular basis on a huge range of issues, that they write to us

:10:01.:10:05.

because they do not nowhere else to go. And so the the most vulnerable

:10:06.:10:16.

people almost at other reasons. And in the east talk about all that

:10:17.:10:23.

helped him in prepared this Bill. -- honourable member for Harrow East. I

:10:24.:10:27.

would like to picture it to many other charities I have worked with

:10:28.:10:37.

at the end of the show of art vulnerable people, and I commend

:10:38.:10:44.

them for the above. In addition to not only helps vulnerable people and

:10:45.:10:49.

houses them overnight and for some is extended periods, but helps them

:10:50.:10:52.

with getting additional skills so that they can eventually get a job,

:10:53.:10:58.

as well as housed, because very often the people who are out there

:10:59.:11:03.

on the streets and are homeless don't have a job, because they have

:11:04.:11:08.

missed out corruption. At the heart at this time of year the city centre

:11:09.:11:15.

churches have cut the two up and that week so that there are seven

:11:16.:11:20.

chapters submitting this, so that people do not have do sleep out in

:11:21.:11:26.

this really cold weather that we are experiencing at the moment. -- seven

:11:27.:11:32.

churches submitted -- supporting this. Even the cathedral in Derby

:11:33.:11:41.

has opened -- has opened it is. -- opened its doors.

:11:42.:11:48.

The YMCA have been going for many, many years and to help particularly

:11:49.:11:55.

young people who are homeless, but not exclusively. I am sure all of

:11:56.:12:00.

these organisations will really appreciate this bill coming into

:12:01.:12:06.

power, into law, and I think it's something that my honourable friend

:12:07.:12:10.

said he felt very proud, standing up here, talking about it and getting

:12:11.:12:15.

so close. So he should, he should really take the praise that he

:12:16.:12:20.

deserves, because this is tackling a problem that many people would have

:12:21.:12:24.

liked to have tackled, and I am very pleased that this Conservative

:12:25.:12:27.

government is supporting him. One of the things, when women are out on

:12:28.:12:33.

the streets, they are more vulnerable, there are fewer places,

:12:34.:12:37.

I think, where they feel safe to ask for help, because it is

:12:38.:12:42.

predominantly men. I remember very clearly walking through the centre

:12:43.:12:45.

of Derby one evening after I had been to a council meeting, and I

:12:46.:12:51.

don't generally give money to beggars on the streets, because I

:12:52.:12:53.

feel that I would rather give the money to a charity who will help

:12:54.:12:58.

them. But actually this particular woman came up to me and asked me,

:12:59.:13:03.

she said, I'm in the middle of my period, I have no money, and I can't

:13:04.:13:09.

buy any Tampax. I had never actually thought about that, and I thought,

:13:10.:13:13.

actually, I will give her some money for that, because that is something

:13:14.:13:18.

that every woman will appreciate and understand, that it is very

:13:19.:13:20.

difficult if you are on the street and have no money and you have a

:13:21.:13:25.

period. I think that is one of the things that maybe we forget about.

:13:26.:13:29.

So as I say, IDG of the money. It went on that or whether she bought

:13:30.:13:35.

drugs, I will never know, but I hope that it was a genuine call for help.

:13:36.:13:44.

This poor young woman did look freezing cold and did need help from

:13:45.:13:50.

people, and I hope that this bill today will help. I mentioned earlier

:13:51.:13:55.

also this family from borrow wash, who found themselves homeless, they

:13:56.:14:02.

were in private rented house that burned down, and they had no ensure

:14:03.:14:08.

it's because they were very poor. They both work, they have four

:14:09.:14:12.

children, and they don't have any savings to fall back on, so they

:14:13.:14:16.

have received some money through crowdfunding, which has helped them

:14:17.:14:19.

get back on their feet, but they are the sort of people who have a

:14:20.:14:24.

problem with private landlords, because apparently it is the

:14:25.:14:26.

landlord but if they have... All the council were

:14:27.:14:46.

interested in was the children being abused, are vulnerable children? All

:14:47.:14:51.

children who are homeless are vulnerable, but so were the parents,

:14:52.:14:55.

and I did not feel the mechanisms were in place. Eventually Derby City

:14:56.:15:00.

Council, who I would not normally praise for very much at all, did

:15:01.:15:04.

step in and help this couple with their children. So I am absolutely

:15:05.:15:08.

delighted now that we can have this bill, I wholeheartedly supported, I

:15:09.:15:12.

think the honourable member for Harrow East and many others have

:15:13.:15:16.

worked incredibly hard to get it to this point where it will be on the

:15:17.:15:21.

statute books, and I would like to commend him for his hard work and

:15:22.:15:24.

support this bill and support the Minister. Clive Betts. Thank you,

:15:25.:15:33.

Madam Deputy Speaker. This is a time for congratulations, and I shall not

:15:34.:15:37.

disappoint, but I will say at the beginning that we should still

:15:38.:15:42.

remember that tonight in a rich country like the United Kingdom,

:15:43.:15:44.

there will be people sleeping rough on our streets, there will be

:15:45.:15:52.

individual sleeping on sofas that belong to friends, there will be

:15:53.:15:57.

families trying to live with their relatives in overcrowded

:15:58.:16:00.

accommodation. There will be other families living in unacceptable and

:16:01.:16:04.

inadequate interim accommodation. That is the situation. And I think

:16:05.:16:09.

we also just have to be careful not to give the impression that, as a

:16:10.:16:13.

result of this legislation, all these problems will be resolved. It

:16:14.:16:20.

will make a contribution towards solving the homeless problem, but it

:16:21.:16:23.

won't actually solve it. It will help reduce the issue of

:16:24.:16:29.

homelessness, but it will not solve homelessness of itself. But

:16:30.:16:34.

congratulations are dues, particularly to the honourable

:16:35.:16:38.

member for Harrow East, and I think this occasion, yes, my honourable

:16:39.:16:44.

friend the member for Harrow East, I will reciprocate on that basis. I

:16:45.:16:51.

don't think we should underestimate the amount of time, sheer hard work

:16:52.:16:57.

and effort than tea has put into delivering this bill to this stage.

:16:58.:17:02.

And forbearance, there must have been times when he was tearing his

:17:03.:17:09.

hair out! Same situation, but tearing his hair out at the

:17:10.:17:14.

complexities, at the need to try and get different competing forces

:17:15.:17:19.

together to take this forward on a consensus basis, and that is not

:17:20.:17:23.

necessarily been an issue with consensus in the house, but outside,

:17:24.:17:27.

which everyone does not always appreciate. So many thanks and

:17:28.:17:30.

congratulations from the whole of this house, I think, to the

:17:31.:17:34.

honourable member for what he has done. And the cross-party nature,

:17:35.:17:37.

which has extended right through the committee to all members,

:17:38.:17:42.

particularly to the... I thought the minister had gone for a minute! Ear

:17:43.:17:49.

still loss. The Minister has engaged with all members of the committee.

:17:50.:17:56.

-- he is still there. He has worked inside and outside of the committee,

:17:57.:18:01.

he and his officials, and that is really appreciated, even today

:18:02.:18:04.

suggesting ways in which the selected committee can be involved

:18:05.:18:07.

in the code of guidance, that is really constructive and helpful, and

:18:08.:18:11.

I think Jozabed ignition for how the whole of the house can make a

:18:12.:18:19.

contribution. -- and I think shows a recognition. Nevertheless, it has

:18:20.:18:25.

been a constructive and positive role. My honourable friends, for

:18:26.:18:33.

Westminster North, and for Dulwich and West Norwood as well, they have

:18:34.:18:39.

played a role. I want to say little about the select committee, and it

:18:40.:18:44.

is good that as well as the honourable member for Harrow East,

:18:45.:18:49.

and my honourable friend the member for Dulwich and West Norwood, the

:18:50.:18:52.

honourable member for Northampton South has seen this process right

:18:53.:18:56.

the way through, and I think I am right in saying that he was the

:18:57.:18:59.

honourable member who first suggested in select committee that

:19:00.:19:02.

we might look at homelessness as a subject when we began our report.

:19:03.:19:06.

Thinking back to that, it is around a year ago that we started taking

:19:07.:19:10.

evidence as a select committee. Indeed having got the report here, I

:19:11.:19:14.

carry it around with me at all times, of course! We had our first

:19:15.:19:19.

hearing on Monday 14th of March, and I think it is appropriate that on

:19:20.:19:24.

that occasion, some of our first witnesses were from Crisis, St

:19:25.:19:29.

Mungo's's and Shelter, and they certainly have been an important

:19:30.:19:32.

part of this whole process, along with other organisations right the

:19:33.:19:38.

way through. As I mentioned at second reading, the way in which the

:19:39.:19:42.

select committee was involved from the beginning, during the report and

:19:43.:19:47.

the scrutiny, has not only followed precedents but set up residence, and

:19:48.:19:51.

I hope it will be followed on other occasions as well. -- precedence. We

:19:52.:20:00.

will continue to follow the bill with a look at the new review that

:20:01.:20:05.

the Government is doing with the code of practice, the code of

:20:06.:20:09.

guidance and the two new reviews into how we act is operating. I will

:20:10.:20:15.

just finished by saying, Madam Deputy Speaker, we also, when we

:20:16.:20:18.

have the select committee initial report, did look at the wider

:20:19.:20:22.

issues. There is still the issue of a shortage of homes in this country.

:20:23.:20:26.

We are doing our inquiry now into the capacity of the house-building

:20:27.:20:30.

industry, and hopefully as part of that we will be asking ministers

:20:31.:20:34.

questions about the housing white paper, and we do hope it is going to

:20:35.:20:38.

be available. I think the permanent secretary said soon when she came to

:20:39.:20:43.

the select committee two weeks ago. Now, soon has an expandable quality

:20:44.:20:48.

in government circles, but certainly before the end of March, when

:20:49.:20:53.

ministers come on that issue. Because building enough homes,

:20:54.:20:56.

particularly homes that people can afford and afford to rent, it is

:20:57.:20:59.

absolutely crucial to getting the problem dealt with in the long-term.

:21:00.:21:05.

I won't go into issues about the sell-off of high-value council

:21:06.:21:08.

assets, though it was interesting but permanent secretary did mention

:21:09.:21:10.

the word if in relation to that when Ji came to talk to us. Of course,

:21:11.:21:17.

ministers couldn't possibly comment but let's hope there is some

:21:18.:21:20.

substance to the word ever on this occasion. When we looked through our

:21:21.:21:26.

report, Madam Deputy Speaker, we did draw attention to the impact of

:21:27.:21:30.

welfare reform on a cross-party basis. I will just say that we want

:21:31.:21:38.

cooperation in terms of dealing with homelessness. We want authorities to

:21:39.:21:43.

deal with us in tackling homelessness, but it is important

:21:44.:21:46.

that government departments get their act together and understand

:21:47.:21:49.

that policies by one department can affect the operation of policy in

:21:50.:21:54.

another. In particular, we drew attention to welfare reform, but

:21:55.:21:57.

also the issue of the withdrawal of housing benefit to 18-21 -year-olds,

:21:58.:22:03.

and how that can affect people, and we have made suggestions about how

:22:04.:22:09.

people lose a job should not be forced out of their home when they

:22:10.:22:13.

look for another one. We drew attention to the problems of

:22:14.:22:15.

universal credit and the difficulties it can raise, and

:22:16.:22:18.

indeed already is racing in parts of the country, driving up rent

:22:19.:22:22.

arrears. It is a serious potential problem, and we hope ministers will

:22:23.:22:26.

have a look at it to sea of payments direct to landlords, on occasions

:22:27.:22:30.

where tenants are satisfied with it, can try and solve those problems

:22:31.:22:38.

from occurring. One of the major causes as the loss of private rental

:22:39.:22:43.

tenancies. So, Madam Deputy Speaker, with just those caveats of issues

:22:44.:22:46.

that we need to look at further, I very much welcome and support this

:22:47.:22:51.

legislation, really pleased we have got to this stage, and once again

:22:52.:22:55.

many thanks to the honourable member for Harrow East for selecting this

:22:56.:23:01.

subject, and for operating anywhere he has, consensually and

:23:02.:23:03.

collectively, to get the bill to this stage. David Burrowes. Thank

:23:04.:23:10.

you, Madam Deputy Speaker, a great pleasure to be able to follow a

:23:11.:23:15.

whole litany of speech is quite rightly paying for some tribute to

:23:16.:23:25.

my friend, and I am glad that it is a cross-party effort, collaborative

:23:26.:23:28.

across sectors within the sectors that my honourable friend has had to

:23:29.:23:32.

navigate and deal with over the weeks and paid tribute to him. And

:23:33.:23:36.

all those who have been involved in this. But I am also proud that a

:23:37.:23:40.

Conservative Member of Parliament has led the way on this, and forgive

:23:41.:23:45.

me for paying bills, particular tribute to that. I was pleased to

:23:46.:23:52.

encourage my honourable friend down this path when he was picking the

:23:53.:23:55.

bill, one of the most popular Members of Parliament around,

:23:56.:24:00.

included in the Government, it has to be said, everyone wanted to

:24:01.:24:08.

encourage a more easy route, the hand-outs that would have had less

:24:09.:24:11.

effort and less concern, but frankly it wouldn't have got two... I can

:24:12.:24:19.

say that! It wouldn't have got to what is a burning injustice, which

:24:20.:24:25.

is across, as our minister has spoken right -- as our Prime

:24:26.:24:36.

Minister has quite rightly spoken about, a burning issue. It is also

:24:37.:24:40.

one of the last occasions he will be a whip on this bill! Who knows? Who

:24:41.:24:48.

knows? We live in interesting, surprising times.

:24:49.:24:52.

LAUGHTER But what is not a surprise, Madam

:24:53.:24:56.

Deputy Speaker, is the long track record not least of Conservatives

:24:57.:25:00.

tackling homelessness, and I want to speak of my predecessor in Enfield,

:25:01.:25:08.

we had boundary changes then, and perhaps to come, but my predecessor,

:25:09.:25:14.

Ian McClure out, 50 years ago, he helped found the homelessness

:25:15.:25:19.

charity Crisis, to whom we paid GB and in this -- we page but in

:25:20.:25:31.

supporting this bill. -- we pay tribute in supporting this bill. We

:25:32.:25:34.

also paid GB to other charities working in the sector,. -- pay

:25:35.:25:47.

tribute. It is right and fitting that we now have, 40 years on from

:25:48.:25:53.

the last substantive homelessness legislation, an important and

:25:54.:25:56.

significant bill. Across the house we can say it is a good bill that

:25:57.:25:59.

will make prevention Jeremy core duty on all councils.

:26:00.:26:16.

It will mean that we will be a to look at the actors of tripe that

:26:17.:26:30.

homelessness. So my counsel, Enfield, will not have to wait for

:26:31.:26:36.

an eviction notice. My constituent, who was fleeing domestic balance to

:26:37.:26:43.

move to automotive products that accommodation, that would be known

:26:44.:26:50.

to her attacker. That will not have to put up with a response she got,

:26:51.:26:58.

when the housing officer said "What do you expect us to do?" This Bill

:26:59.:27:03.

clearly says to her and others like her that there is a clear duty of

:27:04.:27:08.

prevention for these vulnerable people. The help, and this is a more

:27:09.:27:17.

challenging ask, the challenging cases of an elderly 72-year-old in

:27:18.:27:23.

my constituency who is on -- in unsafe, unsuitable accommodation.

:27:24.:27:33.

There is cold are going through big gaps in the windows, and very little

:27:34.:27:39.

furniture. There is an office chair that is there, and he and his wife

:27:40.:27:46.

have serious health needs. They have been placed in this unsuitable

:27:47.:27:52.

accommodation. He spoke recently to my office manager and said, look, as

:27:53.:27:58.

far as I am concerned my life is not worth living, because I have been

:27:59.:28:02.

sent to what he describes as a hellhole. Whilst there is a lot more

:28:03.:28:09.

that needs to be done in this Bill, I hope it will impose that duty on

:28:10.:28:14.

the issue of inspections, but also in ensuring that in the private

:28:15.:28:21.

sector world, this will not happen again for that 72-year-old and those

:28:22.:28:27.

like them. The Bill will not however do everything to end homelessness,

:28:28.:28:32.

but are structural issues, for another day and another time, the

:28:33.:28:37.

dealing with welfare reform, dealing with matching housing costs and

:28:38.:28:41.

benefits, which will need to be debated and considered. As well as

:28:42.:28:47.

the forthcoming White Paper. And I look forward to this being part of

:28:48.:28:51.

supporting a cross Government homelessness strategy. But in

:28:52.:29:00.

London, we have to work on the book by that deal for an affordable --

:29:01.:29:10.

affordable housing, and -- we have spoken about reviews and assessment,

:29:11.:29:17.

I see the litmus test of this Bill, that those constituents are coming

:29:18.:29:22.

back into the system, I see it as ensuring that it is breaking that

:29:23.:29:27.

cycle of crisis management, to mean it is about early prevention, to

:29:28.:29:32.

help these complexes and individuals into sustainable housing. In

:29:33.:29:37.

conclusion, Iain Macleod in 1967 spoke at a candlelight vigil in Hyde

:29:38.:29:41.

Park to raise awareness of homelessness. The words which sadly

:29:42.:29:46.

resonate today, 50 years on. He said, and we can say this today I

:29:47.:29:50.

think as a result of this Bill, "This is an appeal to help those who

:29:51.:29:54.

no longer have any dignity and self-respect. What we do expect is

:29:55.:29:58.

that you will acknowledge that they are fellow human beings, and they

:29:59.:30:02.

have nothing left to look forward to. We call upon the talents, ideas

:30:03.:30:07.

and enthusiasm of people from all different prejudices and belief, in

:30:08.:30:10.

a constructive attempt to track all this problem. " This Bill has, I

:30:11.:30:19.

believe, followed and fulfilled that spirit of constructive attempt,

:30:20.:30:24.

which won only I believed to a continued and sustained

:30:25.:30:26.

collaboration, if we are in debt to finish the race which we have begun

:30:27.:30:31.

today, on a cross-party, cross Government and indeed across housing

:30:32.:30:35.

sector interest, which is to indeed end homelessness. There is indeed a

:30:36.:30:43.

cross-party consensus in support of this Bill, as we showed in second

:30:44.:30:47.

reading and through the committee stage of the Bill and they do today.

:30:48.:30:55.

It is a step in the right direction, it will hopefully lead to a

:30:56.:30:59.

significant cultural shift in the way the homelessness is treated,

:31:00.:31:03.

particularly but not exclusively for single homeless people and those who

:31:04.:31:07.

have traditionally been non-priority need. It is a good thing that we

:31:08.:31:11.

place on the face of legislation the duties that this Bill provides for

:31:12.:31:16.

in respect of the include dust bag the duty to assess and corporate and

:31:17.:31:20.

the duties of prevention, and I warmly congratulate the honourable

:31:21.:31:23.

member for bringing forward the Bill, and leading it during this

:31:24.:31:31.

recent months. And with the support of Crisis and the expert panel

:31:32.:31:36.

members who helped put the bowl together. So we want this to

:31:37.:31:41.

proceed, proceed fast, and to help bring about a transformation. And

:31:42.:31:46.

although in many cases local authorities and no barrier to

:31:47.:31:51.

carrying out the kind of duties that this will place in legislation, we

:31:52.:31:57.

know particularly the fannish -- I have been a financial pressures

:31:58.:32:02.

recently, local authorities have taken the law very literally, have

:32:03.:32:06.

tested the law, and challenged the law to its outer limits. And beyond

:32:07.:32:12.

in some cases. And it will be at the end is a framework that makes for

:32:13.:32:20.

some of the practices to contain to operate. But it is also true, as we

:32:21.:32:26.

have said on the side and a deep on some of the honourable members

:32:27.:32:30.

opposite, that the Bill does not exist in isolation. We have already

:32:31.:32:37.

referred to the fact that the existing non-statutory duties in

:32:38.:32:43.

terms of the relief of homelessness, which assist round about 100,000

:32:44.:32:46.

households every year, have still not been able to check the

:32:47.:32:51.

remorseless popular trend in homelessness both in terms of those

:32:52.:32:54.

in priority need and non-priority need and not sleeping, over recent

:32:55.:33:01.

years. And why is that? Well, it is because the pressure particularly of

:33:02.:33:07.

resources in so many errors, by no means exclusively local government,

:33:08.:33:11.

has been a crap Kerrie Ballard to any attempts to bring down

:33:12.:33:14.

homelessness. And just on the of rough sleeping -- we know it has

:33:15.:33:23.

that from 16% in this year. Westminster this year, on the front

:33:24.:33:28.

line, but new information I have obtained from the health service,

:33:29.:33:32.

only last week, showed us that not only is there a rough -- rise in

:33:33.:33:37.

rough sleeping, but terrifyingly there has been an escalation in the

:33:38.:33:41.

number of rough sleepers for home mental health problems are the main

:33:42.:33:47.

driver. And that, since 2010, the number of rough sleepers with mental

:33:48.:33:53.

health problems has gone up by 80%. -- serious mental health problems.

:33:54.:33:57.

That reflects something else that's going on across the public services,

:33:58.:34:04.

particularly what is the NHS and the health service more widely. We have

:34:05.:34:11.

heard tell about... I am grateful to my honourable friend, and I agree

:34:12.:34:14.

with her in supporting the Bill. Last Sunday was homelessness Sunday,

:34:15.:34:22.

I was in her borough and the attention was drawn to the very

:34:23.:34:25.

large number of church based night shelters operating all over the

:34:26.:34:28.

country, trying to meet this rapidly growing need, and will she join me

:34:29.:34:40.

in commending those organisations for their efforts? Absolutely, there

:34:41.:34:44.

is stunningly good work being done by churches and other faith

:34:45.:34:47.

communities, and indeed at Christmas I went to the crisis centre at the

:34:48.:34:54.

city of Westminster college and so volunteers, some of which have been

:34:55.:34:59.

going back to Crisis for 20 years, to work on supporting that -- people

:35:00.:35:06.

over that bloody period. So we should absolutely congratulate those

:35:07.:35:10.

people back over that holiday period. And that there are those

:35:11.:35:19.

very fundamental problems, but are pushing us in the open -- opposite

:35:20.:35:22.

direction to that which the Bill would take us. The House of Commons

:35:23.:35:27.

library briefing confirmed that this year alone ?2.7 billion less will be

:35:28.:35:34.

spent on housing support than what would have been the case on trends

:35:35.:35:40.

from 2010, and ?5 billion has been taken out altogether since 2010. I

:35:41.:35:43.

think that puts the ?40 million contribution to this Bill into

:35:44.:35:49.

rather alarming context. And of course universal credit, the delayed

:35:50.:35:53.

payment and direct payments, are driving more and more tenants into

:35:54.:36:01.

arrears, and that in turn is another factor in making it less packed up

:36:02.:36:06.

and what, the opposition that so many homeless people are prepared to

:36:07.:36:11.

let. That is a problem I see no signs of reducing, and in fact is

:36:12.:36:14.

very likely to be going in the opposite direction. So although the

:36:15.:36:18.

Member for Harrow East did say that we should be looked at the Bill

:36:19.:36:22.

today on its merits, and I could do that today, we can offer what is

:36:23.:36:31.

going on. In the last couple of minutes to bring pump the member

:36:32.:36:41.

Mike that this is fundamentally be about people it is about the people

:36:42.:36:46.

at the sharp end, and just in the last few weeks I have dealt with

:36:47.:36:52.

many cases of people, other homeless or at risk of homelessness, this

:36:53.:36:57.

week a young mother of two macro children, 20 years resident in my

:36:58.:37:04.

constituency, whose own parents, the children's grandparents live in the

:37:05.:37:08.

constituency, arsenic, who was made homeless from the private rented

:37:09.:37:14.

sector, had to wait until the bailiffs that in order to be

:37:15.:37:19.

rehoused, and has now been rehoused in north London, over one hour away

:37:20.:37:22.

from her support network, sharing a single room with her two macro

:37:23.:37:29.

children. -- two children. But even more acutely, a case that came to me

:37:30.:37:33.

just before Christmas, which I think goes to the heart of the challenge

:37:34.:37:41.

single new lines from the letter came in danger man up he was kicked

:37:42.:37:48.

out from that I will share with the House, which are very up and put up

:37:49.:37:53.

a list. "I Was forced to live in a friend's car through the winter of

:37:54.:37:58.

2016. One that I was sleeping in the car when it was broken into. The

:37:59.:38:01.

people have been knife to my neck and took everything I owned. -- held

:38:02.:38:09.

a knife. At that park bench on a park bench until a stranger told me

:38:10.:38:14.

about a hostel. I was given a place, but it was three days later.

:38:15.:38:19.

Meanwhile I had to go back to sleeping in the park." Unfortunately

:38:20.:38:24.

at the hostel he was submitted -- subject to attack and robbery, and

:38:25.:38:27.

when he came to me he had been sleeping rough on the whole of last

:38:28.:38:32.

year. His letter finished, "I don't want to be robbed or killed. 2016

:38:33.:38:37.

has been the worst year of my life. I've wanted to kill myself every

:38:38.:38:43.

day. I know if I don't get help, I will be the next to be killed. "

:38:44.:38:49.

That 18 years old, were discovered by the experts for the rest of the

:38:50.:39:00.

stuff, as we are of the cabin and somewhere to live. If that Bill can

:39:01.:39:05.

do anything for that 19-year-old boy, I'm happy to support it. But

:39:06.:39:11.

the leg while other year-old more microphone Harrow East, it does not

:39:12.:39:18.

exist in the context of support, of financial backing, of an attempt to

:39:19.:39:22.

deal with the drivers of homelessness, whether it be housing

:39:23.:39:28.

supply, the failures of universal credit the welfare reform, because

:39:29.:39:31.

if it does not, welcome as these provisions will be, we will

:39:32.:39:36.

unfortunately find ourselves back again in another two years, facing

:39:37.:39:39.

yet more increases in homelessness, and yet more individual lives

:39:40.:39:42.

scarred by this terrible scourge of modern life. It is a pleasure to

:39:43.:39:52.

follow the honourable lady for Westminster North, who has always

:39:53.:39:56.

been very diligent in pursuing housing as an issue in her

:39:57.:40:01.

constituency. And of course I am delighted to thank my honourable

:40:02.:40:06.

friend for his wonderful work, and his office, and of course the

:40:07.:40:11.

honourable gentleman for Enfield Southgate, the de facto Whip, of the

:40:12.:40:17.

Bill. Now, today my honourable friend is a bit of a softy. I know,

:40:18.:40:26.

having known him for 20 years, as a political bruiser, have must have

:40:27.:40:32.

been to inordinately praised the honourable gentleman for

:40:33.:40:34.

Hammersmith. But I think in the spirit that it was given I echo that

:40:35.:40:40.

point. Because actually, we are all here to help needy and vulnerable

:40:41.:40:47.

people who we have the great honour and privilege to represent in this

:40:48.:40:52.

House. I think... I was very concerned that it appeared that Her

:40:53.:40:58.

Majesty's opposition intended on effectively potentially wrecking the

:40:59.:41:06.

Bill a few days ago, and I am glad that they refrain from pushing the

:41:07.:41:10.

amendments to the vote, not necessarily big intended so to do,

:41:11.:41:13.

but when it reached the Lords, peers in the other place may have

:41:14.:41:18.

complicated the issue and endangered the viability of the Bill in. But I

:41:19.:41:26.

think the opposition for that. And honourable friends on this site. --

:41:27.:41:32.

on this side. When we look back at local

:41:33.:41:46.

government reform and the housing boom of the 1950s, this again is

:41:47.:41:53.

very much within that type of commitment to the elevation of

:41:54.:41:58.

people to make the world a better place. I think I am quite unusual in

:41:59.:42:04.

that I am a Conservative Member of Parliament who is very keen on

:42:05.:42:10.

house-building, and who believes that we have to, at source, tackle

:42:11.:42:14.

housing by building more homes. That isn't always the case, and I don't

:42:15.:42:18.

decry the motives of my honourable friend and others in the House for

:42:19.:42:23.

wanting to protect the residential amenity and quality of life in their

:42:24.:42:27.

areas, but in order, long-term, to solve the housing crisis, you need

:42:28.:42:32.

to build more homes, and I think we all accept that is the case, and

:42:33.:42:36.

that is why I was a lonely voice, I think, a month or so ago, arguing

:42:37.:42:41.

against some of the more restrictive amendments in the neighbourhood

:42:42.:42:47.

planning bill, and I was arguing against not building more homes we

:42:48.:42:57.

look forward to the housing white paper coming out, and it is as well

:42:58.:43:02.

to also thank the Minister for the excellent work that he has done with

:43:03.:43:06.

his ministerial colleagues. And particularly to thank the department

:43:07.:43:14.

for the allocation of funds to Peterborough City Council as part of

:43:15.:43:18.

the ?48 million homelessness reduction programme. We have seen an

:43:19.:43:27.

uptick in people presenting as homeless and living on the streets,

:43:28.:43:32.

rough sleepers, in Peterborough. Now, clearly, there has been some

:43:33.:43:36.

issue around the impact of welfare reform, there has been an issue, we

:43:37.:43:40.

have a very large proportion of peripatetic foreign workers from

:43:41.:43:43.

Eastern Europe, who may lose their job very suddenly and therefore are

:43:44.:43:50.

not in a position to pay their rent. But clearly, as the honourable

:43:51.:43:53.

gentleman for Hammersmith made clear, the precipitous termination

:43:54.:44:00.

of housing agreements under section 21 of the housing act is having an

:44:01.:44:07.

impact. And therefore I think this bill is extremely timely. I think

:44:08.:44:12.

the good thing about the bill is that, and I might also say that I

:44:13.:44:16.

supported the bill at second reading very strongly and was there working

:44:17.:44:22.

with other charities in my own constituency. And may I just make a

:44:23.:44:30.

plug for the fantastic work of the congregation of my own church, the

:44:31.:44:41.

parochial church council on Park Road, who have participated with

:44:42.:44:44.

other judges in Peterborough to have a night shelter for some of the most

:44:45.:44:47.

vulnerable people in Peterborough, who wouldn't have a bed on a very

:44:48.:44:52.

cold night, and they have been treated with the warmth and

:44:53.:44:56.

humankind nurse and dignity that one would expect of good Christian

:44:57.:45:01.

people. -- human kindness. So thank you to Father Greg Roberts and the

:45:02.:45:06.

others for that. Can I just say, this is the beginning of a journey,

:45:07.:45:11.

this will not end homelessness, it will not end the rough sleeping. But

:45:12.:45:16.

we are on a journey, and I think the good thing about the bill is that it

:45:17.:45:20.

is a proactive effort, particularly around early intervention and

:45:21.:45:26.

advice. Because we really have to concede that it is not just about

:45:27.:45:33.

dry, arcane legislation - it is about human beings only the problems

:45:34.:45:37.

they are suffering, which means that they have to take difficult

:45:38.:45:39.

decisions. And therefore I would urge the Minister to think in a more

:45:40.:45:45.

holistic way around and substance misuse and mental health issues, as

:45:46.:45:50.

it impacts on people who are homeless. And please, if it's

:45:51.:45:54.

possible to give more support in the course of secondary legislation of

:45:55.:45:59.

this act, hopefully, to assist local authorities - I think that would be

:46:00.:46:02.

very important indeed. Another important issue to raise is that,

:46:03.:46:08.

for authorities such as Peterborough, which participated in

:46:09.:46:10.

large-scale stock transfers some years ago, there just isn't the

:46:11.:46:16.

capacity to think ahead in terms of local trends for homelessness. And

:46:17.:46:23.

therefore they need some expertise and help, and that obviously does

:46:24.:46:28.

cost money. But it shouldn't be the case that the first time anyone can

:46:29.:46:33.

receive help is when the bailiffs are knocking on their door. I

:46:34.:46:39.

welcome, in particular, the help to secure parts of the bill and, of

:46:40.:46:46.

course, the individualised plan, because we are talking about

:46:47.:46:49.

individuals, each of whom is a different set of circumstances which

:46:50.:46:53.

has brought them to make the decisions that they have made. And

:46:54.:46:57.

life sometimes happens to you while you are making other plans, to quote

:46:58.:47:06.

John Lennon many years ago! The fact is that is that advice, that

:47:07.:47:09.

proactive, forward-looking advice, will actually be good for the

:47:10.:47:14.

taxpayer, but more importantly good for those individuals, particularly

:47:15.:47:18.

individuals with families. So that is very, very important. Selective

:47:19.:47:24.

licensing, my honourable friend the member for Mid Derbyshire, who was

:47:25.:47:27.

no longer in her place, did make the important point about vulnerable

:47:28.:47:32.

women who are affected by homelessness. Bonneval women are

:47:33.:47:36.

also affected by very poor quality housing. -- vulnerable women. And I

:47:37.:47:44.

am quite honest in saying that I am willing to look at the trade-off of

:47:45.:47:52.

ending slum landlords by reducing some of the provision, because I

:47:53.:47:56.

don't want my constituents living in slums at the whim of rapacious

:47:57.:48:00.

landlords who are milking the taxpayer. And that might mean some

:48:01.:48:05.

turbulence in the market, but the duty does not end once we have

:48:06.:48:08.

housed that person. The duty ends when we are convinced that that

:48:09.:48:14.

person, or that family, is in decent accommodation. A number of years

:48:15.:48:18.

ago, Cambridgeshire Constabulary looked at crime committed in new

:48:19.:48:22.

migrant households against women, sexual crime, theft and other

:48:23.:48:27.

crimes. So we have a much more general duty, and should do, to

:48:28.:48:32.

people who are in private accommodation. May I just say very

:48:33.:48:37.

briefly a little bit about the saga of Saint Michael's gate? My

:48:38.:48:42.

honourable friend will know I had a Westminster Hall debate, this was

:48:43.:48:45.

the ludicrous situation, the Alice in Wonderland situation where my

:48:46.:48:51.

local authority was forced to take people who were statutory homeless,

:48:52.:48:56.

who had been housed in a travel lodge, into a development called St

:48:57.:49:03.

Michael's Gate, where the landlord, whose dubious and morally

:49:04.:49:07.

reprehensible business model I mentioned earlier in the House,

:49:08.:49:12.

meant that they served a section 21 notice on 74 of those households and

:49:13.:49:17.

made a number of them homeless, so they were recycling homelessness.

:49:18.:49:21.

The reason? Because it was more lucrative for them to cream off the

:49:22.:49:25.

administrative fee for overnight homelessness accommodation, and of

:49:26.:49:32.

course those people who were chucked out were statutory homeless. It is a

:49:33.:49:36.

ludicrous situation, and I have asked the Local Government

:49:37.:49:39.

Association to look at that in detail to make sure it can never

:49:40.:49:42.

happen again or is very unlikely. And that brings me to the key issue

:49:43.:49:48.

of the trend of many local authorities to begin to discharge

:49:49.:49:56.

their homelessness obligations under the 1986 Act by shovelling the most

:49:57.:50:01.

vulnerable people around the country, different authorities keen

:50:02.:50:05.

to push people to other local housing authorities. And I think

:50:06.:50:13.

that there should be at the least a proposal or concordat in place to

:50:14.:50:15.

make sure it stops, because it is not fair on those people and is

:50:16.:50:18.

older madly not fair on the taxpayers. -- and is ultimately not

:50:19.:50:24.

fair on the taxpayers. So, Madam Deputy Speaker, I warmly welcome

:50:25.:50:29.

this bill. It is a culmination of an anomalous amount of effort and hard

:50:30.:50:35.

work, and I welcome the duty to provide advisory services, which was

:50:36.:50:39.

sorely needed. -- an enormous amount of effort. To day, I think we have

:50:40.:50:47.

seen the best tradition of the House of Commons, people of good faith

:50:48.:50:52.

coming together in the service of our constituents, sticking up for

:50:53.:50:56.

people who do want a better life, decent people, who will have a human

:50:57.:51:03.

rights to a roof over their head. It is our job to look after their

:51:04.:51:08.

interests, and they are the people we serve, and I warmly endorsed this

:51:09.:51:13.

bill, and I hope that it soon becomes an act, receives Royal

:51:14.:51:17.

assent, and begins to make a difference to the lives of so many

:51:18.:51:23.

very needy people. Helen Hayes. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I

:51:24.:51:30.

rise to welcome this bill, and I want to add my tribute to the

:51:31.:51:34.

honourable member for Harrow East for taking on this subject for his

:51:35.:51:40.

private member's bill, and for the diligence and the commitment that he

:51:41.:51:44.

has shown to seeing this bill through. I also welcome the process

:51:45.:51:49.

of the bill. I have been pleased to have been involved, closely involved

:51:50.:51:53.

from the beginning through the select committee, as a member of the

:51:54.:51:58.

selectivity, through the inquiry, and then to the bill committee stage

:51:59.:52:03.

of this legislation as well, and I think it is an excellent example of

:52:04.:52:09.

evidence based legislation. We saw, on the select committee, undeniably

:52:10.:52:16.

evidence that the problem of homelessness is increasing, that it

:52:17.:52:20.

is increasing at an exponential rate, and that the current system is

:52:21.:52:24.

not working, and this bill will play an important role in setting some of

:52:25.:52:31.

that right. This bill is a principled reform which will set the

:52:32.:52:35.

basis on which homeless people receive support in the right

:52:36.:52:40.

footing. It is right, Madam Deputy Speaker, that local authorities

:52:41.:52:44.

should have responsibility and indeed a statutory duty to intervene

:52:45.:52:49.

earlier when residents are threatened with homelessness, to

:52:50.:52:53.

provide help and support and, wherever possible, to prevent people

:52:54.:52:57.

from ever becoming homeless in the first place. This is the

:52:58.:53:00.

compassionate thing to do, it is what a decent society demands. But

:53:01.:53:05.

it is also the cost-effective thing to do, because when somebody becomes

:53:06.:53:11.

homeless, the costs to them, the personal costs, and also the cost to

:53:12.:53:17.

the public sector in many different ways simply rise to a level that we

:53:18.:53:24.

cannot afford, and that is money not well spent, it is money spent

:53:25.:53:27.

propping up and dealing with a situation that really never should

:53:28.:53:31.

have arisen in the first place. It is also writes that more people than

:53:32.:53:34.

are currently eligible to receive help and support our able to receive

:53:35.:53:39.

help and support, and this legislation will help with that

:53:40.:53:43.

also. Wall of us will have examples from our constituencies of people,

:53:44.:53:48.

usually single people, for whom common decency demands that they

:53:49.:53:56.

receive support, but who are not eligible under the current system to

:53:57.:53:59.

receive support, and this bill will help to address that problem. It is

:54:00.:54:05.

also absolutely the case that the culture of work around support for

:54:06.:54:08.

homeless people changes as well as the practice. We saw evidence on the

:54:09.:54:14.

select committee of significant levels of gatekeeping by local

:54:15.:54:18.

authorities, and people being treated in ways which simply are not

:54:19.:54:21.

acceptable, made to feel that they are somehow to blame for their

:54:22.:54:26.

predicament, or that they are a problem, or just a statistic.

:54:27.:54:30.

Witnesses described the human effects of being in our current

:54:31.:54:37.

system. -- dehumanising. It is right that the legislation is seeking to

:54:38.:54:40.

change that. I support the bill on its own terms, and I believe it will

:54:41.:54:45.

make a significant difference to the nature of support that homeless

:54:46.:54:48.

people receive. But, Madam Deputy Speaker, we cannot for one minute

:54:49.:54:52.

kid ourselves that by supporting a piece of legislation that has

:54:53.:54:57.

homelessness reduction in the title, we are solving the problem of the

:54:58.:55:01.

housing crisis in this country, and I cannot speak about this bill

:55:02.:55:05.

without, in the same breath, speaking about the wider context of

:55:06.:55:10.

the housing crisis just for a moment. This government's record on

:55:11.:55:16.

housing is shameful. Under Labour, rough sleeping fell by 75% in 11

:55:17.:55:20.

years. Under this government and the coal issue in government, it's

:55:21.:55:25.

doubled in just five years. -- the coalition government. It has gone up

:55:26.:55:30.

in a further 30% in just the last year. The number is people in

:55:31.:55:35.

temporary accommodation are rising, and my experience from my

:55:36.:55:39.

constituency is that homelessness is also becoming more intractable for

:55:40.:55:42.

those who find themselves in that predicament. Individuals and

:55:43.:55:48.

households in temporary accommodation for longer, and it is

:55:49.:55:52.

much harder to secure the secure, affordable accommodation that they

:55:53.:55:57.

need. That is an issue about supply of new homes, and the supply, most

:55:58.:56:01.

importantly, of secure, high quality, genuinely affordable homes.

:56:02.:56:05.

It is about the insecurity people face in the private rented sector.

:56:06.:56:15.

If someone takes the decision to become a landlord, their primary and

:56:16.:56:20.

essential responsibility must be to their tenant under the terms of

:56:21.:56:25.

tenancy agreements, but we have too many people living in the private

:56:26.:56:30.

rented sector with tenancies that are not fit for purpose. That is a

:56:31.:56:36.

problem. Reform of the private rented sector would make a very

:56:37.:56:42.

rapid difference while we are waiting for new homes to be built

:56:43.:56:48.

for people facing homeless and our hard-pressed councils would see

:56:49.:56:53.

fewer people presenting to their homelessness departments for help

:56:54.:56:56.

and support if more people had security in the private rented

:56:57.:57:04.

sector. It is also about the LJA cap and the bedroom tax, the forced sale

:57:05.:57:09.

of council homes and many aspects of Government policy that is not

:57:10.:57:13.

working to deliver the secure, affordable homes we need to solve

:57:14.:57:17.

the problem of homelessness. The second issue I wanted to flag

:57:18.:57:23.

concerns the funding for this bill. I welcome the assurances the

:57:24.:57:26.

minister has given to review the funding for this bill and the way in

:57:27.:57:34.

which it is working. There are many unknowns about the new burdens that

:57:35.:57:40.

the bill will produce and there is an expectation that a greater focus

:57:41.:57:44.

on prevention will save councils money. There is a lack of clarify in

:57:45.:57:50.

the Government's working about what councils will be expected to use the

:57:51.:57:55.

funding for whether it relates to additional staffing costs or the

:57:56.:58:00.

provision of additional support for people to bridge a gap, a difficulty

:58:01.:58:07.

in paying their existing rent for a period of time. So there is doubt

:58:08.:58:10.

about whether the funding will be enough. I'm particularly concerned

:58:11.:58:15.

on behalf of the councils they represent where the problems and the

:58:16.:58:21.

pressures op those councils are very severe. 5,000 children in Lambeth,

:58:22.:58:29.

more than 1,500 households will spend tonight in temporary

:58:30.:58:33.

accommodation. While the bill will help Lambeth and Southwark councils

:58:34.:58:41.

to provide more support, we have a system which is completely clogged

:58:42.:58:48.

up to the point of being at a stand-still and the councils must be

:58:49.:58:51.

provided with resources to implement the new duty in a way that enables

:58:52.:58:56.

them to be effective. I know that is what all of us want to see. Finally,

:58:57.:59:04.

I hope the Government will use this process of developing legislation

:59:05.:59:09.

and a Private Members Bill through the select committee process on the

:59:10.:59:13.

basis of evidence, as a precedent for its approach to housing in the

:59:14.:59:17.

future. Looking at the evidence of where the current situation is

:59:18.:59:22.

system my not working and taking decisive actions on the wider

:59:23.:59:28.

contributors to our housing crisis. I end by offering my congratulations

:59:29.:59:34.

to the member for harrow and my thanks to the crisis and the other

:59:35.:59:38.

homelessness charities who have supported this bill and provided

:59:39.:59:43.

their inputs to it and my thanks to the minister for his support for

:59:44.:59:50.

this bill and for seeing it through. Finally, to my front bench

:59:51.:59:54.

colleagues and my colleague in particular, the chair of the select

:59:55.:00:01.

committee for the excellent contributions they have made to

:00:02.:00:05.

scrutinising and pressing the government on this most important

:00:06.:00:12.

issue. Thank you, what a pleasure it is to follow so many passionate

:00:13.:00:18.

speeches, not least that of the lady who has just spoken so well and with

:00:19.:00:23.

such knowledge on this. I must also join in the tributes to the enormous

:00:24.:00:28.

success of the member for Harrow East, I was part of the Government

:00:29.:00:33.

machine which used to produce legislation and I'm in awe of how

:00:34.:00:37.

the honourable gentleman has managed to do this effectively alone, though

:00:38.:00:41.

with the team that he outlined earlier. I'm very pleased this bill

:00:42.:00:46.

has Government support and I'm pleased about the funding, which has

:00:47.:00:51.

been promised. Though I hope the minister was listening carefully to

:00:52.:00:54.

my honourable friend when he mentioned more funding maybe

:00:55.:00:58.

necessary in the future. But on that note I would like to thank the DTLG

:00:59.:01:05.

for the money which has been give on the Oxfordshire in the Government's

:01:06.:01:15.

homelessness prevention programme. 790,000 pounds to fund trialing new

:01:16.:01:21.

initiatives on homelessness. We have heard about the importance of cross

:01:22.:01:26.

party working, and I would like to put in a plug for some cross party

:01:27.:01:34.

work which has led to good practice in the reduction of homelessness.

:01:35.:01:38.

Our district council and charities have been working very closely

:01:39.:01:44.

together to reduce the number of rough sleepers in our areas. They

:01:45.:01:48.

have done that by reducing that number by 20% in the last year,

:01:49.:01:52.

which shows how well that a more holistic approach can work of the

:01:53.:01:57.

type that is set out in this bill. We have seen some great initiatives

:01:58.:02:01.

in the last year, we have, they have produced a homeless pocket guide. It

:02:02.:02:05.

might not sound like much, but to have all the numbers that you need

:02:06.:02:11.

with short and long-term solutions for your problem with homelessness

:02:12.:02:17.

in one place is useful to people whose lives are chaotic and are

:02:18.:02:22.

moving from place to place. We have some great local charities. The

:02:23.:02:28.

Beacon centre in Banbury which offers friendly but quite firm

:02:29.:02:33.

advice. I have seen them do it to some rough sleepers. One of my

:02:34.:02:39.

favourite buildings is that that houses the Banbury young

:02:40.:02:44.

homelessness project, where there is a real forward-thinking holistic

:02:45.:02:48.

approach to preventing the causes of homelessness. They provide

:02:49.:02:54.

counselling. They provide family groups for counselling and there is

:02:55.:02:59.

a brilliant job club. In 2012 they won the Queen's Award for voluntary

:03:00.:03:04.

service. I love going there, it is very much like being at home with

:03:05.:03:09.

one's own teenagers! The sort of support that is provided which I

:03:10.:03:13.

know you will understand and empathise with it almost that of a

:03:14.:03:18.

parent for a group of teens who are uncertain which way to go and need

:03:19.:03:22.

some help and encouragement to get through job interviews and who may

:03:23.:03:27.

not get that sort of support in their families and homes in the way

:03:28.:03:33.

that we hope that our children do. I would also like to mention the

:03:34.:03:37.

Salvation Army u who have been turning lives around, particularly

:03:38.:03:41.

like the rough sleepers, for many years. They were helpful to members

:03:42.:03:46.

of my own family who came home from the First World War and I'm

:03:47.:03:50.

impressed by the work they continue to do. It is clear that people who

:03:51.:03:55.

are rough sleeping have different needs. And families at risk of

:03:56.:04:01.

eviction differ from those with drug and alcohol dependencies who have

:04:02.:04:07.

been rough sleeping, but working together charities and councils

:04:08.:04:10.

recognise that. I accept not all are working together so well and we do

:04:11.:04:15.

need the safety net in the legislation. It seems right to me

:04:16.:04:20.

there should not be a double standard of priority need. Anyone

:04:21.:04:24.

who doesn't have a bed for the night is a priority. We have heard a lot

:04:25.:04:31.

this week about difficulties in our Prison Service and I think it is

:04:32.:04:38.

right we draw attention to link between homelessness and those who

:04:39.:04:42.

have been imprisoned. 15% of those going into prison for the first time

:04:43.:04:47.

are homeless before they go into prison. When they're released, 80%

:04:48.:04:54.

of those previously homeless prisoners reoffend in the first year

:04:55.:05:03.

after release. This compares badly withen under half of mean who were

:05:04.:05:06.

not homeless at the time they went to prison. As we try to reduce

:05:07.:05:13.

re-offending, dealing with homelessness will help. So I would

:05:14.:05:17.

like to add my support to this well-balanced bill. It will produce

:05:18.:05:22.

support for those who are homeless while not putting undue pressure on

:05:23.:05:27.

councils. I hope by working together claimants and consills will help to

:05:28.:05:33.

reduce the problem of homelessness. Thank you. I was pleased to serve on

:05:34.:05:39.

this bill committee and to be part of a bill that will make a big

:05:40.:05:42.

difference to many vulnerable people. There are two clauses I

:05:43.:05:46.

welcome, the extension to 56 days and the final advisor and

:05:47.:05:50.

assessment. I hope which won't have constituents who are waiting for the

:05:51.:06:00.

by bailiffs to arrive as the only way to declare themselves

:06:01.:06:06.

homelessness. I hope under the new system temporary accommodation could

:06:07.:06:11.

become unnecessary in the majority of cases. Removing a long fight to

:06:12.:06:18.

regain possession will encourage private landlords to take on benefit

:06:19.:06:24.

claimants. The measures will ease the need for temporary

:06:25.:06:27.

accommodation. Private landlords will take on more tenants and those

:06:28.:06:39.

given notice can find a new tenancy. I hope landlords will look on this

:06:40.:06:45.

as an opportunity and it will pass as smoothly through the other place

:06:46.:06:50.

and come back with few changes. Can I thank the minister and the civil

:06:51.:06:56.

servants and the charities for providing excelle briefings and

:06:57.:07:01.

particularly for the member for Harrow east for his many hours of

:07:02.:07:05.

work putting this Private Members Bill through. Thank you. It is a

:07:06.:07:14.

great pleasure to follow the member for Portsmouth South. I too pay

:07:15.:07:18.

tribute to my honourable friend the member for Harrow East. He will be

:07:19.:07:22.

blushing all afternoon I'm sure. But it is right that we do pay fulsome

:07:23.:07:28.

tribute to him and I believe the honourable gentleman maybe right

:07:29.:07:33.

this may with the model of how to get through difficult legislation

:07:34.:07:37.

through a private members bill and all price is worthy and due. The

:07:38.:07:43.

honourable gentleman invited me to exercise iron discipline today. He

:07:44.:07:48.

in fact invited me not to speak any further at all during the course of

:07:49.:07:52.

today. That would have been a step too far! But I am going to exercise

:07:53.:07:57.

discipline, not least because you would have noted that my bills

:07:58.:08:03.

appear at Nos 3 and 4 on the list. And you will be interested to hear

:08:04.:08:07.

that speech No 4 in particular refers to cricket in some detail.

:08:08.:08:15.

And it would be a shame were we not to get to bills three and four.

:08:16.:08:20.

Pages four and five were beautiful prose on cricket and the House will

:08:21.:08:24.

be disappointed if we don't get to those bills. I want to sound one

:08:25.:08:30.

note of caution. I was disappointed by the speech by the member for

:08:31.:08:35.

Leigh, who is not in his place. It sounded more like a campaign speech,

:08:36.:08:39.

rather than points constructive in relation to new clauses one, two and

:08:40.:08:46.

three. It may be that because he wasn't her during second reading and

:08:47.:08:52.

didn't sit on the committee that he was misplaced and misunderstood and

:08:53.:08:55.

he was wrong when he said there was a cosy consensus. That is wrong.

:08:56.:08:59.

There was cross party support for that bill. But during the course of

:09:00.:09:04.

bill committee there was robust debate and exchanges on both sides

:09:05.:09:07.

to ensure that this bill got through. And if there was consensus,

:09:08.:09:12.

there was consensus around this one fact which I believe everyone

:09:13.:09:20.

committee chaired and it was mentioned by the honourable

:09:21.:09:25.

gentleman for Hammersmith, one person sleeping rough is one person

:09:26.:09:31.

too many. If there is a cosy consensus around that, so be it and

:09:32.:09:36.

I stand guilty as charged. But apart from that one sour note, it has been

:09:37.:09:39.

a pleasure to serve on this bill committee. It is my first Private

:09:40.:09:43.

Members Bill committee and if they're all like this, then it will

:09:44.:09:49.

be a pleasure. But there is more work, we cannot pat ourselves on the

:09:50.:09:52.

back, there is more work to be done in Parliament when it goes through

:09:53.:09:57.

the Lord's stage and I agree with what the the honourable lady said,

:09:58.:10:01.

this is but one step. This is not the complete answer and my

:10:02.:10:04.

honourable friend made the same point. But it is a big step in the

:10:05.:10:12.

right direction. Thank you. I'm delighted to support this bill and

:10:13.:10:20.

to have served on the committee. I commend the work of my honourable

:10:21.:10:25.

friend the member for Harrow East who has worked tirelessly on this

:10:26.:10:31.

bill. It is also important to note the level of involvement and input

:10:32.:10:36.

from local authorities and also national homelessness charities. But

:10:37.:10:39.

we should also note the dialogue that each of us have had with our

:10:40.:10:44.

own charities. I have been a long-term supporter of a charity

:10:45.:10:51.

called Door Way, whose views have been invaluable in giving me an

:10:52.:10:55.

insight into understanding the impact it would have on the ground.

:10:56.:11:01.

There has been talk about what this bill does not cover and that is

:11:02.:11:05.

despite what my honourable friend pointed out, it being one of the

:11:06.:11:09.

longest everybody Private Members Bills so I do think its important

:11:10.:11:14.

that we emphasise what it does cover and remember yes there is so much

:11:15.:11:20.

more to be done, and yes this bill will not do everything that we hope

:11:21.:11:26.

it can. It won't be a cure all, but the legislation has not been changed

:11:27.:11:30.

in 40 years. So perhaps this is a monumental step forward.

:11:31.:11:37.

The key aspect of this bill is about prevention, it does exactly what it

:11:38.:11:43.

says on the tin, basically, and it is true that some local authorities

:11:44.:11:46.

are already going above and beyond, but it is not consistent. In fact,

:11:47.:11:51.

it is patchy up and down this country. This bill would end the

:11:52.:11:55.

atrocious postcode lottery and ensure that one minimum high

:11:56.:11:58.

standard would be seen across the country to address and prevent

:11:59.:12:02.

homelessness. It would give local authorities guidance and create a

:12:03.:12:06.

level playing field, ending the hit and miss policy that has gone on for

:12:07.:12:13.

far too long. Madam Deputy Speaker, prevention really is the key.

:12:14.:12:15.

Perhaps the key element of the bill is the prevention duty for local

:12:16.:12:20.

authorities to help within 56 days, rather than 28. Prevention will mean

:12:21.:12:23.

that local authorities have the ability to help whilst there is

:12:24.:12:28.

still time, that action is taken before complex needs develop any

:12:29.:12:31.

further, a point that has been raising number of times by local

:12:32.:12:38.

charities to me. It will save local authorities, NHS and other bodies

:12:39.:12:49.

money in a long run, it will prevent CCJs, it will free up charities to

:12:50.:12:54.

have more time to work effectively, but prevention is the right thing to

:12:55.:12:58.

do above all. My honourable friend for Harrow East said that if one

:12:59.:13:00.

business keeping rough on the streets, it is one too many and a

:13:01.:13:04.

national disgrace, and I would like to agree fundamentally with him. I

:13:05.:13:11.

believe that a key role of MPs is to create opportunities and to help the

:13:12.:13:14.

vulnerable and the needy in our society, whatever party we are, and

:13:15.:13:19.

surely this goes right to the heart of that. Madam Deputy Speaker, I

:13:20.:13:22.

know others want to speak, and I never intended to speak long,

:13:23.:13:26.

because I have spoken numerous times about this, so I will finish by

:13:27.:13:31.

reaffirming my support for this bill and its intention to prevent

:13:32.:13:36.

homelessness. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker, it is a pleasure to

:13:37.:13:39.

support my honourable friend the member for Harrow East in his

:13:40.:13:43.

private member's bill. He deserves congratulating, and it has been a

:13:44.:13:46.

pleasure to work with him. It is great to see the bill reached this

:13:47.:13:50.

milestone in the legislative process today. We have added there and

:13:51.:13:53.

productive committee stage where we are able to analyse every aspect of

:13:54.:13:58.

the bill, and I want to thank honourable and right honourable

:13:59.:14:01.

friends for their contributions. I'm also pleased with the role of the

:14:02.:14:05.

select committee, so important in giving this proper scrutiny. I would

:14:06.:14:10.

like to thank the honourable member for Sheffield South East. Throughout

:14:11.:14:13.

the process, I have always believed that one person who was homeless is

:14:14.:14:17.

one too many, so every opportunity we have to highlight the problem of

:14:18.:14:21.

modern society is, in my view, helpful. I know that all of those

:14:22.:14:25.

taking part in the debate today will be particularly mindful of the human

:14:26.:14:30.

stories behind the statistics, and I believe it is important to remember

:14:31.:14:33.

the people who are trying to help them. I would like to put an

:14:34.:14:40.

gratitude -- put on record my gratitude to a charity in my

:14:41.:14:45.

constituency. Madam Deputy Speaker, I want to use this opportunity to

:14:46.:14:50.

express my wholehearted commitment to this bill. I am many other

:14:51.:14:53.

colleagues have said this will not be the only solution to end

:14:54.:15:02.

homelessness but is a crucial step. -- I and many other colleagues. I

:15:03.:15:08.

eagerly anticipate the Government's housing white paper and indeed the

:15:09.:15:11.

all-party Parliamentary group on ending homelessness will continue to

:15:12.:15:17.

push these issues. Indeed, we had an informative session on prison levers

:15:18.:15:20.

just this week. Last night, I had the pleasure to watch a new

:15:21.:15:26.

documentary created by Shelter, Channel 4 and ITN, focusing on the

:15:27.:15:29.

plight of hidden homelessness in our country. At the screening, also

:15:30.:15:34.

attended by the honourable member for Dawda Jallow West Norwood, we

:15:35.:15:38.

were able to meet a family with the documentary had followed. -- Dulwich

:15:39.:15:41.

and West Norwood. We were told about the seemingly impossible challenges

:15:42.:15:46.

they face tried to access help. It reminds us why the bill is so

:15:47.:15:50.

necessary and why it must progress through this house and into the

:15:51.:15:53.

other place as people are looking to us to help them in their most

:15:54.:15:56.

desperate times. The honourable member for Harrow East has thank the

:15:57.:15:59.

many people who contributed from both sides of the House, I am

:16:00.:16:03.

grateful to the Minister and officials, colleagues from the

:16:04.:16:07.

committees, and the charities who have backed this so strongly,

:16:08.:16:12.

Crisis, Shelter, St Mungo's and many others. Thank you, Madam Deputy

:16:13.:16:21.

Speaker. I don't want to repeat to many of the comments that have

:16:22.:16:24.

already been mentioned, but I can't not pass on my thanks also to the

:16:25.:16:28.

honourable member for Harrow East for the tireless work and drive and

:16:29.:16:33.

dedication that he has given to this bill, and I very much hope that it

:16:34.:16:38.

does proceed and becomes an act. I would also like to thank the

:16:39.:16:41.

Minister and officials in the department, not least for setting

:16:42.:16:45.

aside the ?48 million that will go alongside to help local authorities

:16:46.:16:48.

support the Imbula mentation of this bill, and I would like to support

:16:49.:16:52.

and thank members opposite who have played such a key role also in this

:16:53.:16:56.

bill, and it has been an absolute pleasure to serve on this committee.

:16:57.:17:01.

It was the first real bill committee that I served, and to see such

:17:02.:17:05.

cross-party working, where we actually worked together in a very

:17:06.:17:10.

consensual and collaborative way, I wish more bills and indeed private

:17:11.:17:14.

members bills worked on this basis. So many years on, since Cathy Come

:17:15.:17:21.

Home, there is no doubt in relation to homelessness that we have become

:17:22.:17:26.

blind, in particular to rough sleeping, but also the homelessness

:17:27.:17:30.

that we do not see, the homeless people that are sofa serving,

:17:31.:17:33.

sleeping with a friend, because we do not see them on our streets, and

:17:34.:17:38.

I am as guilty as anybody else for walking past and those sleeping in

:17:39.:17:42.

doorways, partly because we are advice by lots of charities not to

:17:43.:17:47.

give for all sorts of reasons, occasionally I do buy food. There

:17:48.:17:53.

was an interesting occurrence just a few weeks ago, I was walking to

:17:54.:17:58.

catch the 91 bus back near Leicester Square, the Covent Garden area, and

:17:59.:18:02.

a homeless lady approached me. I thought you was going to ask for

:18:03.:18:07.

money, but she didn't, she asked for a hug, and we had a chat, and she

:18:08.:18:12.

said thank you for talking to me, thank you for engaging with me like

:18:13.:18:15.

a human being, thank you for recognising that just because I am

:18:16.:18:21.

homeless, I am a person. It is important that we do not forget that

:18:22.:18:26.

we cannot ever lose our humanity, honourable members across the Howson

:18:27.:18:30.

said today, one person sleeping rough, one person homeless, one

:18:31.:18:35.

family sofa serving or living in temporary accommodation in one

:18:36.:18:39.

bedroom is not acceptable. It is not acceptable in any country, it is

:18:40.:18:41.

certainly not acceptable in the fifth largest economy in the world,

:18:42.:18:46.

and that is why so proud support this bill, because the record is not

:18:47.:18:50.

great, as the Minister knows. We have seen an increase in rough

:18:51.:18:55.

sleeping, an increase in homelessness, but I am proud the

:18:56.:18:58.

Government is taking action by supporting this bill, which put at

:18:59.:19:02.

its very hard prevention. Yes, we have to do far more when it comes to

:19:03.:19:05.

tackling homelessness and rough sleeping that exists on our streets.

:19:06.:19:09.

But the key must be prevention and making sure that we interact and

:19:10.:19:14.

engage as early as possible with those that come to us asking for

:19:15.:19:17.

help, and that is why I am really proud that this bill increases the

:19:18.:19:21.

number of days to 56, so those coming rightly at the point at which

:19:22.:19:25.

they know they need help, before they reach crisis, we can intervene,

:19:26.:19:30.

engage and help. So I am very much supportive of this bill, I hope that

:19:31.:19:35.

it does progress to the next stage, and I hope all members across this

:19:36.:19:42.

house will supported fully. Thank you very much, Madam Deputy Speaker.

:19:43.:19:47.

And I would like to first of all, Madam Deputy Speaker, apologise for

:19:48.:19:54.

not referring members to my entry in the register of members' interests,

:19:55.:19:58.

so I would like to put that on record, please. I would also like to

:19:59.:20:03.

congratulate my honourable friend, the member for Harrow East, because,

:20:04.:20:09.

having piloted two private members bills through in the previous

:20:10.:20:12.

session of Parliament, I know the hard work that is involved, and I

:20:13.:20:18.

really do wish this bill every success when it goes through the

:20:19.:20:24.

same stages in the other place. I just wanted to put the Cornish

:20:25.:20:28.

perspective, Madam Deputy Speaker, and how grateful we will be in

:20:29.:20:35.

Cornwall for the changes that this bill is going to introduce, because

:20:36.:20:41.

despite falling and employment, by 49% since 2010 in South East

:20:42.:20:46.

Cornwall, and a strengthening local economy, low incomes remain a

:20:47.:20:52.

challenge across Cornwall, and conversely, as a result of our

:20:53.:20:56.

thriving tourist industry, we also find one of the highest proportions

:20:57.:20:59.

of second homes, which naturally has an impact on the housing

:21:00.:21:05.

affordability. Only a strong economy which enables incomes to rise will

:21:06.:21:11.

help everyone to be safe and secure, and for those who deserve support

:21:12.:21:17.

and care receive it. But unfortunately homelessness remains a

:21:18.:21:22.

considerable challenge, and in my constituency, and across Cornwall,

:21:23.:21:28.

and one that is played out in the casework that I see coming across my

:21:29.:21:33.

desk every day. That is why I am supportive of my honourable friend's

:21:34.:21:39.

bill to refocus the efforts of English authorities to prevent

:21:40.:21:44.

homelessness. We have heard of cases where people have had to wait until

:21:45.:21:49.

they have been given the bailiff letter before they have to leave,

:21:50.:21:55.

before the local authority will look at the potential of rehousing them.

:21:56.:21:59.

That is exactly the same in South East Cornwall. And there are

:22:00.:22:05.

considerable difficulties as well with people finding alternative

:22:06.:22:11.

accommodation. Quite often, I see constituents who feel they have been

:22:12.:22:16.

let down by the Liberal Democrat independently led local authority,

:22:17.:22:21.

and that is why my earlier intervention, when I pointed out

:22:22.:22:26.

that the leader of the Liberal Democrats was selling this message

:22:27.:22:30.

that they want to provide more houses, but there is nobody here to

:22:31.:22:35.

represent that party and support this bill, I think it is really,

:22:36.:22:41.

really something that I wouldn't be proud of, and I am so glad to see so

:22:42.:22:46.

many members on this side of the house here today supporting the

:22:47.:22:51.

bill, to genuinely introduce measures to help homelessness. Madam

:22:52.:22:57.

Deputy Speaker, I am aware that other people need to speak now, and

:22:58.:23:02.

I am not going to repeat what other honourable members have already

:23:03.:23:10.

said. But I would just like to finish with, basically, what Crisis

:23:11.:23:16.

and said. It brings a much-needed reform to England's 40-year-old

:23:17.:23:23.

homelessness legislation, and I could not agree more. I really

:23:24.:23:30.

applaud my honourable friend. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I wish to

:23:31.:23:34.

make a short contribution, I wish to add my respect and my blessings to

:23:35.:23:38.

this bill, but first I do refer members to my entry in the register

:23:39.:23:44.

of members per' interests. My respect goes absolutely to the

:23:45.:23:47.

member for Harrow East as the member for Hammersmith said, this surely is

:23:48.:23:55.

a template for MPs and how to get a private member's bill through, and

:23:56.:23:58.

it is also a template for the tone and the thoroughness and the work

:23:59.:24:08.

involved in this bill. I pay credit to those of working committees, it

:24:09.:24:11.

is a pleasure to applaud you now, but I do also agree with other

:24:12.:24:15.

members who have stated this is but one part of a whole strategy, and in

:24:16.:24:21.

that spirit I wish to pay tribute to a lot of people in my community. We

:24:22.:24:26.

do our job, I hope, as MPs, I hope the Lords will play their part, but

:24:27.:24:30.

local government is a vital part of this. There is a housing officer who

:24:31.:24:36.

has since retired recently, Brian Castle, I could call him any time

:24:37.:24:40.

during the day or evening, if I was concerned about somebody in my

:24:41.:24:45.

constituency who I noticed or a constituent told me was homeless. He

:24:46.:24:50.

would tell me that day, within hours, what services were being

:24:51.:24:52.

provided and what help was being given to that person. That is a

:24:53.:24:58.

great asset for me as an MP. Also, I pay credit to my previous borough

:24:59.:25:03.

commander, Colin Kennedy. When he invited me to go out with the police

:25:04.:25:08.

on a Saturday night, Sunday morning shift, I witnessed how amazing the

:25:09.:25:11.

police are in dealing with some people who may be rough sleeping,

:25:12.:25:17.

who may not wish to go to A, and I have seen some amazing policemen

:25:18.:25:22.

cajole them into going to get help, initially against their will, but

:25:23.:25:25.

getting them to get the services they need. I also picture but, this

:25:26.:25:30.

doesn't happen often, to the Secretary of State for Health,

:25:31.:25:34.

because we are now putting mental health on the agenda. -- I also paid

:25:35.:25:40.

tribute. Having psychiatric services in A departments, in the triage

:25:41.:25:43.

system, is a vital part of the whole strategy for everyone, and

:25:44.:25:47.

particularly for people who find themselves rough sleeping or

:25:48.:25:52.

homeless. I won't have been the only person in the NHS treating somebody

:25:53.:25:58.

or injury and being heartbroken, seeing them walk out of A knowing

:25:59.:26:00.

they had no home to go to. I pay tribute to a young schoolgirl

:26:01.:26:12.

in my constituency who sold cupcakes to raise money for Street Link. As

:26:13.:26:20.

she said, she mashed it! -- smashed it. The member for Harrow east I

:26:21.:26:27.

think has smashed his target. Some heroes wear capes, some have spider

:26:28.:26:31.

webs on their faces, but today I think there is a hero wearing a suit

:26:32.:26:40.

and a tie, and a little lapel pin saying, back the bill, reduce

:26:41.:26:43.

homelessness. It is a privilege to be here. Thank you. How can I follow

:26:44.:26:52.

that tribute to my friend from Harrow East? I have known the

:26:53.:26:57.

gentleman for quite some time now. I think since before we first came

:26:58.:27:02.

into the House and I do know he is a very caring man. I also know he is

:27:03.:27:07.

not just a good friend to myself, but to other colleagues on this side

:27:08.:27:14.

and the House and on the other side. So I pay tribute to my friend for

:27:15.:27:18.

getting this through. It is well over due. I would like to pay

:27:19.:27:22.

tribute to the minister for being patient through this. It has been

:27:23.:27:28.

quite a marathon. But it is very good to know that 48 million pounds

:27:29.:27:32.

is going to be put forward for these new duties. And there is sbim macing

:27:33.:27:38.

there could be more -- sbim macing there could be more and to the

:27:39.:27:43.

member for Hammersmith, I have not always seen eye to eye with him, but

:27:44.:27:47.

I have more or less agreed with everything he has said and it has

:27:48.:27:53.

been a pleasure to see him articulate from 9.30 when he started

:27:54.:27:58.

to this point. It is good we can even out the playing field for

:27:59.:28:02.

people who are needy, especially people who were in the armed forces,

:28:03.:28:08.

people with problems with mental health, and people whose life has

:28:09.:28:13.

dealt them a bad blow. We don't have to be reminded of the problem of

:28:14.:28:18.

homelessness, it has been creeping up the years, I know when I leave

:28:19.:28:23.

tonight there are people sleeping in the underpass. It makes my heart

:28:24.:28:28.

sink to see that. Although I have had nothing to do with the proceeds

:28:29.:28:33.

up until this points just to look at everybody who has worked on

:28:34.:28:36.

everything to get to this point through the committees, because I

:28:37.:28:41.

think what we have done today, what you have done is historic and

:28:42.:28:46.

nothing short of miraculous. I'm hoping that this reaches the statute

:28:47.:28:52.

books as soon as possible. Thank you very much. I draw the House's

:28:53.:29:02.

attention to my declaration of interests. I want to see how pleased

:29:03.:29:10.

I am to be here, particularly in front of the member for Harrow East

:29:11.:29:16.

who put his case with passion, with conviction and with real dedication

:29:17.:29:22.

and knowledge about this cause. Also to thank Crisis and Shelter for work

:29:23.:29:28.

behind the scenes and in public advocacy for members to turn up to

:29:29.:29:36.

speak to this bill. I know the work of Crisis, because my mum spent

:29:37.:29:41.

Christmas volunteering with them two years ago and had a fantastic time

:29:42.:29:45.

and would recommend it to all members of the House. The minister

:29:46.:29:48.

and the shadow minister were right when they said that legislation

:29:49.:29:53.

alone would not be sufficient to tackle homelessness, we do need

:29:54.:29:56.

legislation and that is why we are here today to pass the first

:29:57.:30:01.

significant piece of legislation on homelessness for 40 years.

:30:02.:30:04.

Legislation that will among other things end the nonsense that I hear

:30:05.:30:09.

time and time again in my advice surgeries where 40% of cases I see

:30:10.:30:20.

are about housing. That tenants have to, tenants eviction have to wait

:30:21.:30:26.

for a bailiffs notice first. As well as legislation, we also need money

:30:27.:30:32.

from the Government and involvement from third sector organisations. On

:30:33.:30:41.

money, having convened a homelessness summit with the council

:30:42.:30:47.

officers and the leader of Kingston council and the lead member for

:30:48.:30:52.

house and gained knowledge from that meeting, I was able to lobby the

:30:53.:30:56.

Government for homelessness funding with some authority I think. I'm

:30:57.:31:03.

pleased that kin so ston is part -- Kingston is part of oo trail blazer

:31:04.:31:10.

area to receive ?1 million of Government funding to tackle

:31:11.:31:18.

homelessness. This is great news for Kingston, an area in virtually in

:31:19.:31:23.

funding formula does not do very well. Dismissed as a a lot offy area

:31:24.:31:31.

to use the words of Lord Prescott, when he sat where the minister sits

:31:32.:31:36.

today, and this woefully fails to recognise the fact that the area of

:31:37.:31:44.

Kingston has pockets of deprivation as bad as anywhere in London and it

:31:45.:31:49.

has rough sleeping. On the third sector, third seconder organisations

:31:50.:31:55.

are and have always been vital in the fight against homelessness and

:31:56.:31:59.

in homelessness prevention. It is notable that many of these

:32:00.:32:03.

organisations are faith-based organisations, people that as part

:32:04.:32:08.

of their worship and devotion give service to the most needy in the

:32:09.:32:15.

community and in Kingston that includes churches action on

:32:16.:32:19.

homelessness, the YMCA and the churches together that offer their

:32:20.:32:25.

churches for a night shelter in the winter and the Muslim community. I

:32:26.:32:29.

want to thank all those organisations for their work in

:32:30.:32:33.

collaboration with the council to tackle homelessness in Kingston and

:32:34.:32:37.

I look forward to working with all of them and Kingston's council in

:32:38.:32:41.

the implementation of the provisions of this bill and to work how best to

:32:42.:32:50.

spend the funding to end the disgrace of homelessness in Kingston

:32:51.:32:52.

and in our country as a whole. Thank you. Thank you, may I join members

:32:53.:33:03.

in thanking and congratulating my honourable friend the member for

:33:04.:33:08.

Harrow East. I think today we have heard the beginnings of the member's

:33:09.:33:12.

next leaflet for the general election, namely hero for Harrow

:33:13.:33:21.

East. I welcome the emphasis in this bill on preventing homelessness,

:33:22.:33:24.

that is practical and has the benefit of being cost effective and

:33:25.:33:29.

I welcome the fact that Government has committed ?48 million for

:33:30.:33:33.

councils to improve services. But I do welcome the fact that that

:33:34.:33:38.

formula will be flexible enough to ensure the money is directed to

:33:39.:33:42.

those districts that need it most and I'm conscious in in East Lindsey

:33:43.:33:50.

we have estimates it is estimated there are seven rough sleepers in

:33:51.:33:58.

the district. Although that is a tragedy for each one I realise there

:33:59.:34:02.

are other parts of country where those figures are far higher and I

:34:03.:34:10.

would rather that the formula is flexible enough. And I ma I end with

:34:11.:34:17.

-- may I end with the word from crisis that the reduction bill could

:34:18.:34:22.

transform the help available to homeless people and represent one o'

:34:23.:34:26.

of the most important developments for homelessness in nearly 40 years.

:34:27.:34:30.

If that isn't a fantastic sending off for this bill, I don't know what

:34:31.:34:37.

and so I wish this bill a speedily journey to its natural home on the

:34:38.:34:45.

statute back. Pun properly intended. Thank you, it is a pleasure to

:34:46.:34:52.

follow my fellow Home Office private Secretary and I want to pay tribute

:34:53.:35:04.

to the member for Harrow East who has steered this bill through. I

:35:05.:35:12.

look forward to it becoming an Act of Parliament. I have been conscious

:35:13.:35:17.

on previous occasions I didn't want to get in the way and detain the

:35:18.:35:21.

House and I have chose on the speak at this point, because I do think

:35:22.:35:27.

that it shows the real value of Private Members Bills, where you can

:35:28.:35:30.

command support across the House, and you can get things done. It is a

:35:31.:35:35.

useful vehicle to achieve that. It may well be there are modifications

:35:36.:35:39.

needed to the system, but when it work, it works very well and this is

:35:40.:35:45.

an example of where the system shows some value and it is good to see the

:35:46.:35:50.

House working together, that the people in the country will think

:35:51.:35:54.

makes a refreshing change. I thought the issue of prevention was an

:35:55.:35:57.

important one and my honourable friend put it better than I could,

:35:58.:36:01.

and I think that in our public services we are going to have more

:36:02.:36:06.

of a focus on prevention in the years ahead to get things right and

:36:07.:36:13.

relieve the pressures. I think this is bill is considered, logical and

:36:14.:36:17.

sensible and it is right to clarify the importance of rights and

:36:18.:36:23.

responsibilities, not just for local authorities and public services, but

:36:24.:36:27.

for the individual concerned. I think this bill does that very

:36:28.:36:34.

effectively. I want to say some thank yous in relation to my

:36:35.:36:40.

constituency, the area councils, the housing department does a terrific

:36:41.:36:44.

job in making sure that often we do not get to the point where people

:36:45.:36:52.

find themselves homeless and I would pay tribute to the work they do and

:36:53.:36:56.

the work they do with me as their local MP to try and get these things

:36:57.:37:05.

right. I would pay tribute to Crisis and Shelter for their efforts on the

:37:06.:37:10.

ground and getting the provisions of bill right and working with the

:37:11.:37:15.

members to achieve that. In closing I want to thank those who in my

:37:16.:37:22.

constituency do so much work to help those who find themselves in

:37:23.:37:27.

difficult circumstances and over Christmas Reverend Dennis Binks and

:37:28.:37:34.

his contribution led a delegation on many cold winter evenings that

:37:35.:37:40.

helped a number of people and I'm grateful to them and I know local

:37:41.:37:45.

ministers and ministers would send their thanks and appreciation to

:37:46.:37:50.

them. There is more to do. I don't think any member would dispute that.

:37:51.:37:56.

But this bill is significant and it is an important step forward in

:37:57.:38:05.

eradicating homelessness. I'm very pleased and proud to be speaking at

:38:06.:38:10.

this third reading in support of the homelessness reduction bill.

:38:11.:38:14.

Homelessness as we all know, is a chronic issue that successive

:38:15.:38:23.

governments have grappled with. No one could claim it is easy. But as I

:38:24.:38:30.

have said, many times before and many colleagues have said, one

:38:31.:38:34.

person without a home is one too many. It is clearly a duty on

:38:35.:38:39.

everyone who can help to do what they can. Supporting important

:38:40.:38:44.

legislation like this is what we can do in this House. We have

:38:45.:38:50.

scrutinised and improved this Bill. And I know we all hope that it will

:38:51.:38:55.

complete its passage without incident and deliver the change that

:38:56.:39:00.

we want to see. But royal assent is only the start and I want to talk

:39:01.:39:06.

about what the Government will do with the bill you pass to make it a

:39:07.:39:16.

success on the ground. On the 17th January, I announced funding of ?48

:39:17.:39:26.

to local Government to meet the new burdens cost associated with the

:39:27.:39:33.

bill. When aannounced this funding, I was clear it reflected the bill in

:39:34.:39:39.

the form it was in then. I committed to updating the new burdens

:39:40.:39:46.

assessment to reflect any changes to to our assessments. The Government

:39:47.:39:51.

has today brought forward significant amendments that will

:39:52.:39:55.

further strengthen the bill. I'm sure that members on both sides of

:39:56.:39:59.

the House are keen to understand the impact of the amendments on the new

:40:00.:40:05.

burdens costs of the bill. I can confirm that the amendments agreed

:40:06.:40:09.

today are estimated to increase the cost of the bill by ?13 million over

:40:10.:40:14.

the course of this spending review period. This increase is a total new

:40:15.:40:21.

burdens cost of the bill from the ?48 million I had previously

:40:22.:40:28.

announced. To ?61 million and I'm pleased to confirm that the

:40:29.:40:33.

Government will meet these costs. It has been said by many members today

:40:34.:40:38.

or several members today, and I don't know whether it is true, but I

:40:39.:40:43.

suspect that my honourable friend for Harrow East has achived a record

:40:44.:40:49.

of having a Private Members Bill with the most significant cost in

:40:50.:40:55.

terms of spending that has been incurred as a result and in that

:40:56.:40:59.

sense he can consider himself that he has had a very good outcome from

:41:00.:41:06.

the bill that he went forward for just a few months ago.

:41:07.:41:50.

And we all hope that it will complete its passage without

:41:51.:41:53.

incident and deliver the change we want to see.

:41:54.:44:11.

That is a key factor in the reason as to why we have been able to get

:44:12.:44:20.

this bill this far. Just if I may, because I mentioned colleagues

:44:21.:44:26.

earlier from both sides of the House that have been instrumental in

:44:27.:44:31.

bringing this bill forward, I would like to mention my member for

:44:32.:44:37.

Enfield Southgate, who in the absence of a government whip acted

:44:38.:44:44.

as the whip and the wingman for my honourable friend for Harrow east. I

:44:45.:44:49.

would like to thank my long suffering, well not my PPS, but one

:44:50.:44:56.

of our departmental PPSs, the the honourable lady for Taunton Dean for

:44:57.:45:01.

the effort she has also put into this and the only other person I

:45:02.:45:04.

have not mentioned that was on the committee is the the honourable lady

:45:05.:45:10.

for Portsmouth who made an excellent contribution to the debate today.

:45:11.:45:18.

Finally I want to mention also the Parliamentary assistant for my

:45:19.:45:21.

honourable friend for Harrow East, Martine Martin, who I won't say she

:45:22.:45:27.

has kept my honourable friend in check, but she has worked very hard

:45:28.:45:32.

and diligently to assist my honourable friend in bringing this

:45:33.:45:36.

legislation forward. I would like to thank my officials who have done a

:45:37.:45:41.

tremendous job in bringing this bill to where we are and I would like to

:45:42.:45:52.

thank charities, Crisis, Shelter and the landlords' associations and many

:45:53.:46:00.

other different councils and people from local government. I look

:46:01.:46:04.

forward to seeing this bill move on successfully and I'm sure my

:46:05.:46:09.

honourable friend for Harrow East will remain hot on my heels as the

:46:10.:46:14.

bill is implemented and I look forward to working with with him on

:46:15.:46:19.

this important issue. With the will of the House, or the leave of the

:46:20.:46:25.

House even I rise to say a few thank yous and wish the bill good speed

:46:26.:46:31.

through the other place. I would like to thank the no less than 20

:46:32.:46:38.

members who have contributed to the third reading debate this afternoon

:46:39.:46:42.

as we have looked at the particular aspects of bill. This is a

:46:43.:46:48.

complicated, complex bill with 13 clauses, 18 pages before we started

:46:49.:46:54.

the Government amendments today so we are probably on to 21 pages now

:46:55.:47:05.

in terms of the aspects cover. This bill attempts to ensure anyone

:47:06.:47:11.

threatened with homelessness receives help and advice and a plan

:47:12.:47:17.

for how they will secure accommodation. There is aspects of

:47:18.:47:23.

bill we have put in place encompassing the whole public sector

:47:24.:47:28.

to put together a position where this will concentrate the efforts to

:47:29.:47:33.

assist those people that face this terrible crisis in their lives. I

:47:34.:47:41.

thank members particularly for their appreciation of me! However can I

:47:42.:47:50.

say to the the honourable lady for Twickenham, it is all national cup

:47:51.:47:56.

day. Sorry national cake day today, as well as being holocaust memorial

:47:57.:48:09.

day and the heroes are not me or anyone here, the heros are the

:48:10.:48:14.

people who go out every day to combat homelessness throughout this

:48:15.:48:18.

country. Those are the people that deserve the plaudits. I would like

:48:19.:48:23.

to thank all members, thank the more for his kind remarks and also for

:48:24.:48:27.

the extra money that he has managed to stump up. Perhaps we should put

:48:28.:48:33.

his feet to the fire even more, but I will draw a line there. We have

:48:34.:48:38.

done as much as we can today. But we will be and I think it is fair to

:48:39.:48:43.

say that the select committee will be watching carefully to make sure

:48:44.:48:48.

that the implementation of this bill when it becomes an Act of Parliament

:48:49.:48:58.

that funding is available and local authorities are keeping to their

:48:59.:49:03.

job. I would like to reiterate my thanks to the officials from the

:49:04.:49:07.

community and local governments department and I will miss our

:49:08.:49:14.

briefings on a regular basis. And the texts and e-mails requiring my

:49:15.:49:19.

assistance at 11 o'clock at night. But hope any we will see the bill

:49:20.:49:24.

come through to become law and we can can work together on else in the

:49:25.:49:32.

future. Can I commend and thank the charities in particular Crisis but

:49:33.:49:45.

also Shelter and St Mungos and the landlords' association and the local

:49:46.:49:49.

authorities who are after going to be the ones that implement the bill

:49:50.:49:56.

and very importantly we wish that the plan for enactment of the bill

:49:57.:50:01.

now rather than waiting for it to become reality. Finally, I do wish

:50:02.:50:08.

this bill God speed and I hope that the members of the other place will

:50:09.:50:13.

have observed not only our proceedings today, but our second

:50:14.:50:17.

reading debate and the hours we have put in on committee, scrutinising

:50:18.:50:22.

this bill very carefully, so that when they come to consider the bill,

:50:23.:50:26.

they speed it through so it becomes an act as fast as possible so we can

:50:27.:50:31.

combat homelessness on our streets straightaway. The question is that

:50:32.:50:40.

the bill be now read the third time. Many of that opinion say aye. Of the

:50:41.:50:47.

contrary no. I think the ayes have it. The ayes have it. The ayes have

:50:48.:50:58.

it. Order. Counter terrorism and security act amendment bill second

:50:59.:51:05.

reading. Lucy Allen if the honourable lady would like to say

:51:06.:51:14.

now. Oh, now. Stand up. Thank you. Now. Just say now. Lucy Allen. Thank

:51:15.:51:24.

you. I would just like to echo some of the comments that have been made

:51:25.:51:30.

in congratulation to my honourable friend and all colleagues, because

:51:31.:51:36.

it has been an enjoyable morning. I move the bill be read a second time.

:51:37.:51:43.

I'm delighted to have the opportunity to speak in support of

:51:44.:51:50.

my bill. The bill would remove primary schools and nursery from the

:51:51.:52:01.

scope of statutory prevent duty making teachers report on children

:52:02.:52:08.

in their care and seek out signs of extremism. Member s who have an

:52:09.:52:16.

interest will be interested to know there will more opportunities to

:52:17.:52:23.

debate this next Wednesday. The prevent duty is impoemzed is imposed

:52:24.:52:32.

upon almost 600,000 public sector workers. It was brought forward

:52:33.:52:40.

after a proliferation of terror attacks and had the third reading on

:52:41.:52:47.

the day of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris and it was in the run up to

:52:48.:52:55.

the general election in 2015, it would have been a brave politician

:52:56.:53:06.

to oppose this. Now we have had the opportunity to see how this measure

:53:07.:53:11.

operates in practice and we have had the benefit of hind sight and it is

:53:12.:53:18.

time to evaluate the benefit of prevent duty and whether it is

:53:19.:53:26.

working and whether unintended consequences are affecting it. On

:53:27.:53:31.

the home affairs committee we have spoken to critics and supporters of

:53:32.:53:37.

prevent and I wonder whether she has spoken to prevent co-ordinators and

:53:38.:53:50.

police. Thank you. They have done an excellent job and made an excellent

:53:51.:53:59.

report. I have made prevent co-ordinators and there are exam

:54:00.:54:07.

Prime examples of good work being done. This is something the

:54:08.:54:15.

Government needs too take on board and listen to. Given that the the

:54:16.:54:20.

honourable lady has had a few minutes, I'm sorry that I'm

:54:21.:54:28.

intervening, but can I ask, does she think the prevent stuff as a whole

:54:29.:54:33.

is now damaged or does she think there is still hope for prevent in

:54:34.:54:41.

the future? I believe and in preparation for today, that there

:54:42.:54:48.

are many in all our communities who are opposed to prevent and for good

:54:49.:54:53.

reason. I hope to some on to some of the issues that lead them to that

:54:54.:54:56.

conclusion. The Government has a duty to protect the public and it is

:54:57.:55:00.

this duty that the Government is prioritising with seriousness and of

:55:01.:55:04.

course it is right to tackle extremism that leads to violence,

:55:05.:55:07.

where the issue becomes more delicate is the question of

:55:08.:55:11.

suppression of political or religious views that the Government

:55:12.:55:16.

perceives to be too conservative or too extreme and what the Government

:55:17.:55:24.

sees as helpful and benign can feel to the person experiencing the

:55:25.:55:28.

intervention as authoritarian and affect the values that we all hold

:55:29.:55:32.

dear. At the heart of the debate is the sort of society that we want to

:55:33.:55:39.

live in and to what extent we allow the very real terrorist threat that

:55:40.:55:43.

we face to interfere with our fundamental freedoms. Since the

:55:44.:55:57.

intro-Dux there has been increase -- intro-- introduction there has been

:55:58.:56:01.

concerns. I have taken time to meet with groups. Order. Order. Debate to

:56:02.:56:10.

be resumed what day? 24th March. 24th March. Road traffic bill. I

:56:11.:56:22.

move this bill be read now. The second time. The question is that

:56:23.:56:27.

the bill be now read a second time. As many of that opinion say aye. Of

:56:28.:56:40.

the contrino. Trary no. The ayes have it. I move the bill be lead a

:56:41.:56:48.

second time now. The question is the bill be read a second time as many

:56:49.:56:58.

of that opinion say aye. On the contrary no. The ayes have it.

:56:59.:57:09.

Defibrillators vablted Bill. Now. Objection. Second reading, what day?

:57:10.:57:19.

24th February. Barriers Registration Bill, second reading I beg to move

:57:20.:57:24.

that this bill do be read a second time now. The question is that the

:57:25.:57:28.

bill be now read a second time. As many of that opinion say aye. Aye.

:57:29.:57:36.

Of the contrary no. The ayes have it, the ayes have it.

:57:37.:57:42.

Statutory nuisance aircraft noise bill, second reading. I beg to move

:57:43.:57:48.

that the bill be moved for to be read the second time now Ob.

:57:49.:57:52.

Objection taken, second reading what date? 24th March. 24th March. . I

:57:53.:58:00.

beg to move this House do now adjourn. The question is - that this

:58:01.:58:08.

House do now adjourn. Thank you, Madame Deputy Speaker, it is indeed

:58:09.:58:12.

an honour to follow the honourable gentleman who is no longer in his

:58:13.:58:17.

place for Harrow East in recognising the incredibly hard work he has

:58:18.:58:21.

undertaken bringing the very, very important and much-needed bill to

:58:22.:58:24.

this house. Before I begin I would like to declare an interest as the

:58:25.:58:28.

Chair of the all-party parliamentary group on women's health. I'm thank

:58:29.:58:32.

of the for the tunted for this timely debate today as this week is

:58:33.:58:38.

cervical cancer prevention week. The phasing here is important. Cervical

:58:39.:58:43.

canser is known for not being treatable but preventible under the

:58:44.:58:45.

right screening kvenlts the events of this week are about trying to

:58:46.:58:49.

ensure those conditions exist for as many women as possible throughout

:58:50.:58:54.

the UK. I should like it start by acknowledging the invaluable work of

:58:55.:58:59.

Joe's Servical Cancer Trust who I believe are unique in the UK in

:59:00.:59:03.

being dedicated to this issue. I would like it thank them for the

:59:04.:59:07.

work they are doing to maze awareness this week, such as their

:59:08.:59:11.

smear-to-smear campaign and there is still plenty of time to take up the

:59:12.:59:17.

offer, so do, yourself jerks in which women and men are encouraged

:59:18.:59:21.

to take a selfie with smeared lipstick. .

:59:22.:59:33.

-- -- so do yourself, in which women and men are encouraged to take a

:59:34.:59:40.

selfie. I think this is a wonderful event.

:59:41.:59:48.

And I think we should do it today. Yes, I definitely expect the

:59:49.:59:51.

minister to partake in such activity. Thank you to Joe's

:59:52.:59:56.

Cervical Trust for the work they do all year around for the eradication

:59:57.:00:00.

of this disease. It has been my pleasure to work with them on

:00:01.:00:04.

women's health on issues surrounding access to cervical screening and I

:00:05.:00:07.

look forward to do so again in the future. I'm glad the minister is

:00:08.:00:11.

sitting down, I would like to break with my habit in this House and

:00:12.:00:16.

begin of a word of praise for current Government policy. Adds

:00:17.:00:21.

almost all cervical cancers are caused by the HPV vie yu, I welcome

:00:22.:00:27.

the Government's commitment to the HPV vaccination programme, even

:00:28.:00:32.

though I think its affects could be intensified with compulsory sex and

:00:33.:00:37.

education in our schools. This Government has maintained a

:00:38.:00:39.

successful cervical screening programme which is responsible for

:00:40.:00:43.

saving an estimated 5,000 lives per year. This is absolutely to be

:00:44.:00:47.

applauded but not taken for granted. Recent years have seen a drop in the

:00:48.:00:52.

coverage of cervical screening and this risks the incidences of

:00:53.:00:56.

cervical cancer increasing with the danger of further unnecessary deaths

:00:57.:00:59.

when we have been very close to making a breakthrough. We need to be

:01:00.:01:02.

vigilant both to maintain the progress we have already made and to

:01:03.:01:06.

make further ground in tackling this disease. Even with the progress we

:01:07.:01:12.

have made with screening, some 3,000 people a year are diagnosed with

:01:13.:01:16.

cervical cancer and an astonishing 890 people per year die of it. The

:01:17.:01:25.

figures for 14-16 show the coverage in England show the it has been the

:01:26.:01:32.

lowest for 19 years. This is inspite of the so-called Jade Goody effect,

:01:33.:01:39.

when the TV star's death resulted in 4,900 more women getting screened

:01:40.:01:43.

ie. ' Sad to say this effect has been reversed and screening is

:01:44.:01:47.

falling year on year and stands 3% lower than it was in 2011. Screening

:01:48.:01:50.

coverage rates are also falling across all age groups. I cannot

:01:51.:01:54.

stress enough now significant and worrying these statistics are. It

:01:55.:01:58.

means more than one-quarter of women in this country are leaving

:01:59.:02:02.

themselves open to a cancer that can be prevented but which can easily be

:02:03.:02:08.

fatal if left undetected. As we know a general rule of cancer means

:02:09.:02:12.

earlier diagnosis leads to a belter prognosis and cervical cancer is no

:02:13.:02:22.

different. Later you leave it,er poorer the outcomes.

:02:23.:02:27.

It is better for everyone if can it can be prevented and treated Ed

:02:28.:02:30.

Milibandier. Let me address one of the groups with least coverage.

:02:31.:02:35.

Young wi. Women are invited from the age of 25. New research has found

:02:36.:02:41.

over one-quarter of women in the 25-29 age bracket are too

:02:42.:02:44.

embarrassed to attend one. Shockingly the same research

:02:45.:02:47.

suggests that 70% of young women did not believe that smear test could

:02:48.:02:51.

reduce a woman's risk to cervical cancer. Let me be clear, it

:02:52.:02:58.

absolutely K 75% of cervical cancer can be prevented from developing

:02:59.:03:04.

with regular smear testing, yet over 220,000 of the 25-29-year-olds

:03:05.:03:07.

invited for a smear test in England in the last year did not attend. The

:03:08.:03:12.

research sound several other reasons for concern. 24% of young women were

:03:13.:03:17.

unable to recognise a single symptom with only just over half recognising

:03:18.:03:21.

that bleeding outside of periods is a symptom, when it is a most common

:03:22.:03:27.

symptom of cervical cancer. Additionally, fewer than half knew

:03:28.:03:31.

that a smear test looks for precancers cells and almost

:03:32.:03:34.

one-quarter thought it was a test for ovarian cancer. This is not a

:03:35.:03:40.

problem which is unique to the younger generation, whizz the 25-29

:03:41.:03:44.

age groups has the lowest screening coverage, the 45-49 age group has

:03:45.:03:48.

seen the fastest decrease in coverage in recent years. Women over

:03:49.:03:53.

50 display a similar tendency to put off or ignore smear testing with a

:03:54.:03:57.

third having delays or not attended their smear test, whilst a shocking

:03:58.:04:01.

one in ten have delayed for over five years. This is particularly

:04:02.:04:06.

disconcerting because women aged 50, 64 and the most likely to receive an

:04:07.:04:10.

advanced stage diagnosis with half of those being stage 2 or later. As

:04:11.:04:16.

I mentioned earlier, this means more invasive treatment and risks poorer

:04:17.:04:20.

outcomes. By far the biggest risk factor in developing cervical canser

:04:21.:04:34.

is not attending cervical screening. Coverage of screening continues to

:04:35.:04:39.

fall at the current rate, if it does, by 2040 indenses will increase

:04:40.:04:48.

by 16% almost 60 to 64-year-olds and a shocking 85% monk 70-year-olds. If

:04:49.:04:54.

screening falls by another 5% the mortality rate amongst 60 to

:04:55.:04:57.

64-year-olds would double. Age is not the only determining fact o of

:04:58.:05:00.

one's likelihood of screening coverage. One area of particular

:05:01.:05:06.

concern is that only 78% of black and minority ethnic women knew what

:05:07.:05:10.

a cervical screening test was, compared to 91% of white women. This

:05:11.:05:14.

fell to 70% when looking at Asian women alone. Woringly, only 53% of

:05:15.:05:21.

BAME women thought that screening was a necessary health test. This

:05:22.:05:25.

needs to be addressed both nationally and within those

:05:26.:05:30.

communities. The anxieties women were thought to

:05:31.:05:33.

be ugh around screening, embarrass am. Discomfort taking their clothes

:05:34.:05:39.

off around a stranger or discomfort with their body are more heightened

:05:40.:05:43.

among particular cultural communities and social cultural

:05:44.:05:49.

norms. Additionally some mothers in certain minority households would

:05:50.:05:52.

intercept screening invitations from the NHS, leading to distress from

:05:53.:05:59.

younger women, who might have had cultural pressures that they should

:06:00.:06:03.

maintained their virginity. This is exposing them to significant risk of

:06:04.:06:07.

the diseasement. Particular focus could be paid to ensuring that

:06:08.:06:11.

mothers in these communities appreciate the dangers of sevenical

:06:12.:06:16.

cancer. And know that these cultural norms are not worth risking their

:06:17.:06:19.

daughter's lives over. It is clear we need to ensure that coverage does

:06:20.:06:22.

not continue to fau. Indeed we must see that it is raised to an

:06:23.:06:26.

acceptable level. Currently, the outlook for this is mixed. A new

:06:27.:06:31.

report released by jop Joe's Trust for this year's cervical cancer

:06:32.:06:35.

prevention week has found a confused picture of local provision. Whilst

:06:36.:06:39.

there is some evidence of best practice amongst local authorities

:06:40.:06:41.

and clinical commissioning groups, it was often found that almost half

:06:42.:06:47.

of local authorities and almost two-thirds of CCGs in England have

:06:48.:06:52.

not taken steps to increase cervical screening attendance in the last few

:06:53.:06:57.

years. The report also finds willing regional disparies. 65% of CCGs in

:06:58.:07:02.

Yorkshire and the Humber have taken steps to increase screening,

:07:03.:07:07.

compared to just 18% of CCGs in the West Midlands and the north-east

:07:08.:07:10.

regions. Similarly, 78% of local authorities

:07:11.:07:15.

in the north-west have taken action, compared with just 33% in the East

:07:16.:07:20.

Midlands. And perhaps most shockingly of all, in London, where

:07:21.:07:25.

courage coverage lags behind the rest of the country with two-third,

:07:26.:07:31.

20 out of 22 authorities reported no activity at all towards increasing

:07:32.:07:35.

screening coverage. Madame Deputy Speaker, this has all the appearance

:07:36.:07:39.

of a postcode lottery. We are risking a situation where some areas

:07:40.:07:42.

of England see coverage continuing to fall, whilst other areas make

:07:43.:07:48.

progress. Nobody wants to see circumstances where your likelihood

:07:49.:07:52.

of developing serve Sol cancer is determined in no small part by the

:07:53.:07:55.

area in which you live and this Government should play its part to

:07:56.:07:58.

ensure there is improvement across the board. So what can be done? One

:07:59.:08:04.

must seek to make access to cervical cancer screening as easy as

:08:05.:08:08.

possible. Screening takes just five minutes and can save a life. Great

:08:09.:08:12.

strides have been made in recent years for another simple test - that

:08:13.:08:16.

of blood pressure to be taken at every available opportunity. This

:08:17.:08:20.

has been remarkably successful. This is every reason we cop expect to do

:08:21.:08:24.

similarly for cervical cancer screening. In this I fear the

:08:25.:08:28.

Government have taken a step in the strong direction in recent years.

:08:29.:08:30.

Cuts to sexual health funding have led to were vision of cervical

:08:31.:08:35.

screening through sexual haelted services being significantly

:08:36.:08:39.

reduced. Joe's trust to stand up screening is available to all women

:08:40.:08:44.

through sexual health services in less of a third in areas, once again

:08:45.:08:48.

pointing to a postcode lottery. This seems like a Griff mistake when one

:08:49.:08:54.

considers amongst the 25-29 age group over one-third of women

:08:55.:08:59.

expressed the wish it be able to access screening through services

:09:00.:09:04.

whereas one in five women want over 50 wanted more flexibly timed access

:09:05.:09:09.

N my own GP practice, it only offers cervical screening, I think it is

:09:10.:09:13.

every Tuesday morning, so you can imagine n temples accessibility, it

:09:14.:09:17.

makes it very, very difficult and would actually deter a lot of women

:09:18.:09:21.

in terms of actually going for that appointment. I hope the Government

:09:22.:09:27.

will look again at the amount their cuts to Government funding have

:09:28.:09:31.

affected sexual health services particularly with regard to the

:09:32.:09:34.

availability of cervical screening. We must move with the times. With

:09:35.:09:40.

invitation mentions as I mentioned earlier, letters are old-fashioned.

:09:41.:09:45.

While I appreciate many services use text messages or remirnsd, we should

:09:46.:09:50.

seek to ensure that rip minders for screening are to the greatest

:09:51.:09:55.

possible extent accessible in the form of the patient's choice be it

:09:56.:10:00.

text or e-mail. A digital step seems necessary in the modern word. We

:10:01.:10:04.

must be cautious about the wording of the reminderings. It has been

:10:05.:10:07.

brought to my attention the currently the radio tour sent out

:10:08.:10:11.

for reminders reads "It is your choice whether to have a cervical

:10:12.:10:14.

screening test or in the and this leaflet aims to help you decide." I

:10:15.:10:20.

fear to see how this in anyway urges as many women as possible to attend

:10:21.:10:26.

a cervical cancer screening when we know far too many across all agesp

:10:27.:10:30.

and et Nisities are content to put it off for a potentially draining

:10:31.:10:33.

Russ length of time. I would implore the NHS to reconsider the wording of

:10:34.:10:37.

the leaflets and include in them greater degree of urgency because

:10:38.:10:40.

the phrase willing undoubtedly have an effect. You will note, Madame

:10:41.:10:44.

Deputy Speaker, that this afternoon I have perhaps not been my usual

:10:45.:10:49.

challenging sell of because of the gravity of issue at hand. --

:10:50.:10:53.

challenging self. Because of the gravity I will happy recognise the

:10:54.:10:57.

area where the Government is on the right path. The inclusion of a

:10:58.:11:00.

commitment to increase cervical cancer screening in the #20e 158

:11:01.:11:04.

cancer strategy is particularly welcome, as is the Government's

:11:05.:11:08.

commitment to which PV primary screening the implementation of

:11:09.:11:11.

which could prevent at least 400 cases of cervical cancer per year. I

:11:12.:11:15.

will finish by asking several questions of the Government:

:11:16.:11:21.

Where they committed to an increase in the level of tests? For the

:11:22.:11:30.

Government ensure that we see cervical screening rates are rising

:11:31.:11:36.

once again? Wormy IT systems for HPV primary screening be up and running

:11:37.:11:40.

as planned? I will be experienced unnecessary delays that could result

:11:41.:11:45.

in a avoidable diagnoses? By the minister look at the quality and

:11:46.:11:49.

outcomes framework and centres for GPs around cervical screening to

:11:50.:11:54.

make sure that GP practices act incentivise to pursue screening

:11:55.:11:58.

coverage. How does the Government intend to address the problems with

:11:59.:12:03.

the accessibility of cervical cancer screening I was particularly high to

:12:04.:12:08.

reach groups like the AMA women? It is not unthinkable that could see

:12:09.:12:12.

the effective eradication of cervical cancer if we take the

:12:13.:12:17.

necessary action. While I applaud the Governmented commitments to

:12:18.:12:21.

tackling cervical cancer, I very much hope that the minister will

:12:22.:12:26.

take note of the research from this cervical cancer trust and work with

:12:27.:12:29.

them to identifying whether there are gaps in provision and take that

:12:30.:12:35.

action now. Just before I call the minister, can I just say that Jade

:12:36.:12:40.

Goody lived in my constituency and 20 died, I wrote to her mother that

:12:41.:12:47.

her. 'S death had not been in vain because it had drawn attention to

:12:48.:12:54.

the situation and war generations of women of the action that they must

:12:55.:12:59.

take to protect themselves and give themselves a chance. I am shocked

:13:00.:13:05.

that the honourable lady has drawn to the attention of the House this

:13:06.:13:08.

afternoon that that has not been the case. I sincerely hope that her

:13:09.:13:17.

bringing this to -- debate to the House and the ministers' attention

:13:18.:13:21.

to the points she has made, and I'm sure he's about to address them,

:13:22.:13:29.

will reverse that situation. Minister,... Thank you. I given that

:13:30.:13:38.

intervention. May I also start by thanking the member for her

:13:39.:13:40.

constructive speech. It was challenging to was the end as she

:13:41.:13:46.

raised for important points and I shall try and address those. -- fore

:13:47.:13:53.

important points. At the graduate out on the work she does. Can I just

:13:54.:14:01.

say, in terms of the trust and the smear for smear campaign, that

:14:02.:14:05.

during her remarks I was able to check with the PBS and the Whip, and

:14:06.:14:10.

after the intervention, we would be delighted to do a stealthy with her

:14:11.:14:15.

in terms of smear for smear which we can use. It is about asking

:14:16.:14:22.

challenging questions but also about awareness and some of the points

:14:23.:14:25.

being made were about awareness. Is the beginning to help a charity like

:14:26.:14:31.

this one we will certainly do. Perhaps after we finish we can do

:14:32.:14:39.

that. As the member said, there is something like nine women a day

:14:40.:14:43.

being diagnosed with this cancer and something like two women -- Jew to

:14:44.:14:50.

the women a day are dying, and it is a cancer that is most entirely

:14:51.:14:53.

preventable, even though the symptoms are hard to detect as she

:14:54.:14:59.

talked about that in her remarks. I will cover that. She made the point

:15:00.:15:04.

in her remarks that the cancer strategy that has been in force as

:15:05.:15:10.

far covered screening and how we're going to go forward with that, and

:15:11.:15:15.

indeed talks about the need right across the cancer is having a

:15:16.:15:20.

consistent approach in terms of survival rates, early diagnosis, 62

:15:21.:15:29.

day referral treatment time, and the whole cancer experience, one of the

:15:30.:15:35.

things I always say is that I personally think, and I had been

:15:36.:15:41.

guilty of this in the past, that we spend too much time concerned about

:15:42.:15:44.

the health service in terms of its bricks and mortar, and not enough

:15:45.:15:48.

time thinking about some of the things that matter probably more to

:15:49.:15:53.

our constituents like survival rates for cancer, and we should be

:15:54.:15:59.

evaluating and holding our CCG is to account in terms of differential

:16:00.:16:02.

survival rates. That matters the more people in terms of the impact

:16:03.:16:07.

on their lives that perhaps some of the reconfiguration is about A

:16:08.:16:10.

that we talk about, frankly much more often. If we turn to cervical

:16:11.:16:19.

cancer, and I'm going to talk about the screening programme that the

:16:20.:16:25.

member made some good points about. She didn't talk about the campaign

:16:26.:16:30.

that has been waged in some parts about screening under the age of 25,

:16:31.:16:34.

and I know that that isn't something that the trust wants, but I will

:16:35.:16:41.

cover that. She mentioned the importance of the enhanced screen

:16:42.:16:46.

that is coming in and she asked a question about the IT systems to

:16:47.:16:51.

support that. We are planning that that will be in place. I can confirm

:16:52.:16:55.

that because there has been questions about that, by April 2019,

:16:56.:17:05.

that will be rolled out then. That will be in place, and I can give her

:17:06.:17:11.

that assurance. I'm also going to talk a little bit about the points

:17:12.:17:15.

you raise about GP awareness and clinical practice, because as she

:17:16.:17:20.

said, there isn't enough awareness of the symptoms of cervical cancer.

:17:21.:17:25.

It is hard to detect in terms of symptoms, it tells of abdominal

:17:26.:17:30.

bleeding and the many causes of that. I'm also going to cover, she

:17:31.:17:34.

rightly said, that the UK is doing a lot in the area of vaccination. In

:17:35.:17:40.

terms of progress, that is probably the area that is good to make the

:17:41.:17:43.

biggest difference in terms of getting rid of this disease, which

:17:44.:17:47.

as the Speaker said, is quite preventable. In terms of screening,

:17:48.:17:54.

I shall start by saying the good news, which is that we do it screen,

:17:55.:18:00.

we have screened the million women a year between the ages of 25 and 49

:18:01.:18:06.

every three years. After that, to the age of 64, it is five years. The

:18:07.:18:12.

view is that if that screening where not being done it would be something

:18:13.:18:19.

like 5000 more deaths a year from this than the 700 to 800 that we

:18:20.:18:27.

have now. By Tyler make early is that there are very few areas

:18:28.:18:31.

regarding cancer treatment and performance in which the UK could

:18:32.:18:36.

see themselves as a world leader. There are very few areas that at...

:18:37.:18:42.

In terms of screening, the figures that we have from OECD show that we

:18:43.:18:49.

are number four out of the 30 countries. We do more than countries

:18:50.:18:55.

like Germany or Austria. She raised the point, and she is right, that

:18:56.:19:00.

screening rates are going down. They are going down across the world and

:19:01.:19:05.

we understand -- don't understand why that is but they are going down.

:19:06.:19:09.

We need to do more to improve that. Something like 25% of women who

:19:10.:19:13.

should be screened and not being screened. That percentage increases

:19:14.:19:18.

for women coming for their first screening at the age of 25. The

:19:19.:19:26.

percentage of people not coming something like 33%. As the member

:19:27.:19:32.

said, the incidence of that is higher among ethnic minority women

:19:33.:19:37.

and it is higher among women with learning disabilities and it is a

:19:38.:19:43.

social correlation to deprivation. Perhaps that is predictable but it

:19:44.:19:49.

is true. The reasons for that, the member talked about embarrassment, I

:19:50.:19:55.

think the trust has done work on this, some people say and have no

:19:56.:19:59.

time to go to their GP or the ask Ed of the procedure for stop the just

:20:00.:20:05.

thing to do is not important. Of course, we need to do what we can do

:20:06.:20:10.

to make this better. She raised some very interesting points about the

:20:11.:20:17.

letter that she read. I am told that they are reviewing that

:20:18.:20:22.

correspondence and those letters. It strikes me that she made a point in

:20:23.:20:25.

her speech that we are all on the same side, and I think one way

:20:26.:20:32.

forward is perhaps if she and the trust would come and speak to me

:20:33.:20:36.

about some of those suggestions, they are pushing at an open door.

:20:37.:20:42.

That is something we can do. In the next few weeks. We're trying to make

:20:43.:20:47.

the information more accessible in particular for those women with

:20:48.:20:51.

learning difficulties, because there are specific issues about their

:20:52.:20:55.

health in general, but this in particular. As the member for

:20:56.:21:02.

Dewsbury said, a lot of what is going on in trying to target those

:21:03.:21:05.

GP practice areas and understand why they have such high incidences of no

:21:06.:21:14.

shows and, as we say, it is correlated with ethnic minorities

:21:15.:21:17.

and there may be some behavioural norms around this for reasons that

:21:18.:21:25.

were mentioned. At this point I will just say, the Chancellor gave

:21:26.:21:31.

?650,000 from the tampon tax to the trust, and they have used that money

:21:32.:21:40.

in this area, trying to understand behaviourally by still a quarter of

:21:41.:21:43.

million are not coming forward for screening despite a second reminder.

:21:44.:21:49.

We are increasing awareness of that. But there is more to do and I'm

:21:50.:21:52.

happy to speak to her and the trust about it. There have been petitions

:21:53.:22:00.

and discussions about lowering the age limit in respect of screening. I

:22:01.:22:07.

was pleased that the member of Dewsbury didn't raise this guys this

:22:08.:22:11.

is being looked at again by the UK screening committee, ideal world

:22:12.:22:19.

health organisation, and indeed by the trust in question, and it is

:22:20.:22:23.

agreement that earlier screening would do more harm than good. The

:22:24.:22:29.

reason for that is that is particularly likely to lead to false

:22:30.:22:34.

positives, which would create a pressure for biopsies that aren't

:22:35.:22:40.

necessary, and notwithstanding the tragic case mentioned, the view is

:22:41.:22:49.

that for those women, testing earlier would not only not be

:22:50.:22:54.

beneficial, Edward Ashley make things worse. -- it would actually

:22:55.:23:03.

make things worse. It is particular important for them that they

:23:04.:23:07.

understand the symptoms are good in their GPS quickly as possible. Just

:23:08.:23:13.

to emphasise the point, there is no EU country which screens under the

:23:14.:23:21.

age of 25. I will command and onto -- about vaccination in a moment,

:23:22.:23:24.

but that is one of the things that will make a difference in that age

:23:25.:23:29.

group, as well as helping with the no shows in terms of screening

:23:30.:23:33.

because we are getting much better in terms of uptake in numbers of

:23:34.:23:39.

vaccinations. The member of Dewsbury talked about the HP virus as being a

:23:40.:23:43.

significant indicator of risk, and one of the things that is being

:23:44.:23:49.

introduced on the back of the normal historic screening is screening for

:23:50.:23:54.

that virus when you first screen occurs, that is -- if that is

:23:55.:24:00.

present, the patient will be monitored more closely. It is a good

:24:01.:24:06.

indicator of the probability of cervical cancer developing. From

:24:07.:24:11.

April 2019 that will be rolled out nationally. We are only forefront of

:24:12.:24:17.

countries doing that. The IT system, I used to work with ID, she's right

:24:18.:24:22.

to raise the question, it will be ready in terms of a referral system

:24:23.:24:29.

and database. She talked about the need for GP outcomes framework,

:24:30.:24:36.

she's right about that. We have done work, NHS England has done work in

:24:37.:24:41.

terms of making sure that JP -- GP awareness is as high as it can be,

:24:42.:24:48.

that women are coming in with... Knowing that it is a serious thing

:24:49.:24:53.

and a century a gynaecologist. We need to keep working on awareness.

:24:54.:24:59.

The HP virus, which is the indicator of this cancer, and in fact other

:25:00.:25:07.

cancers, does lend itself to vaccination. The Government is one

:25:08.:25:11.

of the first countries in the world to bring in a very high volume of

:25:12.:25:17.

vaccination to girls of the aged 12 to 13. Last year, 85% of year nine

:25:18.:25:24.

girls of that age receive this vaccination, which almost entirely

:25:25.:25:27.

takes away the likelihood of cervical cancer developing. That 85%

:25:28.:25:33.

is clearly a high and about than the screening number, and it will help

:25:34.:25:36.

in terms of some of the people in the areas that have been

:25:37.:25:40.

traditionally hard to get to. It is one of the ways that we will address

:25:41.:25:46.

that is difficult to get to grips. There has been some discussion as to

:25:47.:25:51.

whether that screening... Because the HP virus does lead to other

:25:52.:25:55.

cancers, it should also be given to boys. That is being talked about now

:25:56.:26:01.

and we are making a decision on that in the next few months. At the

:26:02.:26:05.

moment, it is only girls. Subtitles resume at 2300

:26:06.:26:14.

for The Week in Parliament.

:26:15.:26:21.

Live coverage of the day's proceedings in the House of Commons, including the remaining stages of the Homelessness Reduction Bill and the second reading of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (Amendment) Bill.