17/07/2017 House of Commons


17/07/2017

Live coverage of questions in the House of Commons to communities and local government secretary Sajid Javid and his ministerial team.


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House of Commons. First we will start with questions to said Javad

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and his ministerial team. -- Sajid Javed. Before we come to

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questions for the Secretary of State for communities I am sure that the

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whole House will join me in offering our congratulations to offering our

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congratulations to Jimmy Murray and others in their respective successes

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at Wimbledon. I am sure that colleagues will also join the in

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offering warmest our warmest congratulations to Roger Federer.

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The first person, the oldest person to win at grand slam singles title

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Ken Rosewall won the 1972 and the first man to win a Wimbledon title

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without dropping a set sense Bjorn Borg in 1976. We are celebrating the

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achievements of our very great man indeed. Mr Alex Chock.

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No one should find themselves without a roof over their heads.

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That is why they've committed to eliminating it altogether by 2027.

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We are ensuring that more people get the help they need before they face

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homelessness. I'm grateful to the Right Honourable gentleman. I

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manifesto makes it clear that rough sleeping is unacceptable and I'm

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delighted he my view we should demand nothing less than complete

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eradication. Kenny Spain what is being done in England and in

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Cheltenham to end this? -- can he explain? I know he has done a lot in

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his own constituency. As shares concerns and that is one of the

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reasons why in our recent manifesto we announced we would be piloting

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the concept of housing first that has worked well elsewhere. He will

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also note that in Cheltenham the time will be receiving ?1 million of

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our ?10 million social impact bond money which will help the most

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vulnerable rough sleepers get the help they need. The Secretary of

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State spoke about homelessness in the third World people living on the

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street. In my constituency the council is spending ?35 million a

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year on people living in hostels and temporary accommodation and there

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are many living in households with another family because they cannot

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afford a roof over their head. His ambitious plans do not tell people

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here and now. What is the doing now to make sure the people in Hackney

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South and Shoreditch and across the country can get a roof over their

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heads? The honourable lady reminds us all that homelessness is much

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more than people living on the streets. There are many more

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families and people affected across the country including of course in

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London. One of the things we're doing I'm sure she will welcome is

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the announcement in the recent budget that we will be putting ?100

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million into low-cost and move on accommodation which will provide at

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least 2000 places. The first point, in my constituency many hundreds of

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my constituents could be at the risk of homelessness. Does he think that

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housing associations should be doing more to refer individuals to support

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farriers arise? This sometimes happens with larger housing

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associations but often smaller ones fall short when it comes to

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referring constituents for support. She refers to how we can try and

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prevent homelessness to a car in the first place. She is right to say

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some housing associations do a much better job in these types of rebels

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when arrears to take place. There is also a better role for local

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authorities and the recent homelessness reduction Bill will

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help to achieve that. Surely the Secretary of State must give some

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hope of oppression that this Government believes in something. If

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he believes in one thing it must be sorting out the social housing

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market, building homes for people at an affordable rent and good quality

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ones, too. I know he cares passionately about this but it is

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worth reminding him that statutory homelessness reached its peak in

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2003 and since then it is half that number. Of course more needs to be

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done and social homes, the right time of social homes in the right

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places have big role to play. Will he join me in commending the work of

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YMCA black country and excellent chief executive as they want to

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persuade through the open programme more private individuals to open

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their homes to young people? I will very much commend the work they do

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in his constituency and throughout the Black Country and throughout the

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country. It is exactly the kind of thing you want to look and see if it

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can do more. There was a programme on TV where they said if he can play

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we will take it away. Those who do not understand the High Court

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process and who the High Court are not aware of them paying the money,

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how will they help those people at the last minute before the midnight

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hour? I agree that there are very difficult cases and more should be

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done to help those vulnerable people. I know that examples of

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councils to a much better job than others and I hope through the

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workroom murdering because of the Homelessness Reduction Act we can

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spread that good practice to more councils. -- I hope that through the

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work we're doing with the Homelessness Reduction Act.

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Landlords can check the safety of their buildings and take the

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necessary action and reassure residents they are safe in their

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homes. The residential landlords Association based in my constituency

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has raised concerns about the complexity and sometimes

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contradictory guidance from various bodies including Government on fire

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safety to private landlords. What plans does he have two addresses?

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The honourable gentleman will understand in the wake of the

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tragedy at grand full tower -- Grenfell Tower the Government had to

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provide guidance in a manner of days and had to update that guidance. I

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met with representatives in my constituency on the 6th of July.

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Will he confirm that it was this Government that introduced the

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requirement for private landlords to smoke detectors and carbon monoxide

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detectors in private homes and will introduce safety checks by later

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this year. Also there is an overriding responsibility for all

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our lives to make their properties saved by their tenants. -- for all

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landlords to make their properties saved for their tenants. It is their

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responsibility to make sure whether in the private or public sector that

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those properties are safe for the tenants. In the wake of the tragedy

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at Grenfell Tower we should be looking to see what more can be

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done. I am concerned that a survey of social landlords find there was

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little confidence they would be able to take enforcement action to make

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sure that leaseholders also comply with fire safety regulations

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including fitting fire detectors which is essential to keeping

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alternate saved. Will he response to the request from Nottingham City

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Council seeking additional powers for them to do so? I can tell her

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that that is a very important issue and I will certainly look carefully

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at that request. It is important that all leaseholders recognise the

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responsibilities and legal owners of those properties and resell Risley

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in the case of Camden for a number of towers were evacuated that there

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was a lot wrong in terms of fire safety in the building including

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fibre that been there and simply not. I have pointed out to the Mayor

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of Birmingham that the home in which he lives is also applied. -- is also

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clad in a block. Is there a register where they can push out information

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to private landlords to let them know what they should be looking for

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in regards to cladding? You will know as the legal owners of

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buildings will they be private landlords or others they would have

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the best information on what kind of cladding may not exist. Grenfell

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Tower What we did soon after that tragedy is making sure we got better

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guidance on how to handle that identification process. Harriet

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Harman. Could you be more specific about what he will make available in

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guidance for Tarbox. -- tower blocks. He spoke of the legal duty

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to keep tenants saved by the also the responsibility to keep a

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balanced budget and since they have been in Government since 2010 budget

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has merely have in Southwark. I don't think improvements such as

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sprinklers should be at expense of improvements tenants are wearing in

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other areas. Will he come up with our ?100 million needed in

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Southwark? We have been very clear in the wake of the Grenfell Tower

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tragedy they should carry out checks and rigidly. -- immediately. Where

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local authorities cannot afford it we're very happy to talk to them and

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provide the support they need. In the five weeks since the Grenfell

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Walk tragedy, there has been contradictory advice. They do look

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to the DC LG for real advice about what they will pay for. When is the

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Secretary of State going to make it clear what is the right thing for

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those in tower blocks to do and how they will pay for the improvements

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necessary? -- Grenfell Tower. We have set up an expert panel to

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provide more advice that can be relied on. In terms of funding, the

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government has made its position clear. There was no need to wait. If

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any work is necessary and has been identified, local authorities must

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get on with it and where they cannot afford it, they must approach us.

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With your permission, Mr Speaker, I will answer this question with

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question number 11. Radical reform is needed to build new homes now and

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in the future. Our housing White Paper sets out how we will do that.

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I think the honourable gentleman meant to be other way round. Supply

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has not matched the demand. I beg your pardon, Mr Speaker. The

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secretary of state will be aware that Cornwall recently received by

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the million pounds for self build housing. Does he support

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neighbourhood plans who are looking at providing that facility instead

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of providing registered social landlord properties said that we

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over this side of the house can not only give people the ladder, but

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also the spade, spirit level and the trowl as well? As you say, supply

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has not met demand and one of the ways to get this right is to have

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more self build homes and I understand in Cornwall Council some

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255 people have registered and the HCA is working to deliver 54 plots

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in the heartlands in Cornwall. Our recent announcement of the

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house-building funds will help with this. Telford is playing its part in

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tackling the national shortage of housing. Can the Minister confirm

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that this fund will also accept bids for the purpose of regeneration and

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renewal of Newtown infrastructure? What I can tell my honourable friend

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is that as we have shown through the prospectus of the housing

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infrastructure, we have given a broad definition of infrastructure,

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so we would welcome bids that would support regeneration. She is

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absolutely right to highlight this issue where we do need new homes.

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Often infrastructure is the missing bits and that is exactly why we have

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launched this fund. Numbers matter, but so does the quality of new

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homes. I'm sure the Secretary of State has seen the awful stories in

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the press. Why is it that you can buy something in the shop and you

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have the powers of redress, but you spend hundreds of thousands on a new

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home and you struggle to get what you paid for? The honourable

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gentleman is right to highlight this issue of making sure that when

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people buy new homes, if things go wrong, they do get proper redress.

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There are mechanisms in place, both in the private sector and through

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statutory means, but it is something that needs to be carefully looked

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at. I will be grateful if the Minister could confirm why the

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number of affordable homes built in the last year fell to the lowest

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level in 24 years? Well, Mr Speaker, the first thing I will happily tell

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the honourable lady is that the number of council houses that have

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been built in the last six years is more than double what was built in

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the previous 13 years. Council houses offer an important choice to

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people in terms of affordability. We have seen over 900,000 homes built

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in recent years and 300,000 of them are affordable. What more can he do

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to encourage rural council to provide more homes in the market

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towns and in the villages instead of plonking the developments on the

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edge of cities like Exeter in unsustainable urban sprawl? I'd like

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to see all councils playing an active role in getting more homes

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built in the area, whether is the council working with private

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partners, that is to be welcomed. To make sure homes are in the right

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players, local people should be involved at a consultative level. To

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get supply and demand imbalance it needs successful developers and

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confident buyers. Will my honourable friend help people who are

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leaseholders. I'd like to commend my honourable friend for the work he

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has done in this area, showing up the leasehold abuses that do take

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place, especially when it comes to buying new houses. In the White

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Paper we said we will be bringing forward proposals and we will be

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doing that very shortly. The Prime Minister has blamed weak housing

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policy for doing so badly at the election and now a government

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officials speak of the Secretary of State yesterday has said the same

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thing, but blamed selfish Conservative councils who are not

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telling the truth about housing needs in the area. Isn't the truth

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that this is a desperate bid to shift the blame from the Secretary

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of State who is failing on all fronts with regard to housing? With

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affordable housing at a 24 year low, will he change tact and backed

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Labour's proposal to build genuinely affordable homes? He can even offer

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it to the Prime Minister and we will back into CO2 this house. The truth

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is that when he was housing minister at the end of the last government

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housing starts fell to the lowest level in almost 100 years. Since

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then new-build housing is that a nine-year high and if he supports us

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in implementing the housing White Paper then we can work together.

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Thank you, Mr Speaker. All core cities have benefited from city

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deals. Areas covering five course cities including Bristol have agreed

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evolution deals which provide funding powers and support economic

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growth will regeneration. The Department for exiting the EU

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has not made any approach to discuss how cities can be represented during

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the EU Brexit negotiations. Cranie have words with his colleagues in

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that department and tell them that they really ought to be talking to

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our cities? Looking at the list, I have lived in one of them so I know

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a bit about them. All I can say is that the Secretary of State for

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Exiting the European Union has written to all core cities that have

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a mayor to say he will meet with them over the summer. Funding for

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our core cities should be something we are proud of, but regeneration in

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the North is relying on funding from non-core cities. Will my honourable

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friend confirm that this government remains committed to coastal

:20:29.:20:33.

communities funding moving forward? I can confirm to the honourable

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gentleman that we will of course deliver on our general election

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manifesto pledge to extend coastal communities funding, but I'd also

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like to take the opportunity to thank him for the work he did when

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he was doing this job. I'm all too aware that I am walking in the shoes

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a giant. Devolution as promoted by the former Chancellor and Prime

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Minister is no doubt dead in the water. Few real powers and even less

:21:06.:21:09.

fiscal devolution has taken place and the only constant theme is year

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on year cuts passed down to our local government base, the very base

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that should be the foundation on which devolution is built upon. So

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when will the Minister bring forward a meaningful plan for devolution and

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secondly, what would they address continuous cuts to our local

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government base. Devolution has been one of the great successes of this

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government. In truth I have been delighted to welcome Conservative

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colleagues as our new Metro Mayors. In truth the Labour Party talked

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about devolution for years. What they do? Absolutely nothing. We are

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getting longer devolution and we are delivering for every of this

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country. I welcome the announcement from the Minister a moment ago about

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the coastal communities fund. He will be aware there is a major

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regeneration scheme being developed by North East Lincolnshire Council

:22:18.:22:21.

which I wrote to the secretary of state a couple of weeks ago about.

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Will the Minister agreed to meet me and other representatives from the

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area so we can move this forward very quickly? Yes. Well done. Alan

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Brown. Thank you, Mr Speaker. My right honourable friend the

:22:41.:22:44.

Secretary of State for Scotland is leading on Scotland's city deals. He

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spoke to the Scottish Government as recently as last Thursday. Direct

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discussions have taken place between this department and the Minister.

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It's interesting to note that the DUP got ?1 billion in a couple of

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weeks, but the deals of Scotland are still on the table. Can I ask the

:23:13.:23:18.

Minister to get his colleague to push these details along. There has

:23:19.:23:25.

been a failure of meaningful talks. In relation to be issued great deal,

:23:26.:23:35.

others than was a meeting in January and April to discuss priorities for

:23:36.:23:39.

the deal. In truth, I would have thought that members of the Scottish

:23:40.:23:42.

National Party would welcome the fact that they have a half ?1

:23:43.:23:48.

billion upwards Glasgow, 53 million to Inverness in the Highlands and a

:23:49.:23:54.

to Aberdeen. Why don't they get behind the own cities in the city

:23:55.:23:59.

deals instead of sniping from the sidelines? Sorry, Mr Speaker. I was

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rising 46. My constituency is being blighted by planning applications

:24:15.:24:26.

that are inappropriate. Despite trying to... Perhaps it can offer me

:24:27.:24:33.

some advice about the village that is caught between a rock and a hard

:24:34.:24:39.

place. If he meets with the housing minister I'm sure there can be some

:24:40.:24:47.

resolution. The honourable gentleman has plunged his feet into the water

:24:48.:24:51.

with regards to city deals and we wish him well with further

:24:52.:24:56.

contributions in the house. Mr Kevin Robinson. Not too far from the

:24:57.:25:04.

Scottish city deals are the great prospects for Belfast. The Secretary

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of State was kind enough to meet us prior to the election and since the

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election we have the agreement that we will bring forward city deals in

:25:12.:25:15.

Northern Ireland. Can I ask the Minister to engage ministerial aide

:25:16.:25:20.

to make sure we get the best deal for Belfast and our city region? Mr

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Speaker, we have already engaged with Belfast on the city deals on we

:25:28.:25:31.

look forward to working with them to make sure we can deliver on the

:25:32.:25:36.

promise. It is long overdue that Northern Ireland have some city

:25:37.:25:45.

deals. They have succeeded in England and Wales and Scotland, now

:25:46.:25:50.

it is Northern Ireland was matter. The reality is that Northern Ireland

:25:51.:25:55.

deal with the DUP has the Northern Ireland get ?1 billion which is all

:25:56.:26:02.

Scotland's two put together. The Edinburgh deal has been delayed and

:26:03.:26:06.

the economic Secretary has had meetings cancelled at late notice by

:26:07.:26:11.

the UK Government. Can he confirm whether the UK Government takes

:26:12.:26:14.

Scottish city deals seriously and will they meet the ambition of the

:26:15.:26:18.

esh a deal, the tea cities Deal and the sterling deal?

:26:19.:26:28.

Sure we take the entirety of Scotland's ambitious plans very

:26:29.:26:34.

seriously and the Secretary of State is leading on this very important

:26:35.:26:37.

policy. If there is something else who thinks we can do she must let me

:26:38.:26:43.

know. The city deals so far have seen all of the planned Scottish

:26:44.:26:46.

cities are short-changed by the UK Government. The Scottish Government

:26:47.:26:53.

has put in far more than this UK Government has sought to find. If

:26:54.:26:59.

the Northern Ireland deal can be put through how long will Scottish

:27:00.:27:01.

cities have to wait till they have the money? All of the Scottish

:27:02.:27:06.

cities agreed mutually with the Government for city deals. With 53

:27:07.:27:17.

million go to Glasgow and an hundred 20 million go to Aberdeen materials

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for Edinburgh and other cities of the table I do not think she will

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have to wait too long. -- 123 million go to Aberdeen. Nobody

:27:29.:27:36.

should happen to sleep rough. A recent report shows how this

:27:37.:27:39.

approach can enter work rough sleeping for those with the most

:27:40.:27:45.

complex need. We considering how it can help our manifesto commitment to

:27:46.:27:51.

end rough sleeping by 2027. Official figures continue to show

:27:52.:27:54.

year-on-year increases in the number of rough sleepers since 2010

:27:55.:28:01.

including a 3% increase in London and the last year. Rough sleeping is

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often linked to mental health issues. What specific steps will his

:28:06.:28:11.

Government has taken this Parliament to address the mental health crisis

:28:12.:28:15.

in rough sleepers? I welcome to the House. There are a number of

:28:16.:28:21.

underlying issues keeping people on the streets with our rough sleeping.

:28:22.:28:25.

Mental health issues are certainly one of those underlying causes. To

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give insight into what is happening in her own constituency, there is a

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social impact a bond which is focusing very much on people being

:28:38.:28:42.

taken off the streets who have is mental health issues. In my

:28:43.:28:51.

constituency it is an issue that is raised regularly. I'm hoping he can

:28:52.:28:58.

lay out progress in the homelessness reduction task force alike and away

:28:59.:29:02.

some of their concerns. I thank him and welcome him to the House. He is

:29:03.:29:08.

right to say this Government is setting up a homelessness reduction

:29:09.:29:15.

task force in the addition to the homeless reduction act. What I can

:29:16.:29:25.

say to him is that the culture is now starting to change and councils

:29:26.:29:29.

are now starting to help people far more airily as a result to those

:29:30.:29:35.

trailblazers taking place. Rough sleeping in Plymouth is on the

:29:36.:29:39.

increase. Large numbers of those people sleeping rough and served our

:29:40.:29:45.

country's in the Armed Forces and our veterans. What discussions has

:29:46.:29:49.

he had with the Ministry of Defence to increase the money going into the

:29:50.:29:53.

rough sleeping veterans report so we can give all our veterans decent

:29:54.:30:02.

accommodation? He mentions about a lady and it is vital we support our

:30:03.:30:06.

veterans who find themselves rough sleeping. I run a cross-party

:30:07.:30:10.

working group attended by a number of ministers including one for the

:30:11.:30:14.

Ministry of Defence and this is certainly one we are eagerly trying

:30:15.:30:19.

to address. With the Minister agree with me that although we have had

:30:20.:30:23.

about mental health issues and veteran issues another huge problem

:30:24.:30:28.

is alcohol and drug addiction. What is he doing in that particular area?

:30:29.:30:39.

She makes a very perceptive point. Drug use, particularly psychoactive

:30:40.:30:41.

substances such as spies which seems to be prevalent amongst it in a

:30:42.:30:49.

rough sleepers seems to have a detrimental effect of not getting

:30:50.:30:53.

people off the street. She will have had at last week the drug strategy

:30:54.:30:58.

the Government is launching, the Home Office. We're working very

:30:59.:31:01.

closely with the Home Office in relation to that because we realise

:31:02.:31:06.

how critical it is to deal with those underlying issues and making

:31:07.:31:08.

sure we can help people off the streets. I can confirm to the

:31:09.:31:17.

Honourable lady that the first new permanent homes will be available

:31:18.:31:21.

very shortly and more will be secured either in Kensington and

:31:22.:31:27.

Chelsea are nearby. Meantime good quality furnished temporary

:31:28.:31:29.

accommodation in the area has been offered to every family.

:31:30.:31:42.

Sorry, I'm not sure of the formalities of theirs. This is due

:31:43.:31:51.

to a single and suitable offer. The fact people are refusing the storm

:31:52.:31:54.

is that the non-suitable offer is being made to them. -- that people

:31:55.:32:00.

are refusing these homes. I amazed that only 22 households have been

:32:01.:32:06.

much with temporary accommodation. Four have been moved in. There are

:32:07.:32:10.

empty homes all across the borough and they are still not being taken

:32:11.:32:18.

up. Can so what is happening here? I can tell her that there are over 220

:32:19.:32:24.

temporary homes that have been identified and inspected and are all

:32:25.:32:27.

good quality and are all available within good cup accommodation. --

:32:28.:32:34.

within good accommodation. She should bring the details to me and

:32:35.:32:40.

we will look at it and taken very seriously. In terms of the families,

:32:41.:32:47.

169 families have received offers. 31st of temporary accommodation have

:32:48.:32:51.

been accepted and nine families have moved on. As she will know from

:32:52.:32:56.

talking to her constituents many families do not feel ready to move

:32:57.:33:00.

into temporary accommodation yet and we will absolutely their wishes. Can

:33:01.:33:05.

any of the cost be met by the landlords insurance? That may well

:33:06.:33:11.

be the case further down the line but right now the absolute priority

:33:12.:33:16.

is to do whatever is necessary to help the victims of the Grenfell

:33:17.:33:22.

Tower tragedy to get into these homes and all these costs will be

:33:23.:33:25.

met by the Government when necessary. Is it not absolutely

:33:26.:33:32.

crucial that we increase the number of social housing available in

:33:33.:33:37.

Kensington and Chelsea? The Government has announced that 68

:33:38.:33:41.

properties will be made available as social housing. It's not true that

:33:42.:33:45.

negotiations were under way to provide these homes before the

:33:46.:33:53.

Grenfell Tower fire? Where are the extra new from? First of all can I

:33:54.:34:00.

welcome him on his real action as the chair of the select committee?

:34:01.:34:06.

On social homes I do agree that we want to see more social homes and

:34:07.:34:10.

not just in Kensington and Chelsea. We want to make sure that choices

:34:11.:34:16.

offered across the country. With regard to the 68 homes in the

:34:17.:34:20.

Kensington role development that was originally planned to be affordable

:34:21.:34:30.

homes and not social homes. But I agree that we should do more.

:34:31.:34:37.

Developing a sustainable funding model for supported housing is a

:34:38.:34:43.

priority. We welcome the input into a recent consultation. We are now

:34:44.:34:48.

carefully taking stock of the joint select committee report on supported

:34:49.:34:52.

housing. We will set out further details on our plans in the autumn.

:34:53.:35:00.

There are 30 to half thousand people and supported housing accommodation

:35:01.:35:04.

and Wales. Landlords say decisions about future developments have been

:35:05.:35:09.

delayed due to uncertainty of future funding. Will he confirm that any

:35:10.:35:14.

proposals confirmed are not will properly fund future needs and Wales

:35:15.:35:18.

particularly given the ageing population? Nobody is under any

:35:19.:35:27.

illusion in terms of how important supported housing and the provision

:35:28.:35:33.

of it is to all our constituents. That is why we have confirmed we

:35:34.:35:37.

will exempt supported housing from the cap until when we will come

:35:38.:35:47.

through with a solution in 2019. We're taking our time to make sure

:35:48.:35:51.

that those bands work and our right to make sure we do bring forward

:35:52.:35:55.

that supply and supported housing and in England we are putting ?400

:35:56.:35:59.

million of capital funding behind that to bring forward new units. Can

:36:00.:36:04.

he please update the House and what more is being done to support

:36:05.:36:09.

victims of domestic abuse and supported housing? I thank him.

:36:10.:36:16.

Domestic abuse is a critical issue across the country and something we

:36:17.:36:24.

want to eradicate. We need to provide safe refuge provision for

:36:25.:36:27.

those people who do end up in that very difficult position. We

:36:28.:36:31.

announced earlier this year we are supporting 76 projects to create

:36:32.:36:36.

2200 bed spaces to support 19,000 victims across the country. The

:36:37.:36:49.

Government is committed to delivering the manifesto pledge to

:36:50.:36:52.

continue to give local authorities greater control over the money they

:36:53.:36:56.

raise. We will open up a conversation with local Government

:36:57.:36:58.

over the next few months about the best way to achieve this. Plans for

:36:59.:37:06.

the 100% retention of business ladies at the general election were

:37:07.:37:15.

not produced in the Queen's speech. Can he explain ever the Government

:37:16.:37:22.

still plans to do this? And what will he do as a revenue support

:37:23.:37:26.

grant is phased out? He makes a very good point. The Government is

:37:27.:37:30.

committed to delivering on our manifesto pledge to give local

:37:31.:37:33.

authorities greater control over the money they raise and to give

:37:34.:37:37.

councils certainty we have given an unprecedented four-year settlement

:37:38.:37:42.

of which 97% of local authorities have taken up. That does not end

:37:43.:37:50.

told 2019 and 2020 during which time we will bring forward proposals

:37:51.:37:53.

dealing with and working with local Government to achieve those. If

:37:54.:38:00.

Barnett got the same Government support is scanned and it would be a

:38:01.:38:05.

realistic option probably for Barnet to reduce council tax to zero. Will

:38:06.:38:11.

he look at the allocation of funding within London between outer London

:38:12.:38:15.

and in London to give buyers like Barnett a fairer share of resources?

:38:16.:38:24.

She raises an important point. There are many areas across the country

:38:25.:38:29.

that feel after over ten years without the funding formula being

:38:30.:38:32.

looked at the lower number of challenges in relation to

:38:33.:38:35.

demographic pressures and service pressures that are encountered more

:38:36.:38:40.

in some places than others. I can assure her that through the fear

:38:41.:38:44.

funding review we are undertaking we will look at these matters very

:38:45.:38:47.

carefully. -- they are funding review. --Fair. We know our SG is

:38:48.:39:02.

going on 2020. In the absence of legislation that Queen's speech I

:39:03.:39:06.

have asked the Government five times how they will fill the black hole.

:39:07.:39:12.

Can I assume from his answer that his previous measures in that the

:39:13.:39:15.

local Government finance bill have now been ditched and that timetable

:39:16.:39:21.

has been ditched? Can he now give absolute certainty to local councils

:39:22.:39:25.

what precisely will be in place by 2020 when the RSG goes? I thank him.

:39:26.:39:36.

I think this is the sixth time I have answered his question and each

:39:37.:39:40.

time his question has been put with a considerable amount of foam and a

:39:41.:39:48.

rage. It is an important issue and I would just say to him again that we

:39:49.:39:52.

are absolutely committed to what we said in a manifesto that we will

:39:53.:39:56.

give local authorities greater control over the money they raise

:39:57.:40:01.

and in terms of the issue of certainty his Government when Npower

:40:02.:40:06.

only ever gave one-year certainties, only a settlement to local

:40:07.:40:10.

authorities. We have given a four-year settlement and 97% of

:40:11.:40:19.

councils have taken that out. It gives us time to get a sensible

:40:20.:40:23.

solution for local Government and we will work with them to do that. In

:40:24.:40:29.

the housing White Paper in February the Government set out plans for

:40:30.:40:36.

high-quality high-density housing. It plans to implement this later

:40:37.:40:42.

this year. Our Conservative manifesto committed to supporting

:40:43.:40:47.

new high-quality housing, mansion blocks, mews houses and terraced

:40:48.:40:52.

streets. How is the Government planning to build housing that is

:40:53.:40:56.

attractive and popular with the public?

:40:57.:41:07.

We will bring forward changes set out in a housing White Paper. I

:41:08.:41:15.

asked the former Housing Minister in April what the government was doing

:41:16.:41:19.

to protect home owners following the bogus home scandal which saw people

:41:20.:41:23.

spending significant sums to fine property was not finished. And it

:41:24.:41:29.

was not a unique problem. Shelter has found half of all the buyers

:41:30.:41:34.

report a major problem upon moving in. The minister said an

:41:35.:41:37.

announcement was imminent but there was nothing in the Conservative

:41:38.:41:43.

manifesto, Queen's Speech nor in the response earlier, so when will the

:41:44.:41:46.

government act to protect buyers of new-build properties? Of course it

:41:47.:41:52.

is important and we had a similar question to make sure when people

:41:53.:41:56.

buy new properties they get what they believe they were purchasing

:41:57.:41:59.

and where it is not the case, they receive help to put that right.

:42:00.:42:03.

There are procedures in place and we are looking to see what more can be

:42:04.:42:13.

done. Licensing can be an effective tool when targeted delivering

:42:14.:42:16.

improved standards and safety in the private rented sector and in April

:42:17.:42:23.

2015 further conditions in respect of licensing were introduced. New

:42:24.:42:30.

council introduced the first private rented sector licensing in 2013 and

:42:31.:42:35.

last week the council applied to renew the scheme. It has been

:42:36.:42:40.

successful, enabling the council to concentrate resources on the small

:42:41.:42:45.

number of private landlords causing problems. 81% of residents say it is

:42:46.:42:50.

effective. Can the minister reassure me renewal will get the go-ahead? I

:42:51.:42:57.

can reassure him the scheme will be considered on its merits and in

:42:58.:43:04.

accordance with meeting statutory requirements, which was reduced

:43:05.:43:09.

under a Labour government. In path we have a high number of family

:43:10.:43:12.

homes turned into student accommodation with often low

:43:13.:43:16.

standards and that is why students take them up because they have no

:43:17.:43:20.

choice. Will the minister ensure student safety is protected by

:43:21.:43:25.

encouraging councils to include compulsory safety checks as part of

:43:26.:43:33.

the licensing schemes? We want all landlords whether providing student

:43:34.:43:37.

accommodation or otherwise to keep tenet safe and as the honourable

:43:38.:43:41.

lady will know the Department for business is working on looking at

:43:42.:43:44.

issues connected to electrical safety.

:43:45.:43:54.

Private rented sector is the poorest quality housing in my constituency

:43:55.:44:02.

in Manchester. It is not regulated and needs looking at. I would

:44:03.:44:07.

welcome a borough wide licensing scheme like the one in the London

:44:08.:44:11.

Borough of Newham in Manchester and can I ask ministers to take

:44:12.:44:16.

seriously the issue before we see safety concerns in the private

:44:17.:44:19.

sector as well? Can I say to her that if she wants Manchester to come

:44:20.:44:25.

forward with these proposals they should make them known and we will

:44:26.:44:36.

look at them on merit. There is close collaboration between my

:44:37.:44:40.

department and ministers at Defra waste collection and it is for local

:44:41.:44:44.

councils to determine when collections take place but I would

:44:45.:44:47.

strongly urge councils to consider the wishes of local people. Before

:44:48.:44:56.

local elections and against the wishes of local people, one county

:44:57.:45:00.

council took the decision to reduce waste collection to three weekly.

:45:01.:45:06.

Can I ask what more he can do to ensure local people'sviews are taken

:45:07.:45:10.

into account on waste issues to prevent potential health hazards? I

:45:11.:45:15.

know he has been a champion in this House on this issue as he knows it

:45:16.:45:22.

is a devolved matter in Wales. This is for local councils to decide on

:45:23.:45:26.

frequency of collections. In England we have done a lot to support

:45:27.:45:32.

councils to respond to the wishes of people in this sense. I would say to

:45:33.:45:39.

him that this is the one service people associate most with their

:45:40.:45:43.

local council and the council should be mindful of the fact that local

:45:44.:45:47.

people should be consulted before any changes are made. Rather than

:45:48.:45:56.

lecturing councils about legislative requirements, would he like to come

:45:57.:46:01.

to Barrow in Furness or many other councils, particularly in the North

:46:02.:46:06.

of England, and see the scale of the cuts these councils are having to

:46:07.:46:10.

implement? The near impossibility of being able to balance a budget in

:46:11.:46:15.

these situations, and provide more help. The honourable gentleman

:46:16.:46:20.

highlights the mess the public finances were left in when the

:46:21.:46:26.

Labour Party left government in 2010, and that this government has

:46:27.:46:29.

been picking up the pieces. What I would say is unlike Labour we have

:46:30.:46:37.

given a four-year settlement to local authorities and most have

:46:38.:46:42.

taken that up, to give them more time to change services to reflect

:46:43.:46:45.

the change of financial environment. We are running late but I want one

:46:46.:46:50.

last question from a new member. Darren Jones. Number 14, Mr Speaker.

:46:51.:47:01.

I welcome him to this place. We have delivered nearly 330,000 affordable

:47:02.:47:07.

homes including 120,000 for social rent and our priority is to build

:47:08.:47:10.

more affordable homes to rent and buy. Tens of thousands of people in

:47:11.:47:16.

Bristol are waiting for a council house and many are stuck in

:47:17.:47:20.

expensive and inadequate private sector housing and many of these

:47:21.:47:24.

tenants are young families who feel stuck in a system that does not

:47:25.:47:30.

care. Will he visit my constituency in Bristol to see first-hand how his

:47:31.:47:34.

supposedly radical reform is failing my constituency and often damp and

:47:35.:47:38.

inadequate and insecure housing? We set out in the manifesto, and I

:47:39.:47:46.

talked about it recently at the LGA conference, our ambition to help

:47:47.:47:50.

local authorities that have ambitions to build more council

:47:51.:47:54.

homes, so if that is what Bristol wants, the mayor of Bristol should

:47:55.:47:59.

approach me. Order, topical questions. As you know, in

:48:00.:48:05.

Lincolnshire we have... Number one. We will hear about Lincolnshire in

:48:06.:48:09.

due course. The ongoing response to the grand full tragedy has dominated

:48:10.:48:16.

my department's work and will remain a priority in the years ahead, but

:48:17.:48:21.

we have not let up on wider work and have launched our housing

:48:22.:48:24.

infrastructure fund and introduced a tell of the -- telecommunications

:48:25.:48:35.

bill and we plan to get more homes built in the right places. The

:48:36.:48:39.

honourable gentleman, I would have called him at topical questions if

:48:40.:48:43.

you were standing, but I will not if he isn't. Anyway, he has got the

:48:44.:48:47.

public information announcement for which he is duly grateful. We have

:48:48.:48:52.

in Lincolnshire wonderful coastal resorts. They trip off the tongue as

:48:53.:48:58.

a litany of sun and fun, Skegness, Cleethorpes. When you go one your

:48:59.:49:03.

holidays, do not go to Italy, France, come to bracing Skegness.

:49:04.:49:08.

Can he promise to use the coastal communities fund to promote tourism

:49:09.:49:15.

and after Brexit the ?143 million we receive in European Regional

:49:16.:49:18.

Development Fund is for these results? He rightly highlights the

:49:19.:49:26.

importance of coastal communities and of course those in Lincolnshire.

:49:27.:49:30.

Many I have had the pleasure of visiting during the recent election

:49:31.:49:34.

campaign and I assure him we will use the coastal communities fund and

:49:35.:49:38.

whatever resources we have available to promote those areas. Does the

:49:39.:49:48.

Secretary of State agree with the Conservative leader of Warwickshire

:49:49.:49:51.

County Council who also leads on community welfare for the Local

:49:52.:49:57.

Government Association that fining councils and withholding money for

:49:58.:50:01.

delayed discharges will exacerbate the social care crisis, and has he

:50:02.:50:04.

spoken to the Health Secretary about the plans? Of course I have spoken

:50:05.:50:09.

to the Health Secretary and I have spoken to the leader of Warwickshire

:50:10.:50:15.

County Council just last week. I think there is a broad understanding

:50:16.:50:20.

when it comes to combating delayed transfers of care there is a role to

:50:21.:50:24.

play for local authorities and the NHS. My honourable friend the member

:50:25.:50:30.

of the Plymouth is leading the way in terms of innovation of the social

:50:31.:50:34.

care and the work between the local authority and care provider has

:50:35.:50:37.

broken new ground. What more can he do to support authorities working so

:50:38.:50:43.

hard to meet social care needs? I'm pleased to hear the good work my

:50:44.:50:49.

honourable friend highlights in Plymouth. My department works with

:50:50.:50:53.

the Department for Health to promote joined up working across health and

:50:54.:51:00.

social care, including good examples of innovation, through the better

:51:01.:51:11.

care funds. The Secretary of State will be aware that a working group

:51:12.:51:14.

was set up by his department in August last year to look at

:51:15.:51:18.

electrical safety in the private rented sector. Does he agree with me

:51:19.:51:24.

and others, such as London Fire Brigade, electrical safety first and

:51:25.:51:28.

shelter, that it is time for more preventative approach on electrical

:51:29.:51:33.

fires and mandatory five-year electrical safety tests in the

:51:34.:51:36.

private rented sector should be introduced as a matter urgency?

:51:37.:51:44.

There is a working group within the Department for business looking at

:51:45.:51:48.

these matters. In the light of the grand full fire the Prime Minister

:51:49.:51:51.

has said they should bring forward their work with recommendations. If

:51:52.:52:01.

they conclude new sprinters are required, will the minister join me

:52:02.:52:05.

in calling on private landlords to install those sprinters? Obviously

:52:06.:52:11.

the Guinness partnership will need to determine with the Fire Service

:52:12.:52:15.

what is needed to keep property is safe but as the Secretary of State

:52:16.:52:19.

made clear, where work is necessary to ensure fire safety, a lack of

:52:20.:52:22.

resources should not prevent it going ahead. When he joined me in

:52:23.:52:29.

congratulating Nottingham community Housing association, who were

:52:30.:52:31.

recognised for their refurbishment of a memorial homes on flexing my

:52:32.:52:39.

constituency? Will he listen to NCH a and give them the certainty to

:52:40.:52:45.

enable future investment by dropping plans to cut housing benefit for

:52:46.:52:53.

shelter tenants? I will join her in commending the housing association

:52:54.:52:58.

for the work they have done. The housing association sector would

:52:59.:53:02.

welcome the fact the record funding we provided a new flexibility so

:53:03.:53:07.

they can do more of what they do. What steps has the Secretary of

:53:08.:53:13.

State taken to provide safe spaces for travellers to reside in instead

:53:14.:53:19.

of them having to go on really nice green spaces in Derbyshire, where

:53:20.:53:26.

they leave them in a terrible mess? I understand unauthorised

:53:27.:53:30.

encampments can cause distress and I know that from my constituency. The

:53:31.:53:33.

government is committed to reducing unauthorised sites by providing

:53:34.:53:38.

affordable accommodation for travellers. The enquiry into

:53:39.:53:47.

electoral conduct, noting the superb all-party report written by the past

:53:48.:53:54.

Deputy Speaker, but sadly rebuffed by successive party leaders on all

:53:55.:54:03.

sides. I can assure the honourable gentleman with regard to the enquiry

:54:04.:54:07.

announced by the Prime Minister that will be led by the committee on

:54:08.:54:11.

Public life, it should take account of all information and we have seen

:54:12.:54:16.

that the debate in this House last week how many members and candidates

:54:17.:54:21.

offered from racism and other forms of abuse. I suffered from that

:54:22.:54:25.

during the general election and I am sure we all agree that racism has no

:54:26.:54:32.

place in our society. What is the current status of the Devon and

:54:33.:54:37.

Somerset devolution bid? Do they need a directly elected mayor to get

:54:38.:54:41.

the full package? Will the minister meet with the leaders of Devon and

:54:42.:54:45.

Somerset councils and myself to discuss the way forward? Our

:54:46.:54:52.

manifesto makes clear there would be no requirement for the mayors of

:54:53.:54:57.

rural counties. Devon and Somerset have not submitted any combined

:54:58.:54:59.

authority proposals but I look forward to meeting with him and his

:55:00.:55:08.

council leader. A growing number of grand full survivors are being

:55:09.:55:11.

placed in budget hotels in my constituency as central London

:55:12.:55:17.

hotels fill up the tourist season. Despite being unsuitable, they are

:55:18.:55:21.

being booked by the month, which gives the lie to the fact government

:55:22.:55:26.

has suitable accommodation ready, not temporary, not on suitable, but

:55:27.:55:31.

permanent accommodation. Will he ask Kensington and Chelsea to take some

:55:32.:55:36.

of the ?274 million and buy a couple of hundred homes and make sure these

:55:37.:55:42.

people have decent housing? The honourable gentleman will know money

:55:43.:55:45.

is not the issue. We have made it clear in terms of finding the

:55:46.:55:53.

victims of Grenfell Tower permanent homes that we will do whatever it

:55:54.:55:57.

takes and that is what we are doing. We will be led by them on what they

:55:58.:56:05.

need, at their pace. Overton Oakley and Whitchurch in my constituency

:56:06.:56:08.

have produced ambitious neighbourhood plans but the

:56:09.:56:12.

communities are concerned about infrastructure investment required

:56:13.:56:14.

to make them happen, how can he help?

:56:15.:56:19.

I commend his constituents published together the neighbourhood plans,

:56:20.:56:25.

and there's a great innovation. Goals in terms of infrastructure, I

:56:26.:56:31.

would encourage him to get to get the bid for inter-fund was my

:56:32.:56:35.

honourable friend announced earlier this month. I had the security

:56:36.:56:43.

growing up of a council flat over my head, so I wonder what the 60

:56:44.:56:47.

statement dated the 11th year by Mike constituency who said to me

:56:48.:56:52.

last week that he and his mother and his two siblings are living in one

:56:53.:56:55.

room in a hostel and have been there for over a year. What message does

:56:56.:57:00.

he have children like him in my constituency homolog have the

:57:01.:57:05.

security had a decent place to live? My message is that we have not built

:57:06.:57:09.

in our homes of all types in that country, and successive governments,

:57:10.:57:14.

and every are going to do it we should all work together and reunite

:57:15.:57:18.

under the Housing white paper. Will he join me in commending the Chatham

:57:19.:57:25.

House charities, and early intervention which are tanning lives

:57:26.:57:30.

around in my constituency? My honourable friend is absolutely

:57:31.:57:32.

right to highlight the excellent work that is going on down by the

:57:33.:57:37.

charities that he mentions in Cheltenham. Early intervention is

:57:38.:57:40.

tactically critical, that is why to the Homelessness Reduction Act,

:57:41.:57:46.

doing things earlier to stop people becoming homeless, that is the

:57:47.:57:51.

absolute bedrock of that act. We are also seeing through the homelessness

:57:52.:57:57.

prevention trailblazers are many forerunners to the act, that the

:57:58.:58:01.

culture of the local authorities that are involved and that is

:58:02.:58:03.

absolutely changing towards preventing. I regularly raise my

:58:04.:58:11.

concerns over the safety of the rapid conversion of family homes to

:58:12.:58:17.

houses of multiple occupation in my constituency. In view of the

:58:18.:58:20.

Grenfell Tower disaster, does the Government have any plans to issue a

:58:21.:58:25.

new guidance to local planning authorities, particularly about the

:58:26.:58:31.

safety of these conversions Moores the honourable gentleman is right to

:58:32.:58:35.

raise best, there are many lessons to learn from the Grenfell Tower

:58:36.:58:39.

tragedy, and some of those will come from the public enquiry. There have

:58:40.:58:44.

been recommendations from the expat panel on fire safety and affairs in

:58:45.:58:48.

a thing they urgently recommend we will implement that. I am looking to

:58:49.:58:51.

see what else we can do it in enforcement. What changes do the NPF

:58:52.:59:01.

commitment to strengthen protection for ancient woodlands? I can tell my

:59:02.:59:07.

honourable friend that we will be bringing forward proposals very

:59:08.:59:11.

shortly that will implement what is any Housing white paper, which is

:59:12.:59:16.

ancient woodland will receive the same protection as before. Can I

:59:17.:59:22.

thank the minister for the Northern Powerhouse for visiting new ferry in

:59:23.:59:26.

my constituency, when he has one remember there was recently a

:59:27.:59:29.

terrible explosion. As a result of his meeting, the leader of the

:59:30.:59:34.

council in has written to him, can I ask him to expedite a reply to that

:59:35.:59:40.

letter? No one could visit the disaster in new ferry and talk to

:59:41.:59:45.

the residents they are without realising the seriousness of the

:59:46.:59:49.

explosion to place months ago. Following my meeting, I received a

:59:50.:59:52.

meeting from Phil Davies, irresponsible began later today

:59:53.:59:59.

dealing with the queries he raised. Canny Secretary of State tell me

:00:00.:00:04.

what he will do to ensure that Bradford Council build on the

:00:05.:00:08.

Brownfield sites it has identified before it starts concreting over and

:00:09.:00:12.

building on greenfield sites in the green belt in my constituency? My

:00:13.:00:18.

honourable friend makes a very important point, and as we have made

:00:19.:00:24.

clear any Housing white paper, we expect Brownfield sites to always

:00:25.:00:26.

been a priority to meet our housing need, and that is what I would

:00:27.:00:33.

expect to see from Bradford. Is it entirely wisely minister of the

:00:34.:00:36.

Northern Powerhouse to come across the Pennines from his Lancashire

:00:37.:00:39.

constituency and tell the people of Yorkshire that they could not have

:00:40.:00:45.

full Yorkshire demolition? Are these decisions are best made in God 's

:00:46.:00:50.

own county, not in Whitehall, and not unlike a job and it's very

:00:51.:01:01.

different geography. As a proud Lancastrian, it is not for me nor is

:01:02.:01:05.

it for Government to tell Yorkshire what demolition deal it should have.

:01:06.:01:11.

However, I would gently point out that in 2015, Bardsley, Doncaster,

:01:12.:01:14.

rather and Sheffield asked for powers from Government, we gave them

:01:15.:01:18.

to them. They asked the new money from Government, we gave it to them.

:01:19.:01:22.

They also have an election next May, we gave it to them. When will the

:01:23.:01:26.

people of South Yorkshire learn to take yes for an answer? Kettering

:01:27.:01:35.

Borough Council, of which I am a member, provide specialist Housing

:01:36.:01:38.

advice to those in financial difficulties, to prevent

:01:39.:01:41.

homelessness in the first place and is working closely with local

:01:42.:01:43.

housing associations to bring forward a recognisable of homes for

:01:44.:01:47.

social rate. Isn't that exactly the right approach? I commend the work

:01:48.:01:54.

that Kettering Borough Council are doing, in my experience where we are

:01:55.:01:59.

seeing local authorities prevent homelessness, they are doing very

:02:00.:02:02.

much those type of things, particularly in terms of helping

:02:03.:02:06.

people deal with the financial challenges, things like budgeting,

:02:07.:02:09.

and it is certainly good here that Kettering are also bringing forward

:02:10.:02:12.

a significant number of affordable homes that residents can benefit

:02:13.:02:18.

from. Goodes we heard from the minister earlier about causing

:02:19.:02:26.

communities, Blackall and Horden in my constituency are also former

:02:27.:02:30.

coalfield communities that have suffered terminal levels of

:02:31.:02:32.

underinvestment says those bits where close. Under the previous Tory

:02:33.:02:37.

Government. Will be missed the meet with me to see what can be done? It

:02:38.:02:44.

isn't just for Government has bought our coastal communities, it would

:02:45.:02:47.

encourage all members across this House to visit the fantastic great

:02:48.:02:51.

British coastline. I will of course happily meet with the honourable

:02:52.:02:53.

member and representatives from his constituency to work out what more

:02:54.:03:01.

the fund can do for him. In magical constituency, they are drying up

:03:02.:03:06.

their local plan, however there are concerns that the Greater Manchester

:03:07.:03:08.

Police will override it. What assurances can he get neighbourhood

:03:09.:03:14.

forums that their plans will be appropriately considered? As the

:03:15.:03:21.

Secretary of State reiterated, we made a commitment to protecting the

:03:22.:03:24.

green belt in the Housing white paper, and I cannot comment

:03:25.:03:27.

specifically on the planet which he talks about, but I would emphasise

:03:28.:03:32.

the PlanMaker is the consult with the community, especially

:03:33.:03:34.

neighbourhood forums, and once that has been brought in force, it is

:03:35.:03:38.

part of the statutory development plan of an area. I will come to

:03:39.:03:44.

points of order, because I think there are a number today relating to

:03:45.:03:49.

one matter, and it seems to me to contain a degree of urgency. I will

:03:50.:03:54.

treat it very soon. Just before I do, I have a short statement myself

:03:55.:04:00.

to make. On Thursday the 13th of July, the text colleagues of the

:04:01.:04:05.

European Union withdrawal Bill was available through eight week, before

:04:06.:04:13.

the Bill was presented in the House. Points of order will raised about

:04:14.:04:16.

the Bill being available online for it was available to members. An

:04:17.:04:20.

immediate investigation was carried out. A flaw in the publishing

:04:21.:04:26.

process within the House of Commons service meant that the Bill text was

:04:27.:04:32.

inadvertently available

:04:33.:04:33.