Live Housing, Communities and Local Government Questions House of Commons


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Live Housing, Communities and Local Government Questions

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


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Hello and welcome to BBC

Parliament's live coverage of the

0:00:070:00:11

House of Commons, there will be two

urgent questions, the first on hate

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crime following letters calling for

punish a Muslim day and the second

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on the treatment of House of Commons

staff after accusations against the

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speaker and several MPs of bullying

behaviour and then the Prime

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Minister will make a statement on

the no of agent attack on the former

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Russian spy Sergei Skripal -- nerve

agent. And his daughter in

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Salisbury. Karen Bradley will make a

statement on a new budget in

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Northern Ireland including £410

million of the package go shaded by

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the DUP in return for backing the

Conservative government --

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negotiated. Liam Fox will made a

statement on the tariffs on steel

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and imported aluminium announced by

the US president Donald Trump. And

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the main business this evening will

be the remaining stages of the

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financial guidance and claims Bill,

so remember to join me for a

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round-up of the day in both Houses

of Parliament tonight at 11 o'clock

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but first we have questions to the

Secretary of State for housing

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communities and local government

Sajid Javid and his team of

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ministers.

... The ending

homelessness parliamentary group has

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taken evidence around the success of

rapid rehousing models in Denmark,

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what consideration has my right

honourable friend given to the

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merits of rolling out such

programmes alongside faster and

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wider roll-out of housing first in

England?

Mr speaker, can I pay

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tribute to my friend for the role he

has played as the co-chair of the

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ending homelessness APPG and he is

right to point to international

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experience, when we look at this

huge challenge we face in our

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country, and housing first has come

from the experience we have

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especially in Finland and I thank

him for his support.

Lucy Powell.

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The rising level of homelessness in

Manchester is the biggest issue that

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people raise with me on the doorstep

and elsewhere and it doesn't matter

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all the good work that we are doing

in rehousing people, there are too

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many people coming through the

system it at the other rental but so

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what conversations is the Secretary

of State having about stopping

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people becoming homeless in the

first place? -- at the other end.

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The honourable lady is right to

raise this issue and it comes up in

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Manchester as well as so many other

parts of the country and she is

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right to point to the cross

department work that is required

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including the DWP and other

departments, like the Ministry of

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Justice, with the number of

offenders that end up on the

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streets, so it is being co-ordinated

and the task force that the Prime

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Minister has created is helping to

achieve just that.

Michael

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fabricant.

Does my right honourable

friend a agreed with the causes of

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homelessness on the street is not

just a lack of housing, it is very

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complex, and will he take the

opportunity of going to the West

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Midlands and visiting the mayor of

the West Midlands Mr and the street

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and see the work and initiatives

that he is undertaking to prevent

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this problem?

I agree with you for

the what has been spoken about is

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important regarding the complex

causes of rough sleeping and

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homelessness, and the mayor of the

West Midlands has led the way on

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this including with the housing

first project.

Exeter has suffered a

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terrible increase in homelessness

and rough sleeping since 2010

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although in the last couple of years

strenuous efforts have seen a

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reduction in the last two years in

the sleeping but will he and

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government colleagues look at the

decisions to cut supported living

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and public health grants to local

bodies that find alcohol and drug

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treatment programmes because that is

hampering local authorities attempts

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to tackle this problem?

I'm happy to

join the right honourable gentleman

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in commending the work in Exeter

that they have done we should try to

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learn from each other and from

councils. In terms of the causes,

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addiction, especially drug addiction

and alcohol addiction, it is

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important that we keep up finding

where ever it is necessary and that

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is why we are providing £1 billion

of total funding until 2020

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including a number of projects which

are designed to help specifically

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with addictive problems.

1% of rough

sleepers in London are non-UK

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citizens, what can we do about the

importation of homelessness?

My

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friend is again right to point to

the causes of homelessness and there

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are a number of people that sleep on

the streets that are not from the UK

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and everyone deserves help but we

must also look carefully at the

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causes of homelessness so we are

working carefully and closely with

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the Home Office to see what more we

can do.

LGBT young people are much

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more likely to become homeless and

account for up to 24% of the young

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jobless population, according to the

Albert Kennedy trust, what is the

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Secretary of State going to do to

address this problem?

I agree is

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that anyone that is homeless and

especially anyone that is rough

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sleeping deserves our help, the help

of government and local government,

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and that is why the number of

projects that we have in place, over

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48 different types of projects many

of them community led and many of

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them funding directly by the

government are designed to achieve

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that.

The last official survey in

Cheltenham Festival nine homeless

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people and each is a living rebuke

for us to do more -- in Cheltenham

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found nine homeless people. The £1

million homeless impact bond should

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be used to provide one-to-one

support.

Yes, and can I commend the

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charity for the rugged as Dan and I

know you have a lot of interest in

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that -- the work it has done. The

government has funded aid social

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impact bombs including the one

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-- the government has funded eight

social impact bonds.

It has been

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praised by charities taking a step

in the right direction and that

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includes a £50 million fund, what do

ministers think of the work that is

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going on in Scotland and will they

look at the recommendations made by

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the working group?

Again, you

rightly emphasise the point of

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learning from each other, and where

Scotland has had success with

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homelessness and rough sleeping we

should look into that and seek other

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examples in the UK and my honourable

friend the housing minister is

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visiting Scotland and will be

looking at that issue later this

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week. One of the best ways the

government can support homeowners

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with mortgage costs is by making

sure the economy remains strong and

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competitive so that employment is

high and interest rates as low as

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possible.

At the end of this month

the government is taking away

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mortgage support from 110,000 people

and there will be 7000 so far who

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have applied for the loan which

replaces it, what does the

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government think the other 100,000

people are going to do on the 2nd of

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April?

The honourable gentleman is

referring to the support for

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mortgage interest policy which is a

DWP lead and the government is right

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to strike the right balance between

the needs of hard-pressed homeowners

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and the taxpayer but if you are

really interested in helping

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homeowners, maybe you can explain

why he voted against the stamp duty

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cut that this government

implemented.

The withdrawal support

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from mortgage interest came as a

blow to my constituents who came to

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see me on Friday and many thousands

like them will struggle with this

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support withdrawn and they may not

wish to take up an additional loan,

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can he explain what options will be

open to these people and what

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assessment has he done of the impact

for people on the home they have

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brought? And the impact on social

housing lists which --?

I think the

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honourable lady misunderstands the

policy, the government is not

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withdrawing support, the government

is making it fairer and making sure

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support is still available, it will

be land-based, secured by the

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individual's property but that also

protects the rights of taxpayers

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which I think you would have been

interested in doing.

The help to buy

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scheme helped 116,001st-time buyers

get onto the property ladder and

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it's similar to the supply of new

housing.

Some of my constituents

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have been on the wrong end of

aggressive behaviour by personnel,

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and they are concerned that the

biggest concern for house-builders

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is that they have increased as

prizes by 10% with almost all of

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this bag as profit and much of it

paid out to senior -- increased

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prices by 10% with almost all of

this bag.

Should they not be doing

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more to consign the aggressive

behaviour of companies like this? --

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contain.

It is good news that help

to bite helped to get more homes

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built and it has contributed 15%. I

have concerns, but I remind the

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gentleman that it was this

government that introduced the

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corporate government reforms

including to make sure there is

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greater transparency and greater

shareholder grip over directors pay.

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The minister will know that some 10%

of those on the help to buy scheme

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earn over £80,000 EU and even in

London, people can afford to buy

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without this tax subsidy, can he

contrast the Secretary of State's

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comments about taxpayer

responsibility with respect to the

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poorest homeowners who will lose

mortgage entrance and these heavily

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subsidised well off people up and

down the country?

Some factual

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clarification would help, because

four out of five of those benefiting

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from help to buy have been

first-time buyers and three out of

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five households benefiting from help

to buy had combined incomes of

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£50,000 or less, we are on their

side, it is a shame the Labour Party

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is not.

Tracy Brabin.

Number five,

Mr minister.

In addition to the

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spending review package the

government provided a further £2

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billion for adult social care at the

last budget and an additional £150

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million in the local government

finance settlement and councils will

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now be able to increase spending on

adult social care in real terms each

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year until 2020.

Tracy Brabin.

Kirklees Council spends 35% of its

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budget on adult social care and it

has just raised council tax to 6%

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and half of that is ring-fenced to

find social care but the council

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still has tens of millions left to

cut in the years ahead, so ahead of

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tomorrow's Spring statement can be

ministers say what he has done to

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secure more funding from the

Treasury for social care, to

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alleviate the pressure on councils

like Kirklees?

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Mr Speaker, in the most recent

government finance settlement the

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Secretary of State listened to

concerns from the council and

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increased funding for social care,

£150 million in adult social care,

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£26 million for Kirklees council in

particular, and I recently met with

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the key cities group of which

Kirklees is a member to discuss

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their ideas for reforming the

funding formula for councils like

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Kirklees.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

When the Select Committee adopted my

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honourable friend's Homelessness

Reduction Bill, ministers to their

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credit engaged positively to make

the Bill work. Can I urge the

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Minister to be just as positive

about the planned Joint Committee

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inquiry into funding adult care,

indeed, Mr Speaker, both front

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benches need to engage in this

process if we are to have a

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long-term answer.

I thank my honourable friend for the

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question and wholeheartedly agree

with him, as he knows the government

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is committed to publishing the green

paper on adult social care the

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summer alongside which there is a

work stream regarding working age

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adults social care which I am sure

he will be keen to contribute to as

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well.

Bridget Phillipson.

Increasing

the social care precept will do

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nothing to solve the challenge we

face in social care. Isn't it time

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that Minister stopped passing the

buck to local councils and instead

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worked with us to find a long-term

solution to one of the greatest

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challenges we face as a country?

Mr

Speaker, I agree with the Honourable

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Lady that there is a challenge

facing our country and it's

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important to get it right and put

sustainable -- social care on a

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sustainable footing not just this

year but in years to come and that's

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where the government is committing

to its Green paper to tackle the

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problem and she should look forward

to its contents this summer.

Thank

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you, Mr Speaker. The Minister

referred to the local government

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finance settlement but this year's

settlement still needs done at means

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a cut of £177 million on adult

social care from last year. Given

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the NEO's report states more and

more councils are only just managing

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to balance their books by using

their reserves to cover overspends

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on Solskjaer says services, how does

the minister suggest they can avoid

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declaring themselves effectively

bankrupt like Northamptonshire

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County Council did last month, and

their reserves in many cases will be

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gone by 2020.

I Susie Dent recognise

those figures. The government has

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increased funding for adult social

care, of which over these three

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years £9.4 billion in adult social

care, 150 more at the local her and

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finance settlement and this

government is listening to councils

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and delivering extra resources to

help.

The local government Finance

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Act passed in the 2010 Parliament

divorced local government funding

0:15:200:15:24

from any assessment of need. The

Government's insistence that raising

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precepts by councils can solve the

problem is simply wrong, because it

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ensures that those councils in the

wealthier areas with most properties

0:15:360:15:39

in the higher bands raise more money

than those in the lower bands who

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usually have the greatest need, the

greatest long-term De -- diseases

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and so on. When will the Minister

understand this and start allocating

0:15:510:15:55

social services funding on the basis

of need?

Mr Speaker, I can reassure

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the Honourable Lady that the

allocation for social care funding

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does take into account the relative

council tax bases of local

0:16:040:16:08

authorities across the country, that

said, I appreciate the funding

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formula is out of date and needs

review, which is why we have

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launched a consultation on reforming

it. It closes today and I welcome

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her comments and input into that. We

will reform it to adequately take

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care of need as she suggests.

David

Warburton.

Number six, Mr Speaker.

0:16:240:16:30

The number of first-time buyers was

at an 11 year high in 2017, 306 to

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5000 across the UK showing that our

concerted action to get more people

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into home ownership through

initiatives such as Help To Buy and

0:16:400:16:43

stamp duty exemption for first-time

buyers is working -- 365,000.

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It sounds that my Right Honourable

friend agrees with me that home

0:16:480:16:52

ownership is a fundamentally good

thing, 86% of fellow citizens aspire

0:16:520:16:57

to it and there is nothing like

spreading the economic benefits of

0:16:570:17:00

homeownership more widely in society

so does my Right Honourable friend

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further agree we should use every

policy lever at our disposal to

0:17:030:17:07

encourage homeownership and give

those all-important first-time

0:17:070:17:10

buyers a leg up onto the ladder?

Mr

Speaker, I couldn't agree more with

0:17:100:17:15

my honourable friend. The

overwhelming majority of people want

0:17:150:17:19

to own their own home and we do need

to do more to help them do just

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that. Are plans that we have set

out, including earlier this week to

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build 300,000 homes in the year will

help normal people realise that

0:17:280:17:31

dream.

Mr Speaker, why doesn't the

Home Secretary wake up on this? So

0:17:310:17:38

many people in my constituency and

throughout the country, this is a

0:17:380:17:41

government that has failed

delivering enough houses, enough

0:17:410:17:46

houses to buy, enough to rent, and

the fact is he has got so many

0:17:460:17:51

NIMBYs, he's speaking to one of

them, so many NIMBYs on that side

0:17:510:17:54

they haven't got the courage to do

anything about it.

Mr Speaker, its

0:17:540:18:01

members on the side of the House

that are responsible for seeing

0:18:010:18:05

house-building last year reached its

highest level in all but one of the

0:18:050:18:09

last 30 years. It is members on that

side of the House who have supported

0:18:090:18:14

the previous government and a party

that led to the lowest number of

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house-building that this country has

seen since the 1920s.

David Davies.

0:18:180:18:24

Seven, Mr Speaker.

With your

permission, Mr Speaker, I'd like to

0:18:240:18:31

answer this question together with

16. Last year we saw 217,000 homes

0:18:310:18:36

added to housing stock in England

and as we have set out a bold,

0:18:360:18:40

comprehensive reform we want to see

300,000 homes a year on average

0:18:400:18:44

delivered by the middle of the 2020s

in England through last week's draft

0:18:440:18:53

revised National Planning Policy

Framework.

May I congratulate my

0:18:530:18:54

Right Honourable friend on the

enormous progress he is making.

0:18:540:18:57

Would he agree with me that it will

not be possible to get the housing

0:18:570:19:01

shortage completely under control

until we have brought down migration

0:19:010:19:04

levels from the unsustainable

heights that were created by

0:19:040:19:07

honourable member is on the other

side of this House?

Mr Speaker, mime

0:19:070:19:13

honourable friend will be pleased to

hear we are committed to both

0:19:130:19:16

reducing net migration to

sustainable levels and building the

0:19:160:19:21

homes that this country needs.

Lucy

Allan.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

0:19:210:19:27

Telford is a rapidly growing new

town where thousands of new homes

0:19:270:19:30

are built every year but for too

many new-build homeowners the

0:19:300:19:34

reality is unfinished communal

areas, unadopted roads, failure to

0:19:340:19:39

comply with section 106 and

developers failing to take

0:19:390:19:42

responsibility. And the local

council passing the buck. What will

0:19:420:19:46

the Minister do to strengthen the

rights of new-build homeowners?

Mr

0:19:460:19:50

Speaker, first let me commend my

honourable friend for the work she

0:19:500:19:56

does through the new towns APG and

she is right emphasised the need for

0:19:560:20:00

infrastructure alongside new

housing. I know that she welcomes a

0:20:000:20:05

housing infrastructure fund but in

terms of holding developers to their

0:20:050:20:08

commitments, I hope she will

contribute to our consultation

0:20:080:20:10

launched this week on that topic.

Rachael Maskell.

Thank you, Mr

0:20:100:20:16

Speaker. I have the figures for

York, no new social housing

0:20:160:20:20

commissions under the current

council for the last three years

0:20:200:20:22

except for older people's

accommodation where there has been a

0:20:220:20:25

net loss and Right To Buy has made

things worse so under his new

0:20:250:20:32

Government's planning framework will

the council be forced to build

0:20:320:20:34

social housing in your?

Mr Speaker,

we are working with councils

0:20:340:20:39

throughout the country to help them

to meet their housing needs, and

0:20:390:20:44

that includes more social housing

where it is required, and proof of

0:20:440:20:47

that was just in the last budget

when we increased the housing

0:20:470:20:52

revenue account, the amount that

councils can borrow from the

0:20:520:20:56

Treasury to build more council homes

and other types of social housing,

0:20:560:20:59

we increased it and if York wants to

take advantage of it it can.

Bristol

0:20:590:21:03

has the highest number of office

accommodation to residential

0:21:030:21:08

accommodation outside London. Under

the permitted development rights

0:21:080:21:12

scheme that means there does not

have to be any affordable housing

0:21:120:21:16

element. What is the Secretary of

State doing to ensure councils like

0:21:160:21:19

Bristol and insist there is

affordable housing built in our city

0:21:190:21:22

centre?

Mr Speaker, the Honourable

Lady is right to raise the

0:21:220:21:28

importance of affordable housing,

having the right mix of housing

0:21:280:21:31

everywhere including in Bristol

where we are currently working with

0:21:310:21:35

Bristol with both the mayor of West

England and the mayor of Bristol on

0:21:350:21:38

a housing deal and it would include,

if it happens, a significant portion

0:21:380:21:43

of affordable housing.

Thank you, Mr

Speaker. Green belt protections

0:21:430:21:48

around Bristol and Bath are

displacing housing targets beyond

0:21:480:21:51

the green belt into Somerset. Should

the council is unable to build

0:21:510:21:55

enough houses be required to deliver

transport and infrastructure plans

0:21:550:21:59

to service the commuting needs of

new Somerset residents who need to

0:21:590:22:02

travel through the protected green

belt on their way to work?

Mr

0:22:020:22:07

Speaker, we want to help all

councils meet their local housing

0:22:070:22:10

need and that means including

helping with their plans as they

0:22:100:22:14

develop them but also giving them

more options other than looking at a

0:22:140:22:17

green belt, as we did in the recent

planning draft plan published

0:22:170:22:21

earlier this week, and also helping

with infrastructure, and that means

0:22:210:22:26

the £5 billion housing

infrastructure fund.

Helen Hayes.

0:22:260:22:31

Thank you, Mr Speaker. The previous

Conservative Mayor of London said at

0:22:310:22:33

the London Housing bank, a loan

scheme so restrictive housing

0:22:330:22:36

providers couldn't borrow from it.

Can the Secretary of State explain

0:22:360:22:40

why instead of responding to

requests from the current Mayor of

0:22:400:22:42

London over the past 18 months to

remove some of the restrictions on

0:22:420:22:46

this scheme to enable much-needed

affordable homes to be built, he

0:22:460:22:49

decided to withdraw the funding for

affordable homes altogether, and can

0:22:490:22:53

he explain how it's the case that

the first the Mayors office heard

0:22:530:22:59

about this was an article in the

Huffington Post?

We all want to see

0:22:590:23:04

more affordable homes, including in

our capital city, and that's why the

0:23:040:23:07

settlement over £3 billion in the

Spring Budget given to London for

0:23:070:23:12

affordable housing is the biggest

ever, welcomed by the mayor, but

0:23:120:23:16

despite that we have seen a fall in

affordable housing delivery under

0:23:160:23:20

Saddiq Khan.

It's not acceptable and

he needs to do much better.

Nicky

0:23:200:23:24

Morgan.

Question number eight.

Last

week the government published the

0:23:240:23:31

National policy framework for

consultation and through clearer

0:23:310:23:33

guidance to councils and developers

it will help develop, deliver more

0:23:330:23:39

homes and more quickly.

Thank you

for the answer. For the sake of

0:23:390:23:43

disclosure I should say my husband

is the leader, or they refuse to

0:23:430:23:47

call them that, planning permissions

for ten years worth of housing, but

0:23:470:23:54

the difficulty is trying to get the

developers to start the building. If

0:23:540:23:58

that doesn't happen it affects the

five-year land supply leaving other

0:23:580:24:01

sites vulnerable to develop and. Can

the Minister tell the House what the

0:24:010:24:05

government plans to do to speed up

delivery by developers for planning

0:24:050:24:08

permission is they already have?

I

thank my Right Honourable friend.

0:24:080:24:13

The good news is in 2017 she saw

160,000 new homes registered to be

0:24:130:24:18

built, the highest number since the

financial crash, and she is right

0:24:180:24:22

about speed, the NPPF will help

deliver that through the housing

0:24:220:24:25

delivery test and my Right

Honourable friend the member for

0:24:250:24:28

Dorset West is reviewing build-out

rates.

I have no wish to be unkind

0:24:280:24:32

to the honourable member, the lady

for Bath, let me put it this way, we

0:24:320:24:36

have had a dose from Bath but by

long-standing convention the member

0:24:360:24:46

isn't called twice on substantive

questions so the Honourable Lady

0:24:460:24:48

seeks to catch my eye on the double

core question she may be successful.

0:24:480:24:51

I admire her persistence but I hope

she understands that's the way we

0:24:510:24:54

operate -- on a topical question.

She's not greedy, she's just keen!

0:24:540:24:57

John Mann.

Questioned nine, Mr

Speaker.

In nearly all cases it is

0:24:570:25:04

for local authorities to take the

final decision on a local plan. In

0:25:040:25:07

the last two years 50 local plans

were deemed sound by planning

0:25:070:25:10

inspectors and won by the ministry

itself.

But, Mr Speaker, looking at

0:25:100:25:15

the consultation from last week

whereby neighbourhood plans are

0:25:150:25:20

according to the government a bit

able to be overturned by local

0:25:200:25:23

councils above them. And local

council plans above them, by the

0:25:230:25:30

Secretary of State and his faceless

bureaucrats. What is wrong in this

0:25:300:25:35

country with freedom and democracy

of local people making the decisions

0:25:350:25:41

effectively and fairly and

democratically? Is this Josef

0:25:410:25:46

Stalin, or is this English democracy

that this government is forcing upon

0:25:460:25:49

us?

Mr Speaker, for the thunder and

lightning we are investing £23

0:25:490:25:59

million to support neighbourhood

planning groups and I would gently

0:25:590:26:02

remind the honourable gentleman that

94% of councils have published local

0:26:020:26:06

plans compared to 32% when Labor

last left office, the last Labour

0:26:060:26:10

government wantonly failed to

deliver in encouraging they take-up

0:26:100:26:13

of local plans where this government

has succeeded.

Mr Speaker, talking

0:26:130:26:19

of planning ahead, two councils in

Somerset, Taunton Deane and West

0:26:190:26:23

Somerset, are waiting to form a

civil council. They have had major

0:26:230:26:28

savings by joint sharing already,

but now they really need to know if

0:26:280:26:31

they can form one authority, and I

wonder if my Right Honourable friend

0:26:310:26:36

might update me on the process and

the progress of it.

I thank my

0:26:360:26:44

honourable friend. This is under

imminent review. The Secretary of

0:26:440:26:47

State is giving his personal

attention and there will be a

0:26:470:26:49

decision taken on it shortly.

Thank

you, Mr Speaker. Last week I

0:26:490:26:55

attended a meeting of the Eden Park

residents Association as part of the

0:26:550:27:01

conversation on Stoke-on-Trent's

joint local plan as they are aghast

0:27:010:27:04

at proposals to bring forward the

greenfield site of Berryhill fields

0:27:040:27:08

while brownfield sites are left

unlocked at. What can the Minister

0:27:080:27:11

say to them to make sure that they

know that when it comes to looking

0:27:110:27:14

for new housing developer and sites

that brownfield sites will always be

0:27:140:27:18

chosen over greenfield sites?

I

thank the honourable gentleman. He

0:27:180:27:23

is right and we have reinforced the

focus on Brownfield first and also

0:27:230:27:26

looking for extra density where it

can be provided through the National

0:27:260:27:30

Planning Policy Framework and I look

forward to his supportive comments

0:27:300:27:32

during consultation.

0:27:320:27:35

Stephen Timms.

Question ten, Mr

speaker.

Since 2010 we have

0:27:350:27:44

delivered 357,000 affordable homes

including 128,000 homes for social

0:27:440:27:50

rent and the government is providing

£9 billion of affordable housing and

0:27:500:27:56

a 1 billion HR revenue certainty and

these measures will support social

0:27:560:28:02

landlords to build more social homes

where the need is greatest.

The

0:28:020:28:09

number of government funded homes

built for social rent fell to 199 in

0:28:090:28:13

the last six months, the lowest

numbers since records have been

0:28:130:28:20

kept, isn't it clear that there is

an urgent need for a major

0:28:200:28:24

government funded programme of

social housing?

I know this is an

0:28:240:28:29

issue that the honourable member has

championed and it is a badger to do

0:28:290:28:34

business with him. We recognise the

critical role supported

0:28:340:28:39

accommodation can play in helping

vulnerable people to live

0:28:390:28:45

independently and we have delivered

over a thousand units and we have

0:28:450:28:48

plans to increase that on top in the

areas that need it most.

I thank my

0:28:480:28:58

honourable friend for her answers,

Brigitte Abbey has won the

0:28:580:29:03

department is returning money to the

Treasury -- but could she explain

0:29:030:29:09

why her department is returning

money to the Treasury?

Because some

0:29:090:29:13

people seem to be causing mischief

over something, this is less than 3%

0:29:130:29:17

of the total budget and the money

has been re-profile to come back in

0:29:170:29:23

in future years and when councils

and local authorities and housing

0:29:230:29:26

associations can bid in, the money

is there to be spent and we wanted

0:29:260:29:32

be spent.

Alex Marquez. -- Morris.

Building council houses is a prudent

0:29:320:29:41

way to provide houses for social

rent but this has been choked off by

0:29:410:29:44

the government by only inching the

cap of rather than removing it

0:29:440:29:48

completely. When will they remove

it?

I don't understand why people

0:29:480:29:56

misunderstand what is going on with

local government finance, the most

0:29:560:30:00

serious areas where there are

shortages of affordable housing, the

0:30:000:30:03

cat has been lifted to £1 billion

borrowing -- the cap. We made local

0:30:030:30:10

authorities to step up and if his

local council has projects like mind

0:30:100:30:13

as they will be looked unfavourably,

so please ask your local councils to

0:30:130:30:16

step up.

Ian Austin.

Number 11.

I do

beg your pardon. Let's get to number

0:30:160:30:27

11. LAUGHTER

0:30:270:30:34

The numbers in the West Midlands

have increased, overview from 2016

0:30:380:30:47

-- over the year from 2016 in

increased by eight people, I have

0:30:470:30:52

the figures, so don't disagree with

me. We have committed to providing

0:30:520:30:57

£20 million of funding to pilot a

housing first approach in the three

0:30:570:31:02

major regions which includes the

West Midlands combined authority and

0:31:020:31:05

I'm looking forward to working with

the mayor of the West Midlands on

0:31:050:31:07

this issue.

I think anybody in the

West Midlands who hears a ministers

0:31:070:31:14

say that the number of rough

sleepers has only increased by eight

0:31:140:31:18

will be absolutely staggered at the

complacency from this government.

0:31:180:31:25

The fact is rough sleeping has

soared in Birmingham and even in

0:31:250:31:29

towns like Dudley where tragically a

homeless man died in a tent in the

0:31:290:31:34

last few weeks, and the Mayor's

policy won't see rough sleeping

0:31:340:31:41

abolished until 2027 and we need a

much more urgent approach was. I

0:31:410:31:49

would like to see if ministers will

agree to a new scheme which can help

0:31:490:31:55

hundreds of people over the last few

months.

I think that was a really

0:31:550:32:03

good question and it is helpful that

we get intelligent questions in this

0:32:030:32:06

chamber because it means that we can

give intelligent answers and the

0:32:060:32:10

intelligent answer is the housing

first project is about wraparound

0:32:100:32:16

care, £28 million of public money

going to help solve this desperate

0:32:160:32:23

problem, the advisory panel is

meeting for the third time in

0:32:230:32:27

another two weeks and the task force

has already met and it is an urgent

0:32:270:32:31

matter for this government and it

will be solved.

Diana Johnson.

0:32:310:32:36

Question 12.

With permission, I will

answer this question together with

0:32:360:32:46

question 19, the 2018-2019

settlement is the third year of a

0:32:460:32:48

four-year deal providing funding

certainty and accepted by 97% of

0:32:480:32:54

councils, and it sees a real terms

increase in resources to local

0:32:540:32:57

government over the next two years

totalling £45.1 billion in the

0:32:570:33:01

forthcoming financial year.

Hull is

the third most deprived local

0:33:010:33:08

authority in the country and two

thirds of residence requires social

0:33:080:33:10

care compared to the national

average and we have been losing

0:33:100:33:16

government funding since 2010 by

half and we will be getting the

0:33:160:33:19

lowest amount per head of any area

in Yorkshire and the Humber Council.

0:33:190:33:23

Having got it so wrong, can the

minister now guarantee that Hull

0:33:230:33:28

will get a fair funding settlement?

The honourable lady makes comments

0:33:280:33:36

about funding for deprived areas and

she will be pleased to know that

0:33:360:33:39

funding per household in her area is

higher than the average for unitary

0:33:390:33:44

authorities across the country and

in general the most deprived local

0:33:440:33:48

authorities have funding per

household 23% higher than the most

0:33:480:33:53

well-off but I can reassure her that

we are committed to introducing a

0:33:530:33:57

new fair funding formula and I look

forward to hearing her response and

0:33:570:34:00

from her counsel as we develop it.

In a letter to the Secretary of

0:34:000:34:05

State last month the Conservative

leader of Warwickshire County

0:34:050:34:09

Council stated that in their view,

the current funding model for local

0:34:090:34:14

government is unsustainable, is she

correct?

Mr speaker, I appreciate

0:34:140:34:22

the point about the funding

settlement and the Formolo, but he

0:34:220:34:25

will know from his membership of the

select committee which I have the

0:34:250:34:29

pleasure to appear before, we are

looking very hard at the structure

0:34:290:34:32

of local government financing,

increasing the business rates

0:34:320:34:38

retention and also introducing a new

needs -based formula which takes

0:34:380:34:41

into account update needs and

resources and I know his committee

0:34:410:34:43

will play a huge part in making sure

that we get that right for

0:34:430:34:46

Warwickshire and the country.

I

strongly supported the pressure that

0:34:460:34:54

we have put local authorities under

to improve efficiency and I'm sure

0:34:540:34:58

that elsewhere in the country there

are examples of where further needs

0:34:580:35:01

to be done but in the South West my

impression is that in Devon amply

0:35:010:35:07

met and many other local

authorities, right now their

0:35:070:35:11

finances have been cut to the bone

and I do think there is an

0:35:110:35:16

opportunity for the government to be

more generous with efficient local

0:35:160:35:20

authorities in the south-west to

enable them to make sure their

0:35:200:35:22

priorities are delivered -- Devon

and Cornwall and Plymouth.

I pay

0:35:220:35:30

tribute to local authorities across

the country, they have done a

0:35:300:35:35

commendable job of providing high

quality services in a difficult

0:35:350:35:38

climate and I thank them, and I look

forward to the representations from

0:35:380:35:42

Devon and the south-west as we

0:35:420:35:44

reform local government and

financing through the fair funding

0:35:440:35:46

formula.

David Lammy.

On the 4th of

July the Secretary of State said to

0:35:460:35:52

the house that he would help with

every precaution local authorities

0:35:520:35:57

dealing with the cladding problem

across our country following the

0:35:570:35:59

Grenfell Tower fire. Why is it

despite over 40 run local

0:35:590:36:06

authorities asking for that help and

the Department given £117 million

0:36:060:36:12

back to the Treasury, has he not

been able to find the money to help

0:36:120:36:17

those poor people in those buildings

worried as we speak?

Mr speaker, the

0:36:170:36:25

department is in discussions with

multiple local authorities about the

0:36:250:36:28

requirements to improve the safety

of buildings and we understand the

0:36:280:36:31

Department has not said no to any

local authority that is far which is

0:36:310:36:35

seeking flexibility with those

plans.

My own counsel in Derbyshire

0:36:350:36:41

has seen an hundred £80 million over

half of their budget cut in the last

0:36:410:36:44

seven years -- my own counsel in

Derbyshire has seen £180 million,

0:36:440:36:52

over half their budget cut in the

last seven years. What will be

0:36:520:36:58

minister do to make sure that the

council's receives the proper

0:36:580:37:02

funding they need to free up

hospital beds and support families

0:37:020:37:06

in the most urgent need?

As we have

discussed the government has put

0:37:060:37:12

extra resources into social care and

it is pleasing to see that over the

0:37:120:37:17

past year delayed transfers of care

across England have fallen 34%,

0:37:170:37:23

showing that the resources putting

in our making a difference on the

0:37:230:37:25

ground.

Since 2010 Hull City Council

have been forced to cut their

0:37:250:37:32

children's services budget by £37.2

million and this has meant they have

0:37:320:37:37

not had the money they have needed

for the early intervention support

0:37:370:37:41

for families and it is no surprise

that the number of looked after

0:37:410:37:44

children in Hull has increased by

140, 140 lives changed for ever,

0:37:440:37:53

will the minister please give

authorities like Hull more money so

0:37:530:37:57

they can give those families support

when they need it before the

0:37:570:38:00

families enter crisis?

The

honourable lady is right to

0:38:000:38:07

highlight the important work that

prevention plays no one wants to a

0:38:070:38:09

child in need. That is why this

government has committed almost £1

0:38:090:38:15

billion to the troubled families

programme over this period in the

0:38:150:38:17

spending review which as recent

results have shown has reduced the

0:38:170:38:26

Children In Need.

0:38:260:38:27

Last week the respected audit office

published a report on the financial

0:38:310:38:35

sustainability of local authorities

and it laid clear the significant

0:38:350:38:38

challenges faced by councils and the

vital services they deliver, can the

0:38:380:38:45

Secretary of State prove he is on

the side of local councils and place

0:38:450:38:48

in the House of Commons library any

submissions he has made to the

0:38:480:38:52

Chancellor ahead of the Spring

Budget?

I also read the National

0:38:520:38:57

Audit Office report with interest

and I was pleased to see it made

0:38:570:39:02

very positive comments about the

Department's work in getting to

0:39:020:39:05

grips with the challenges across

local government making sure the

0:39:050:39:09

sector is properly resourced and

looks forward to the reviews that

0:39:090:39:11

are being put in place to improve

funding and business rates retention

0:39:110:39:16

in the way forward. The government

is committed to delivering a new

0:39:160:39:24

generation of council homes we are

providing local authorities with the

0:39:240:39:27

tools and resources to deliver them.

In 2009, 2010, the last Labour

0:39:270:39:35

government had 14,000 starts in that

one year but this government has

0:39:350:39:38

financed 199 in the last six months,

given we have such a shortage of

0:39:380:39:43

local social housing and we have a

homelessness crisis, how does the

0:39:430:39:48

government explained this was a ball

performance?

For the record, local

0:39:480:39:53

authorities have built over 10,000

homes since 2010 compared to under

0:39:530:39:58

3000 in the 13 years of the last

Labour government but we know we had

0:39:580:40:01

to do much more on that is why we

are raising the borrowing cap by up

0:40:010:40:06

to £1 billion to make sure we spare

local house-building as widely as we

0:40:060:40:09

can.

Is it in the private sector to

build in sufficient quantity is to

0:40:090:40:17

achieve a reduction in price?

It is

a good question which is probably

0:40:170:40:24

one for a symposium with everyone

from developers and the planners,

0:40:240:40:28

but we do want to see a

stabilisation in house prices and we

0:40:280:40:32

need to build more homes and deal

with the demand, there is no single

0:40:320:40:37

answer and we have got to yak every

lever at our disposal 30% harder. --

0:40:370:40:42

yank.

At last, thank you, Mr

speaker. The settlement sees a real

0:40:420:40:53

increase for local government in the

next two years, increasing from

0:40:530:40:56

£44.3 billion to £45.6 billion.

Edward Aga.

0:40:560:41:03

Leicestershire has had one of the

lowest per head of population

0:41:060:41:10

funding settlements in the country,

will he make sure that with the new

0:41:100:41:19

funding system it provides fair

funding for Leicestershire alongside

0:41:190:41:22

his department continuing to support

our councils in driving further

0:41:220:41:25

efficiencies and service

improvements?

In particular for

0:41:250:41:31

Leicestershire but for councils

there could be no better champion of

0:41:310:41:34

fairer funding for the many councils

and not the few, than my honourable

0:41:340:41:40

friend, and this evidence -based

review will provide the opportunity

0:41:400:41:44

from their funding allocations for

Leicestershire and other councils.

0:41:440:41:48

On the 4th of December the sectarian

state told the house that local

0:41:480:41:55

government finance settlement is

coming shortly and he can see what

0:41:550:41:57

happens with that, but apart from

finding out that the Secretary of

0:41:570:42:00

State is bad at maths and doesn't

know what is happening in his

0:42:000:42:03

Department the settlement came and

went with no help for children's

0:42:030:42:07

services, since then Tory

Northamptonshire has effectively

0:42:070:42:10

gone bust siding children's services

as one of the main cost pressures

0:42:100:42:13

and only last week the National

Audit Office published a damning

0:42:130:42:19

report showing the worst crisis in

the local government sectors 170

0:42:190:42:28

year history, so with the Spring

statement tomorrow, what is the

0:42:280:42:31

minister going to do to make sure

that our children's services get the

0:42:310:42:35

£2 billion that even the Tory

controlled local government

0:42:350:42:40

Association says that they so

desperately need?

0:42:400:42:46

Well, Mr Speaker, we have increased

funding in real terms and I'm sure

0:42:460:42:51

his constituents in Denton and

Redditch like my constituents will

0:42:510:42:56

welcome that. What I would say to

the honourable gentleman, with the

0:42:560:42:59

fairer funding review coming up

white rather than trying to score

0:42:590:43:02

political points across the chamber,

doesn't he get involved in it so

0:43:020:43:06

local authorities can concentrate on

delivering?

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

0:43:060:43:10

Can my honourable friend provide

assurances that the pressures on how

0:43:100:43:14

to London boroughs will be

considered as part of the fairer

0:43:140:43:17

funding review?

I can absolutely

provide those assurances to my

0:43:170:43:22

honourable friend, demographic

change will be at the heart of the

0:43:220:43:24

fairer funding review.

Number 15, Mr

Speaker.

Mr Speaker, over the

0:43:240:43:31

Spending Review period councils will

receive more than £200 billion to

0:43:310:43:35

deliver local services, this money

is in the large part in ring fenced

0:43:350:43:39

so local authorities can prioritise

where they see fit, including for

0:43:390:43:43

their statutory duties relating to

children in care.

Thank you, Mr

0:43:430:43:48

Speaker. With the education

disparity between looked after and

0:43:480:43:50

not looked after children so wide

what more does the Minister believe

0:43:500:43:54

local authorities can do to bridge

this gap?

My honourable friend race

0:43:540:43:59

is a good point about the outcomes

for children in care. The government

0:43:590:44:03

is consulting and is shortly to

introduce the care leavers covenant

0:44:030:44:07

looking to support companies,

charities and local government to

0:44:070:44:10

bring care leavers into implement

after they leave care and

0:44:100:44:14

strengthening corporate parenting

provisions in the forthcoming

0:44:140:44:16

children and social work act.

Mr

Speaker, over 1 million homes have

0:44:160:44:24

been delivered since 2010, we are

taking forward a range of reforms to

0:44:240:44:28

build more homes more swiftly,

including the NPPF published last

0:44:280:44:34

week.

Two weeks ago I asked the

Department for the number of houses

0:44:340:44:38

will not be built because of land

banking, and the answer came back

0:44:380:44:42

the department does not hold the

information requested. How can the

0:44:420:44:47

Minister have a crackdown on land

banking if he has no information? I

0:44:470:44:51

believe the minister does have that

information and I urge the Minister

0:44:510:44:57

to publish that information so he

can monitor the builders and we can

0:44:570:45:00

monitor his performance.

Can I say,

Mr Speaker, I welcome that scrutiny.

0:45:000:45:07

It is difficult to establish the

negative in the way he is suggesting

0:45:070:45:12

but we have the NPPF housing

delivery test that will test local

0:45:120:45:18

authorities and developers on the

delivery of homes and the review by

0:45:180:45:21

my Right Honourable friend for

Dorset West which will squarely

0:45:210:45:25

address the point he is concerned

about.

Number 18, Mr Speaker.

Thank

0:45:250:45:30

you, Mr Speaker. For areas not, that

have not agreed deal so far we aim

0:45:300:45:35

to provide clarity on how best to

take forward their ambitions for

0:45:350:45:39

devolution and local growth over the

coming months.

The Minister will be

0:45:390:45:44

aware that the greater Lincolnshire

deal collapsed last year despite the

0:45:440:45:48

support of the overwhelming number

of local authorities. Will the

0:45:480:45:52

Minister look favourably on a

revised scheme from a smaller number

0:45:520:45:56

of authorities in the county?

Mr

Speaker, devolution could almost be

0:45:560:46:02

regarded as the golden thread of

Brexit. If we want to take back

0:46:020:46:05

control we should bring power is not

just from Brussels to London but

0:46:050:46:09

from London back to our regions.

Last Friday I met with borough and

0:46:090:46:14

county councillors in Gainsborough

and Lincoln and was struck by the

0:46:140:46:18

pent-up demand for devolution in

Lincolnshire and suggest the

0:46:180:46:21

honourable gentleman uses his

considerable leadership role to

0:46:210:46:25

drive for devolution in his.

Topical

questions, Tom Pursglove.

Mr

0:46:250:46:32

Speaker, yesterday we marked

Mother's Day, a few days after

0:46:320:46:35

International Women's Day and the

100th anniversary of women getting

0:46:350:46:38

the boat. All members will want to

join me in applauding the

0:46:380:46:43

exceptional women who make this

country great including our Prime

0:46:430:46:46

Minister. Last week she launched

bold ambitious reforms to planning

0:46:460:46:49

rules to help build the homes this

country needs and since my last

0:46:490:46:58

department I'm pleased the

homelessness reduction task force

0:46:580:47:01

has met for the first time and the

government confirmed a support for

0:47:010:47:03

the National War Memorial honouring

Sikh servicemen. Corbyn East is East

0:47:030:47:09

Hampshire and share has been at the

front over building new homes in

0:47:090:47:13

line with the agenda set up by the

Prime Minister last week. Can he

0:47:130:47:17

reassure my constituents that along

with building those new homes will

0:47:170:47:22

see the appropriate infrastructure

to accompany them at all times?

My

0:47:220:47:26

honourable friend is right to raise

the issue of infrastructure when it

0:47:260:47:30

comes to building the homes we need.

That's why for example the housing

0:47:300:47:35

infrastructure fund is so important.

Inodes through his hard work in the

0:47:350:47:39

first allegation that Corby received

some and I listen carefully to what

0:47:390:47:45

he says. -- I know that through his

hard work.

Nine months on from the

0:47:450:47:51

Grenfell Tower fire at Nakamba

Secretary of State say yes or no

0:47:510:47:57

weather every tower block with a

social or a private landlord which

0:47:570:48:02

has Grenfell type cladding has now

been identified and tested?

Mr

0:48:020:48:10

Speaker, the Right Honourable

gentleman is right to raise this

0:48:100:48:15

issue, it is key that we make sure

we're hoping local identify those

0:48:150:48:19

tower blocks. When it comes to

social housing all of those tower

0:48:190:48:26

blocks, whether owned by councils or

housing associations have been

0:48:260:48:29

identified and we continue to work

with local councils including giving

0:48:290:48:33

additional financial support, just

last week of £1 million to find and

0:48:330:48:37

make sure they are identifying every

single tower block in the private

0:48:370:48:40

sector and they will continue to

receive whatever support they need.

0:48:400:48:48

Mr Speaker, I think that was a long

winded no and is consistent with the

0:48:480:48:52

recent building safety data release

so, how is it nine months after

0:48:520:48:58

Grenfell that not all private tower

blocks with suspect cladding have

0:48:580:49:02

been tested, that only seven of 301

blocks with Grenfell type cladding

0:49:020:49:11

have yet had had removed and

replaced, that not one of 41

0:49:110:49:17

councils that have asked for

financial help with extra fire

0:49:170:49:20

safety work has yet even had an

answer from the Department? Now, he

0:49:200:49:26

is the Housing Secretary. What does

he say to reasonable people faced

0:49:260:49:29

with these facts who feel that he is

failing the Prime Minister's pledge

0:49:290:49:36

in June, my government, she said,

will do whatever it takes to keep

0:49:360:49:40

people safe.

Mr Speaker, reasonable

people understand just how important

0:49:400:49:48

this issue is and they don't take

kindly when they Right Honourable

0:49:480:49:54

gentleman plays party politics with

such an important issue. Such an

0:49:540:49:58

important issue. If he actually

cared Right Honourable gentleman

0:49:580:50:03

wouldn't raise it in such a way and

use numbers and twist the facts so

0:50:030:50:07

that he tries to scare the public

with what is going on. The truth is

0:50:070:50:11

we are working with local

authorities up-and-down the country

0:50:110:50:16

to address and locate every single

building, put in remedial measures,

0:50:160:50:20

and also to help them with the

funding, and not a single council,

0:50:200:50:23

as he says, has been turned away. We

are talking to every single council

0:50:230:50:27

that has approached us and we made

it clear they will all receive, if

0:50:270:50:31

they needed, the financial

flexibility is to get the job done.

0:50:310:50:35

Thank you, Mr Speaker. Thousands of

homes have been granted planning

0:50:350:50:40

permission in my constituency but

then we often see long delays until

0:50:400:50:44

the houses are built. Could my Right

Honourable friend advise what steps

0:50:440:50:47

he is taking to make sure that when

planning permission is granted

0:50:470:50:50

houses are built, and particularly

affordable homes?

I can give my

0:50:500:50:58

honourable friend that assurance.

First, there is the work we have

0:50:580:51:02

commissioned, the Independent work

from the Right Honourable member

0:51:020:51:05

from West Dorset, on speeding a

building once planning permission

0:51:050:51:08

has been given and we will hear more

on that this week. Secondly, in the

0:51:080:51:11

consultation that was published

earlier this week, there is a

0:51:110:51:15

particular focus on developer

contributions to make sure that

0:51:150:51:18

developers stick to their word and

they can no longer game the system.

0:51:180:51:21

Matt Western.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

On the 1st of March we saw the

0:51:210:51:27

relaunch of the Parliamentary

campaign for council housing

0:51:270:51:33

bringing together MPs from all

parties, calling for the mass

0:51:330:51:37

building of council housing. Can the

Minister or Secretary of State

0:51:370:51:42

specify what the Department is doing

to accelerate the expansion and

0:51:420:51:46

building of council housing in this

country?

Thank you, Mr Speaker. I

0:51:460:51:55

reiterate again, we are raising the

HRA borrowing limited to £1 billion

0:51:550:52:01

for local authorities where there is

the highest need for new council

0:52:010:52:04

housing to be built to apply, again,

please can I ask him to encourage

0:52:040:52:09

councils in his area to apply?

What

recent assessment has the department

0:52:090:52:14

made of the success of the troubled

families programme?

Thank you, Mr

0:52:140:52:24

Speaker. My honourable friend has a

long history of being interested in

0:52:240:52:26

this programme and he will be

pleased to know the evaluation

0:52:260:52:29

reports published in December showed

very promising progress particularly

0:52:290:52:32

with regard to children in need and

further findings will be published

0:52:320:52:36

in due course in the annual report

and I look forward to discussing

0:52:360:52:39

those at length with him then.

Thank

you, Mr Speaker. The current

0:52:390:52:45

definition for affordable housing

introduced by the coalition

0:52:450:52:49

government is set at 80% of local

market rate. But when house prices

0:52:490:52:54

are spiralling out of control, as

they are in my Battersea

0:52:540:52:58

constituency, this definition of

affordable housing is a cruel joke

0:52:580:53:01

to those on low or medium incomes.

Will the Secretary of State commit

0:53:010:53:06

to replacing this absurd definition

so that housing can be genuinely

0:53:060:53:12

affordable to my constituents?

Well,

I do understand the issue the

0:53:120:53:17

Honourable Lady raises. I would say

the numbers on social housing

0:53:170:53:21

waiting lists are down by half a

million since 2010 and a number of

0:53:210:53:25

affordable homes in total including

social housing is higher in the last

0:53:250:53:28

seven years and the previous seven

years of the last Labour government

0:53:280:53:30

but we are restless to do more. I'm

not sure fiddling the criteria of

0:53:300:53:35

how these things are measured is the

answer. We need more homes across

0:53:350:53:38

the board and I welcome her support

in that regard.

Thank you, Mr

0:53:380:53:43

Speaker. My honourable friend has

already raised the issue of fairer

0:53:430:53:47

funding for Leicestershire County

Council. The county council are

0:53:470:53:49

broadly supportive of the

Government's consultation but does

0:53:490:53:52

the Minister agree that the overall

funding formula needs to be looked

0:53:520:53:55

at in detail because of the baseline

is not addressed Leicestershire will

0:53:550:54:00

still be falling behind other county

councils?

Mr Speaker, I very much

0:54:000:54:05

agree with my Right Honourable

friend, that Leicestershire in

0:54:050:54:08

particular has done much work on

this, which will certainly feed into

0:54:080:54:11

the consultation on fairer funding

that is closing today. I also know

0:54:110:54:15

my honourable friend the housing

minister recently met with

0:54:150:54:18

Leicestershire and I would be happy

to meet with my honourable friend to

0:54:180:54:21

discuss this further.

Patrick Grady.

Thank you, Mr Speaker. Given the

0:54:210:54:26

importance of European Union

regional development funding across

0:54:260:54:29

the UK what discussions is the

Secretary of State having about

0:54:290:54:33

replacing this funding after Brexit?

Mr Speaker, we are having white

0:54:330:54:38

discussions with all departments

across government consulting on the

0:54:380:54:43

UK's Shared Prosperity Fund, which

crucially in a post-Brexit world

0:54:430:54:46

will deliver on Britain's priorities

when it comes to local growth

0:54:460:54:49

funding.

Kevin Hollinrake.

Thank

you, Mr Speaker. A recent report by

0:54:490:54:54

the campaign to protect rural

England says the viability

0:54:540:54:56

assessments favour large Donegal

arched developers of a small

0:54:560:55:00

developers and cut the number of

affordable homes by 50%. With the

0:55:000:55:04

Minister use the strongest possible

action to make sure SMEs compete on

0:55:040:55:09

a level playing field with large

builders and developers provide

0:55:090:55:12

homes for those most in need.

My

honourable friend is absolutely

0:55:120:55:17

right and through our planning

reforms we are putting formal rigour

0:55:170:55:20

into the systems, both so plans,

planners are clear about the

0:55:200:55:25

allegations on infrastructure and

affordable houses but so that

0:55:250:55:27

developers can be properly held to

account in meeting those aspirations

0:55:270:55:30

and commitments.

If the government

are serious about the Northern

0:55:300:55:35

Powerhouse and improving

connectivity between communities in

0:55:350:55:37

the north, does the Northern

Powerhouse Minister think that

0:55:370:55:41

trans-Pennine's plans to lengthen

journeys from Hull across the

0:55:410:55:45

Pennines and not turning up to a

meeting with the city's MPs and

0:55:450:55:49

business leaders last week to

discuss this, will help deliver his

0:55:490:55:52

plans for the Northern Powerhouse?

I

think it's extremely disappointing

0:55:520:55:57

if trans-Pennine didn't turn up to a

meeting with members of Parliament

0:55:570:56:01

from the city of Hull. What I would

say, and I hope the Honourable Lady

0:56:010:56:05

will be encouraged that we are

investing £13 billion to put it in

0:56:050:56:10

context, more money than any

government in history, in our

0:56:100:56:14

northern transport infrastructure,

and on top of that we have set up

0:56:140:56:17

transport for the North, a sub

national transport body currently

0:56:170:56:23

consulting on a 30 year plan to

improve transport across the north

0:56:230:56:26

of England, and that is how you

deliver a Northern Powerhouse.

Thank

0:56:260:56:32

you, Mr Speaker. With a chest to set

to displace a number of tenants

0:56:320:56:35

living in social housing in my

constituency, would my Right

0:56:350:56:38

Honourable friend consider whether

the rent act 1977, which obliges

0:56:380:56:43

councils to rehouse council tenants

whose homes are subject to

0:56:430:56:46

compulsory purchase orders, will

need amending to reflect the fact

0:56:460:56:49

the majority of social housing stock

is now owned by housing associations

0:56:490:56:53

rather than by local authorities?

I

entirely understand the concern that

0:56:530:57:00

my honourable friend is sharing with

us. I hope I can give some

0:57:000:57:03

reassurance. I don't think there is

need to amend the 1977 act because

0:57:030:57:09

local authorities are already

obliged to consider those in need of

0:57:090:57:12

social housing through the Housing

Act 1996, so local authorities will

0:57:120:57:15

make appropriate non-Asians to

housing associations or offer

0:57:150:57:19

tenancies in their own stock. --

nominations to housing associations.

0:57:190:57:29

Given that the members for Reading

West and Nuneaton are not in their

0:57:290:57:35

former government posts, what has

happened to the consultation and the

0:57:350:57:38

timescale for action the government

promised my frustrated constituents?

0:57:380:57:46

It is a very important issue and we

are looking to see what more we can

0:57:460:57:50

do with the challenges it represents

and we are planning to publish a

0:57:500:57:54

consultation and will do so as soon

as possible.

An article in the

0:57:540:58:00

Sunday Times yesterday highlighted

that we still have some councils

0:58:000:58:02

performing mass burials for babies

and I was appalled but research has

0:58:020:58:08

identified that despite campaign

efforts by colleagues across the

0:58:080:58:11

house and charities, we have not

been able to set up a children's

0:58:110:58:14

funeral fund, would you meet with me

to progress this?

Mr speaker, you

0:58:140:58:21

are right to raise this, nothing can

be harder than losing a parent and

0:58:210:58:25

we must also be looking to see what

could be done to provide help, local

0:58:250:58:30

authorities provide help in many

ways but she is right to raise this

0:58:300:58:33

and I was also concerned by the

article she referenced and I will be

0:58:330:58:36

happy to meet with her.

Every day is

a school day, especially when it

0:58:360:58:43

comes to parliamentary conventions.

Affordable housing and council

0:58:430:58:49

housing are not the same, will the

minister consider amending the

0:58:490:58:54

planning policy framework to enable

councils to specify in their

0:58:540:58:57

strategic plans different housing

types rather than mentioning

0:58:570:59:02

affordable and housing always on the

same breath?

The honourable lady

0:59:020:59:08

makes an important point but if

she'd accept the detail of the new

0:59:080:59:11

revised national policy plan she

will see there is scope for the

0:59:110:59:17

distinction and I look forward to

her responses in support.

Could I

0:59:170:59:23

ask the Secretary of State when we

are likely to get a decision on the

0:59:230:59:26

fantastic plans for expansion at

because way in my constituency? --

0:59:260:59:31

at the Causeway. I don't know why

this is taken so long, because what

0:59:310:59:37

is there not to like about more jobs

and infrastructure.

I should declare

0:59:370:59:42

an interest, I have been shopping

there many times, it is my mother 's

0:59:420:59:52

favourite place, but we are looking

at this in detail. It is relatively

0:59:520:59:57

complex but we will try to reach a

decision as quickly as possible.

It

0:59:571:00:02

is useful to learn about minister's

domestic habits and we are grateful

1:00:021:00:07

for the minister providing further

information.

1:00:071:00:09

Northamptonshire County Council has

really -- recently gone bust, is

1:00:121:00:19

that because of incompetence?

It

hasn't gone bust, but because of

1:00:191:00:24

concerns about their finances with

ago I appointed an independent

1:00:241:00:27

investigation into this, a best

value in inspection and the

1:00:271:00:32

inspector will report later this

week.

I welcomed the government's

1:00:321:00:39

encouraging words on the need to

improve the funding for the upper

1:00:391:00:42

tiers but would the Secretary of

State welcome and congratulate

1:00:421:00:49

Conservative run Brock Stowe Borough

Council which has frozen its council

1:00:491:00:52

tax yet again while delivering

excellent services and reducing

1:00:521:00:57

rents by 1% and spending half £1

million on parks and open spaces,

1:00:571:01:04

and Labour and the Liberal Democrats

at Brookstone voted against this.

1:01:041:01:10

First of all come up I have to say

to my honourable friend, are not

1:01:101:01:15

surprised at the behaviour of Labour

and the Lib Dems, but I would warmly

1:01:151:01:21

welcomed the council in your

constituency by keeping taxes low

1:01:211:01:26

and quality high, and it is a

reminder that Conservative councils

1:01:261:01:33

cost you less but give you more.

The

fact of the matter, I'm sure the

1:01:331:01:40

Secretary of State will agree, the

government has quite rightly

1:01:401:01:44

increased the standard and the cost

should be borne partly by the

1:01:441:01:50

freeholder and partly by the

leasehold and partly by the

1:01:501:01:53

government, why doesn't he get those

three together and do something

1:01:531:01:56

about it?

We have made it clear that

when it comes to the private sector

1:01:561:02:04

and this type of remedial work, they

should take their lead from the

1:02:041:02:05

social sector and it is the moral

duty of any freeholder to meet any

1:02:051:02:11

necessary cost and there are a

number of legal issues, the legal

1:02:111:02:15

case that is very important to this

going to the courts right now, and

1:02:151:02:20

this is something we are keeping

under review. Councils in rural

1:02:201:02:25

areas have received a rule deal

--

raw deal for many years, so in the

1:02:251:02:39

review, will be true cost of

services be delivered so that rural

1:02:391:02:41

areas get a fair deal?

I know you

are a doughty champion of rural

1:02:411:02:48

areas and I'm pleased to say that

your point will be considered in the

1:02:481:02:52

fair funding formula and I'm sure he

will be heart and by the local

1:02:521:02:55

government financial settlement

where we increase the rural services

1:02:551:02:59

delivery grant to its highest level.

Three remaining questions, if each

1:02:591:03:05

of the three agree to ask a single

sentence question less than 20

1:03:051:03:10

words.

What can the minister do to

include broadband in that?

We are

1:03:101:03:21

working with DC MS in doing just

that.

He is not a lawyer for

1:03:211:03:27

nothing.

Following Sunday Times

revelations about fraudulent

1:03:271:03:32

Grenfell aid claims, what more can

be done about this?

I won't comment

1:03:321:03:42

on the particular claims, I'm sure

you will understand, but it is

1:03:421:03:46

important that the council and the

police are working together on any

1:03:461:03:49

such alleged failure. -- behaviour.

Rebecca pow.

1:03:491:03:56

Under the new garden status, Taunton

Deane is delivering well above the

1:03:561:04:03

average which the minister will

appreciate about the best way to

1:04:031:04:10

succeed is with the recent funding

formula bid put in with Somerset

1:04:101:04:17

Council? -- but the best way for the

yes.

Pipe.

1:04:171:04:24