Landing in the right place.

For far too long, we have built too few homes at a price which people can afford. As a result, homelessness, hidden homelessness, over-crowding, families and individuals occupying unsatisfactory housing or living in insecure tenancies have all increased. It has a massive impact on employment, on schooling, on social care and on the housing benefitsContinue reading “Landing in the right place.”

WILKO STORE THREAT

Clive Betts MP [Sheffield South East and Chair of Housing Communities and Local Government Select Committee] has sought an urgent meeting with the Retail Director of WILKO Stores following speculation about the closure of the WILKO store in Darnall, Sheffield. Clive Betts said: “I have been contacted by a number of Darnall residents about the speculation surrounding the futureContinue reading “WILKO STORE THREAT”

Getting cross country

There is rarely a day when there isn’t a media story about our railways. This isn’t the case in most other countries in the world. Whenever Conservative Ministers suggest that they are the party of efficiency and effectiveness, I just need to point to their initial privatisation of the railways and their subsequent disastrous re-arrangementsContinue reading “Getting cross country”

Brexit halts…everything!

I cannot think of another time in my life when a single issue has so debilitated policy-making, prevented essential decision-taking and comprehensively sucked the oxygen from public and private discourse as Brexit has occasioned.Nationally, regionally and locally, large and small businesses have been deferring investment decisions for months now as the uncertainty continues. They areContinue reading “Brexit halts…everything!”

I have my suspicions

Last month, one of my constituents mentioned that, in the preceding weeks, he’d received a number of e-mails purporting to come from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or the Inland Revenue. He told me that these e-mails appeared legitimate, complete with HMRC logos and address details – quite unlike the ones from ‘Nigerian bankers’Continue reading “I have my suspicions”

A licence to break a promise?

Free TV licences for over 75s were introduced in 2000, when Gordon Brown was Chancellor.The rationale was that the TV plays an important tool in the battle against loneliness and social isolation. Four in 10 older people say the television is their main source of company. Many are unable to enjoy other social activities. ChristmasContinue reading “A licence to break a promise?”

Conservative ideology is costing us all

The Conservatives’ ideological commitment to “public sector bad; private sector good” is costing us all. It is what drives their privatisation and outsourcing instincts.When it is combined with ‘light touch’ regulation and contract management – with inadequate resources being committed to tender assessment and contract monitoring – we end up with poor value-for-money, service specificationsContinue reading “Conservative ideology is costing us all”