Up the High Street

Last week, in the House of Commons, I was able to speak about the recent report by the all-party Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee on High streets and town centres in 2030. I thank everyone who contributed to our inquiry, including our witnesses. We took a range of evidence from retailers, councils, landlords, planners […]

Kick them in the ballot box

Following announcements this week, there is to be a new £3 a week tax for 1.7 million over-75s Strangely, that’s not how the government described the decision to end free TV Licences for the over-75s. But that’s what it is equivalent to. More than 4000 over-75s in my constituency – and more than 20,000 in […]

Long way to go

The tragedy of Grenfell Tower continues. Another flat-block fire this last weekend is just the latest reminder that the review of building safety is urgent and important. The all-party Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, which I chair, has been looking at improvements that can be made to regulations and rules on buildings and building […]

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 benefits […]

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 future […]

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 are […]

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 specifications […]