Statement from Lib Peck on the Housing Bill
The Lambeth Labour Group of Councillors fully opposes the Tory Government’s Housing and Planning Bill.
Labour, locally and nationally, have been lobbying to try and make the bill less destructive. I gave evidence of the Bill’s damaging impact to Lambeth at a Parliamentary committeehttp://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/communities-and-local-government-committee/news-parliament-2015/housing-associations-evidence-15-16/ in November 2015, and together with Cllr Matthew Bennett (Cabinet Member for Housing) we have met with several government ministers, leading housing associations and the mayor of London to make our views known. Our views on the Bill have been set out clearly by Cllr Bennett here; http://www.lambeth-labour.org.uk/tory_housing_bill_of_horrors. We are also working with the other London councils to see how we can make the best out of a very bad deal if the legislation goes through.
Housing is a top priority for Labour in Lambeth and London and we will continue to support constructive ways to improve provision across the region and develop more affordable solutions. Locally in Lambeth Labour is spending £450 million bringing our council flats and houses up to the Lambeth Housing Standard. Thousands of homes are now in far better condition than when we took back the council from the Tories and Lib Dems nearly 10 years ago. We are also building 1,000 new council rent homes by 2018, a policy consistently opposed by the Conservative and Green parties in Lambeth. Lambeth Labour has also done a lot of work to support residents who have been badly affected by Tory policies, like the bedroom tax, by supporting them to manage their finances better, move into more suitable properties and find training and work. Where Labour is in power, as it is at council level, I think you can see that we take action to support social housing and residents who live in it. Unfortunately, it is the Tories who are in charge at London and national level and there they use their power to shift resources from the poorest to the richest. We all work extremely hard to put Labour in power at every level and when we succeed to use that power to benefit ordinary people, particularly those who need help to improve their own situation.
None of your Labour representatives want to see this kind of social division and will continue to campaign and act to stop it – Where we can act to limit the impact on residents we will do so.
I will also ensure that details of your march are circulated amongst the Labour Group Members and further within the Labour movement.
Leader of Lambeth Council and Lambeth Labour Group