Temporary Accommodation Costs

Debate between Lord Watts and Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Wednesday 31st January 2024

(5 months, 3 weeks ago)

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Baroness Scott of Bybrook Portrait Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con)
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The noble Lord is right. I am aware of this issue. I do not have the up-to- date facts with me so, if he does not mind, I will write to him.

Lord Watts Portrait Lord Watts (Lab)
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My Lords, the last Labour Government almost did away with homelessness. It is a Conservative policy which has created this scandal for the British people. Does the Minister have a plan? If so, can she tell the House how much it would cost to end homelessness and how that money would be allocated? Otherwise, it will continue to be a blight on society.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook Portrait Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con)
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My Lords, I wish it were as simple as that. Yes, we have a plan to build more houses in this country—importantly, more affordable houses and houses for social rent. As I said, at a time when we have been through a difficult economic situation, we have more people needing temporary accommodation. It is important that we are there to pick up those who need emergency roofs over their heads. They need to feel safe and secure. Quite honestly, I think they would rather be in temporary accommodation than on the streets.

Leasehold Reform

Debate between Lord Watts and Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Thursday 11th January 2024

(6 months, 2 weeks ago)

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Baroness Scott of Bybrook Portrait Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con)
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I thank my noble friend for that question—but not as far as I am concerned, no.

Lord Watts Portrait Lord Watts (Lab)
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What is to stop the Government and Michael Gove getting on a train, going to Scotland, seeing the legislation there, bringing it back and adopting the same regulations? What would be the problem with that?

Baroness Scott of Bybrook Portrait Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con)
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I did not quite catch that—but with regard to going up to Scotland and bringing back that legislation, the law is very different in Scotland, and we have to look at it.

Homelessness: Homewards Initiative

Debate between Lord Watts and Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Tuesday 4th July 2023

(1 year ago)

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Baroness Scott of Bybrook Portrait Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con)
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The right reverend Prelate is right; Sheffield City Council has been allocated over £4 million through the rough sleeping initiatives, which will run from 2022 to 2025, to help end rough sleeping in the city. It has also been allocated £2.4 million through the rough sleeping accommodation programme, again until 2025. So these are not annual nor short-term amounts of money. The right reverend Prelate is right; these things cannot be done by government alone. We know that individual local authority areas have specific problems and that is why we are asking them to deal with these issues. I will also say that the third sector, in particular churches and community groups, are absolutely necessary in a city such as Sheffield.

Lord Watts Portrait Lord Watts (Lab)
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During Covid, there was a massive reduction in the number of homeless people on the streets. Why does the Minister think that this has been reversed?

Baroness Scott of Bybrook Portrait Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con)
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I think that over Covid, the issue was that people were frightened, scared and did not want to stay out. Since Covid, we have gone into a further economic downturn, particularly because of the dreadful war in Ukraine—

UK Citizens Resident Overseas: Verification

Debate between Lord Watts and Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Wednesday 29th March 2023

(1 year, 3 months ago)

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Baroness Scott of Bybrook Portrait Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con)
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My Lords, I thank my noble friend for that. It is absolutely clear that if a political party finds that money has come from a source that it should not come from then, yes, it has to give it back or give it to the Electoral Commission.

Lord Watts Portrait Lord Watts (Lab)
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My Lords, are the Government acting on the advice of Russia and China in opening up a system that can be corrupted and would allow dodgy money to enter British politics?

Baroness Scott of Bybrook Portrait Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con)
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No, my Lords; absolutely not.

Local Councils: 2023-24 Budgets

Debate between Lord Watts and Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Wednesday 25th January 2023

(1 year, 6 months ago)

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Baroness Scott of Bybrook Portrait Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con)
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I do not have a date for that.

Lord Watts Portrait Lord Watts (Lab)
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My Lords, can the Minister tell the House what inflation figure was used when the local government settlement was made?

Baroness Scott of Bybrook Portrait Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con)
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I cannot tell the noble Lord what inflation figure was used, but I think that 9% is a very reasonable figure in the economic situation that we are in at the moment, due to many things, such as Covid and the Ukrainian war.

Levelling Up Fund

Debate between Lord Watts and Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Tuesday 24th January 2023

(1 year, 6 months ago)

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Baroness Scott of Bybrook Portrait Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con)
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I am afraid I cannot tell the noble Baroness; I have a list here, but I could not say how many have not had any funding. What I can say is that the officials dealing with this funding will discuss process issues in particular with local authorities before they put in bids.

Lord Watts Portrait Lord Watts (Lab)
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My Lords, the Government claim that the bidding process is fair. Can the Minister explain to the House why Knowsley, one of the most deprived boroughs in the country, received nothing, yet the Prime Minister’s area received £20 million for a park scheme?

Baroness Scott of Bybrook Portrait Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con)
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My Lords, no, I cannot, except to say that one bid must have been better than another. I understand that unsuccessful applicants will be disappointed, but I am pleased to say that we have confirmed that there will be a third round of the fund. Further details will be set out in due course.

Leasehold Reform

Debate between Lord Watts and Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Tuesday 6th September 2022

(1 year, 10 months ago)

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Baroness Scott of Bybrook Portrait Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con)
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I assure the noble Lord that I will do that. I understand. That is why we brought in the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act in 2022, which came into force, as the noble Lord said, at the end of June. Things have changed and are changing, and as we are looking at capping social housing rents, I do not see any reason why we cannot look at—without any promises—ground rents as well.

Lord Watts Portrait Lord Watts (Lab)
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My Lords, can the Minister explain why there is plenty of parliamentary time available at the moment and yet these important Bills do not come forward? Is it the case that they have all followed the procedures of the ex-Prime Minister and gone on holiday for a month?

Baroness Scott of Bybrook Portrait Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con)
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I think noble Lords will find that every department thinks that its legislation is as important or more important than that of others. But I agree with the noble Lord that these are important pieces of legislation, and I shall talk to Ministers as they come in, and to the department.

Public Procurement: British Standard 95009

Debate between Lord Watts and Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Tuesday 5th April 2022

(2 years, 3 months ago)

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Baroness Scott of Bybrook Portrait Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con)
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My Lords, they will apply to all government procurement, including defence and security.

Lord Watts Portrait Lord Watts (Lab)
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My Lords, has Covid not shown that Britain now no longer produces a range of things that are important to us in times of need? Should the Government not now be looking at what those things are and helping to make sure that they are produced in the UK so that we do not have the problem of sending billions of pounds to China when we have an epidemic like the one we have just had?

Baroness Scott of Bybrook Portrait Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con)
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The noble Lord is absolutely right. As we put the Bill forward, we will look to ensure that when we have a situation like the recent pandemic, which I am sure the noble Lord is referring to, we have procurement arrangements that are suitable for that.