There have been 8 exchanges between Helen Whately and Sajid Javid
|1||Mon 3rd December 2018||
Oral Answers to Questions
|4 interactions (230 words)|
|2||Mon 16th July 2018||
Oral Answers to Questions
|6 interactions (271 words)|
|3||Thu 5th July 2018||
|2 interactions (83 words)|
|4||Mon 30th April 2018||
|3 interactions (112 words)|
|5||Mon 12th March 2018||
Oral Answers to Questions
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
|3 interactions (267 words)|
|6||Thu 23rd November 2017||
|3 interactions (455 words)|
|7||Thu 14th September 2017||Local Housing Need||3 interactions (269 words)|
|8||Mon 26th June 2017||Grenfell Tower Fire/Fire Safety||3 interactions (263 words)|
I recently announced that 29 projects endorsed by police and crime commissioners across England and Wales will receive £17.7 million of funding to divert children and young people away from violent crime. I published the Government’s new strategy for tackling serious and organised crime and pledged at least £48 million for 2019-20 to target illicit finance. I have been to America to convene a “hackathon” where industry experts work together to develop tools to detect online child grooming. All this work is designed to keep our people safe.
I welcome my hon. Friend’s interest in this pilot scheme for agricultural workers. I can assure her, first, that it will be carefully evaluated, and if we need to expand it, we will do that. I can also confirm that workers from the EU will still be able to come and work in the UK during the implementation period.
First, I hope that the hon. Gentleman recognises the importance of dealing with the whole issue of county lines and welcomes the new co-ordination centre. It will be funded through the commitment of £40 million into the serious violence strategy, and the centre’s funding specifically will be £3.6 million over the next two years.
Break in Debate
The Government are committed to an immigration system that operates in the national interest and ensures that businesses can attract the talented migrants that they need. From 6 July, we removed all doctors’ and nurses’ posts from the yearly cap of 20,700 places, ensuring that the NHS is able to recruit the clinical staff that it needs.
I am very sympathetic to the issue that my hon. Friend has raised. As we design our future immigration system, I want to ensure that it takes into account the seasonal demand for labour not only in agriculture, but also perhaps in hospitality. That is why we have asked the independent Migration Advisory Committee to look at this issue. We will see what we can do when the committee reports back.
First, I am sorry that the gentleman whom the hon. Lady refers to has those concerns and that anxiety. No one wants anyone to suffer in that way. I do not know if she has already passed the details to my Department, but if she does, I will certainly look at that.
(2 years, 10 months ago)Commons Chamber
Reasonable people understand just how important this issue is, and they do not take kindly to the right hon. Gentleman’s playing party politics with it. If he actually cared about the issue, he would not raise it in such a way. He would not use numbers and twist the facts to try to scare the public. The truth is that we are working with local authorities up and down the country to locate every single building and take remedial measures, and also helping them with funds. Despite what he has said, not a single council has been turned away. We are talking to every single council that has approached us, and we have made it clear that they will all be given the financial flexibility, if they need it, that will enable them to get the job done.
I can give my hon. Friend the assurance for which she has asked. First, we have commissioned independent work from my right hon. Friend the Member for West Dorset (Sir Oliver Letwin) on speeding up building once planning permission has been granted. We shall hear more about that this week. Secondly, the consultation that was published earlier this week focuses on developer contributions in particular, and the need to ensure that developers stick to their word and can no longer game the system.
The hon. Gentleman will know, if he has had an opportunity to study the Budget closely, that the Chancellor referred to the housing deals that we are working on in Greater Manchester, Leeds and the west midlands. The hon. Gentleman mentioned the trans-Pennine railway, and he will know that the Chancellor offered an additional £300 million yesterday for the trans-Pennine railway. I am sure the hon. Gentleman will welcome that.
My hon. Friend is right to highlight that. Many councils are, like hers, willing to take what may be tough decisions, provide the land for new homes and give the planning permissions, only to find that developers do not build those homes out at all, or that they do so far too slowly. The measures in the housing White Paper are hugely welcome and will make a difference, but I am not sure whether they are enough. That is why we wanted to have an independent inquiry, and I am sure that it will make a big difference.
The whole planning and building process will be overseen by our new national housing agency, Homes England. That agency will be based on the Homes and Communities Agency, but its remit will be far larger and will bring together money, expertise, planning and compulsory purchase orders. That will allow it to offer specific solutions to the barriers faced by different areas, maximising its impact and getting more of the right homes built in the right places.
It is no good building homes if people cannot afford them. Growing the economy and raising wages are key to that but, as I said last week, young people face a housing market that is very different from the one that their parents’ generation enjoyed. We are going to get more homes built, but that will not happen overnight. What has happened overnight is a change that means that no stamp duty will apply for the vast majority of first-time buyers. On average, a first-time buyer will save £1,600. In addition, we have provided £200 million for a pilot to extend the right to buy to housing association tenants in the midlands, allowing people to own the homes in which they have lived for many years and giving them the same opportunity as that enjoyed by council tenants.
I will happily reaffirm the Government’s position. We remain absolutely committed to the protections that are already in the planning code. Nothing that I have announced today will change the protections that are rightly afforded to the green belt, or our demand that when it comes to development, the priority should always be brownfield.
I share my hon. Friend’s concern. She is right to emphasise the need for the right infrastructure, and more infrastructure, if we are to have more homes. That is one of the reasons why we launched the £2.3 billion housing infrastructure fund earlier this year. I encourage my hon. Friend’s council and others to apply to the fund, if they have not already done so.
The statement of common ground to which I have referred requires co-operation at the start of the process because much of the infrastructure, especially the major infrastructure, is naturally shared between local authorities. I think that that will also help to meet some of my hon. Friend’s concerns.
First, I thank the hon. Lady for the reassurance that she has been providing to her constituents, many of whom are looking for support from across Government and elsewhere. She has been a very reassuring figure locally, and I thank her for that.
On her particular question on immigration, I can absolutely give her that assurance. We have already made it clear that any information that anyone coming forward provides either to Government or local government will not be used for any kind of immigration check. That has been put in a letter that has been given to every affected family. If the hon. Lady has some further suggestions about how we can get that message out, as I think we should follow up on those, I would be very happy to listen.
Thankfully, no other councils have come forward so far with a need to have an evacuation. There are many more tests to take place, so I do not want to prejudge them, but hopefully what has happened in Camden will be a rare occurrence. As I said earlier, in the case of Camden, in particular, the cladding was a trigger for further fire safety inspections, but it was the massive failure of those further fire safety inspections that caused the evacuation.