All posts from: October 2011
The introduction of domestic septic tank regulation left Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry feeling down in the dumps last week.
The regulations, it emerged at a National Landlords Association fringe meeting at the Conservative Party conference, have been postponed from 1 January 2012, pending an Environment Agency review. But Mr Berry looked flushed after admitting that despite being a septic tank owner and parliamentary private secretary to housing minister Grant Shapps, he knew nothing about the plans.
MPs entering the exhibition hall at last week’s Conservative Party conference found themselves being pounced on by an eager TV presenter with questions about the number of empty homes in their constituencies.
Housing minister Grant Shapps was among the victims put on the spot by architect George Clarke, who is fronting the campaign for Channel 4.
Mr Shapps later told Closed Circuit he thought his answer of 350 empties was in the right ball park. Mr Clarke’s figure of 16,865 suggests the programme might prove interesting viewing.
It seems that Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin has a rival for the title of top political action man.
While the world was looking for a politician to match Mr Putin’s judo-kicking exploits, the housing sector had the answer all along in the shape of the Hatfield hard man Grant Shapps.
The housing minister is set to stick one in the eye of the Russian bear with a 160ft charity bungee jump on 16 October. Your move Vladimir.
The Communities and Local Government department was keen to downplay the potential impact of the coalition’s new right to buy policy on the housing revenue account reform.
The noises coming out of the CLG were very much ‘this isn’t a story’. So it was with great interest that Closed Circuit heard about a hastily convened meeting at the CLG for council housing officials last Thursday. ‘It had all the hallmarks of panic,’ said one council employee of the summons. Closed Circuit imagines the speedy meeting must have been the result of civil servants’ keenness to spread the good news.
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