Thursday, 29 January 2015

Alison Seabeck to be shadow housing minister

Alison Seabeck will be announced as the new shadow housing minister, her office confirmed this afternoon.

She will work with Caroline Flint who was appointed the shadow secretary for communities and local government last week in Ed Milliband’s shadow cabinet.

Ms Seabeck, who is the MP for Plymouth Moor View, was parliamentary advisor to former housing minister Nick Raynsford for 12 years, focusing on housing, planning and local government.

The Labour Party confirmed Ms Seabeck would be part of the shadow CLG team over the weekend, alongside Barbara Keeley, Jack Dromey, and Chris Williamson

Readers' comments (6)

  • Lee Page

    I can't say she's a name I've heard of before, but 12 years as a political advisor to Nick Raynsford on a portfolio which included housing leaves me hope that she might actually know what she's talking about - unlike Shapps!

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  • She was parachuted into Plymouth on a 'wimmin only' list courtesy of Amicus. She is an old fashioned union backed Labour MP.

    As well as 'advisor' to Nick Raynsford she is also now his 'partner'.

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  • I think the "Seller's Pack," the forerunner to HIP's. may have seen its first light of day under Nick Raynsford, so I would not rush to the conclusion that past experience is always an example of good judgement.

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  • The Times on 28 March 2010 reported that Mr Raynsford Sebecks 'partner' earns £9000 per month from jobs in industries connected to his former ministerial career.

    Champagne Socialist.

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  • Alison who?

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  • I am not optimistic. Caroline Flint is an uber-Blair babe and is highly unlikely to speak out in any meaningful way against, for example, the introduction of insecure tenancies in the social sector or the workfare plans being introduced by Ian Duncan Smith. (Here’s the problem with workfare: if there a job to be done to receive welfare, then there is a job there to be done for wages. Logically, someone could be made redundant from a job and then be forced to go back to do it, receiving welfare instead of wages. How fair is that?). Neither is she likely to provide much in the way of challenge to Eric Pickles, a man in so many ways with similar anti-public service views to her own. Nor to support hard pressed households keep their homes in the face of housing benefit cuts and the time bomb, which will start to explode in January, of New Labour’s restriction to two years for mortgage interest support.

    Alison Seabeck will, then, perhaps be able to draw upon Nick Raynsford’s knowledge. Which I guess is not going to be helpful to those of us who want to see an equitable housing system. Lest we forget, it was Nick Raynsford who fought so hard for so long to prevent local authorities building new homes, helping to create the housing shortage we now have, who supported the privatisation of community owned assets to quasi-private housing associations who with the demise of housing inspections will be better able to, sadly in all too many instances, ride rough shod over the interests of tenants and communities, and who did little or nothing to oppose the ‘developer and lender first’ housing supply policies. He has to share a large proportion of the blame for Britain having what surely has to be Europe’s most dysfunctional housing system, with the chance of secure home at a price commensurate with incomes so far out of reach for so many it is the stuff of nightmares for anyone with children or grandchildren. And with £9,000 a month coming in from somewhat unspecified but I suspect not exactly arduous roles Ms Seabeck is unlikely to have that much knowledge of struggling to pay housing costs.

    Red ED? Nope – blue Ed with a nice line in Islington-dinner-party patter.

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