Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Labour politicians attempt to block Localism Bill

Labour politicians have tabled a motion to block the second reading of the government’s Localism Bill, due to have its second reading this afternoon.

The motion, signed by shadow Communities and Local Government secretary Caroline Flint and Labour leader Ed Miliband, said the devolution of power proposed by the bill is undermined by the level of power in the hands of Eric Pickles.

It also called the changes to planning functions of local authorities ‘incoherent and ineffective’.

The motion suggests that the bill should have been preceded by a fuller consultation process.

Ms Flint called the government’s claim to support localism a ‘sham’. ‘Despite their promise to devolve power to communities and local authorities, they’re actually taking power away from local people and giving more to Whitehall ministers,’ she said.

A consultation on the future of social housing also ends today. The document, Local decisions: a fairer future for social housing, outlined the government’s plans for changes to tenure, the management of waiting lists and homelessness duty.

It also covered the introduction of a new affordable rent tenancy and changes to the system of council housing finance.

Readers' comments (8)

  • Sidney Webb

    Genie and Bottle
    Horse and stable door
    Labour and local democracy
    Labour and social fairness
    Labour and safe, secure homes

    At least in opposition Ms Flint is beginning to see the outcomes of her failings in government. It would be so nice to here a little humbleness though, as this may convince the synical that the lesson has been learned and thus in future a government for the people can be had through voting labour. At the moment though, even their opposition does not appear convincing!

    Both Shapps and Pickles have erred and errored, yet have been gifted an easy ride through parliament and through the press. Even the action described in this article seems a little on the limp side.

    Bring me the head of Shapps, all the better if it is still attached to the rear of Pickles - make them accountable and defend the people.

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  • Sexton

    While in charge, one can make any mistake as they like as the seat is booked for 5 years. Once in opposition one can be a socialist to the core.

    Nobody buys these claims anymore.

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  • The Democratic Dictator

    And once a politician....always a liar !!!

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  • And if New Labour were to be magically put in power tomorrow, they would do nothing to change the Pickles-Shapps stitch up. Well, apart from building on the changes, for example reducing further security of tenure for tenants (no tenancy unless you have a job, as Flint herself believes), help for hard pressed owner occupiers (adding to the January 2009 restrictions on income support for mortgage interest - lets see now, a week of benefit sounds like long enough to pack your stuff and get out of the bank's house), one more shove with feeble landowner biassed planning and land policy and they can get new homes built per year well below 100,000 driving up the value of each acre of development to a level not too far moved from a banker's annual bonus (housebuilding under New Labour fell to its lowest level ever).

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  • Alpha One

    PSR, you won't get a government of the people through Labour, they're too busy, like all politicians, shoving their snouts in the trough to worry about the little people that put them there.

    Labour's response to the bill appears to be to shout vitriol across the chamber, so about what they've done for the last 13 years then! If they perceive their to be problems instead of saying it's rubbish show us why. It comes to something when commentators here can put more flesh on Labour's arguments that the Shadow Ministers themselves, but then they're not in parliament to do that are they (see above).

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  • Gavin Rider

    Alpha - we won't get a government that is accountable to the people through any of these political shysters.

    The localism bill will mean even less accountability to the public, because there are no mechanisms whereby local authorities can be held to account for their actions.

    Believe me, I have tried, and nothing works.

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  • Sidney Webb

    But Alpha, you have to admire their agility in having their snouts in the trough and their heads up their backsides at the same time as extending a listening ear to the people and keeping an eye on the government!

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  • Eureka a cure for Amnesia, all Labour MPS suddenly realise that 5 years and more out in the wilderness. I had sent information to Ms Flint, Kelly, Cooper, Becket , and others about the regeneration in Barnet and the direction it was going . none was able to read except now they seem to have all the answers to all the people's needs, Guts to say no guts to do. Honourable Members , doing the Dishonourable to a dependent people. Where are your homes , how many homeless have you given a home to.

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