Starmer’s New Housing Spokesman Complains Too Many New Houses Built in Her Constituency

Lucy Powell took to undermining Labour’s housing offering on Politics Live this afternoon, complaining the government has built too many in her constituency in recent years:

Manchester’s a very beautiful place, a nice place to live, and over the 10-15 year period, the last few years and the forthcoming few years, there’ll be 50,000 new homes in my constituency alone, so that brings with it other challenges as well…”

This is a bizarre NIMBY criticism from Powell, especially given she was just appointed as Labour’s shadow housing secretary in Sunday’s reshuffle. Is this the Labour Party’s new attitude to house building? 

Has Lucy Powell quietly become the most gaffe-prone member of the shadow cabinet? The morning after the local elections she inadvertently praised the government’s election offering; she undermined Starmer’s ventilator point-scoring; and in December she was caught on camera saying deciding if Labour wants Britain to succeed or fail is a “challenge”. She’s starting to make Richard Burgon look like a canny political operator…

mdi-timer 11 May 2021 @ 13:28 11 May 2021 @ 13:28 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Boris Opposed Residential Building in His Constituency, GLA Approved It, Jenrick’s Department Blocked It

The abandoning of the algorithm that would have encouraged development where people wanted to live – which is most often in Tory home county constituencies in the South East – signals a reversion to Tory instincts: to block new developments in their leafy idylls. Post-Cummings, the self-interest of Tory MPs with NIMBY constituents has reasserted itself at the expense of younger, future Tory voters looking for somewhere affordable to live. There is nothing more certain to change a Labour voter into a Tory voter than owning a home and starting a family. It is in the long-term interest of the country that property-ownership is widely dispersed, even if it is at the expense of short-term electoral considerations.

So it is disappointing to learn that Boris wrote to oppose the development of 500 homes on a brown-field site on the old Master Brewer site in his Uxbridge & South Ruislip constituency. Robert Jenrick overrode a ruling by the GLA permitting it to go ahead.

Stephen Wicks, the developer, was left fuming:

“The hypocrisy of all this is that Boris is on one hand saying ‘build, build, build’ but on the other hand he’s quietly nobbling councillors behind the scene… It’s difficult to demonstrate it but I’m pretty certain Boris will have had a word with Robert Jenrick and said ‘Look, this one’s a bit difficult for me, the locals don’t like it, so can you just quietly issue a holding order’.”

Jenrick will deny it, yet the blocking of residential developments in Tory constituencies is far too common.

mdi-timer 16 December 2020 @ 09:30 16 Dec 2020 @ 09:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Planning Decisions Have Been Sitting on the Secretary of State’s Desk for Years

Last night Boris told the end-of-term meeting of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee that they had to ‘build, build, build’ to ensure that the younger generation had the same opportunities to get on the property ladder that previous generations have had. The PM emphasised that nothing could be more Conservative than that and implicitly that nothing makes you more likely to vote Conservative than owning your own home. To this end there are a raft of long overdue planning reforms coming and political NIMBYism is not going to be tolerated. In theory, so far, so good…

In reality things are not so dynamic and there is not so much Churchillian “action this day”. The above table was produced on Monday in response to a written question from Alex Cunningham, the Labour MP for Stockton North. He asked Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, to publish the public inquiry planning decisions he has yet to make, where a planning inspector’s report has already been submitted to his office. As you can see there are some dating back to 2017, admittedly before the Jenrick got the job…

Guido humbly suggests that if this government wants to “build, build, build” it first needs to “decide, decide, decide”. How can it take 3 years to make a decision when the planning inspector’s report has been submitted and has sat on the Minister’s desk for years? Some of these undecided decisions concern substantial regeneration projects which will bring much needed jobs and growth. Secretary of State, pull your finger out and decide all of them by the time parliament is back…

mdi-timer 23 July 2020 @ 08:15 23 Jul 2020 @ 08:15 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Yeo Says No

Guido always takes a keen interest when he hears the name Tim Yeo and green issues in the same sentence. The author, director of various green technology companies and part-time MP is one of the Tories biggest advocates of climate change hype and he does very well out of it. Not only was he elected Chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, but he also makes thousands of pounds a year from helping green investment companies such as AFC Energy. So you would think he would practice what he preaches about the environment.

Think again. Yeo is throwing his weight behind a campaign to stop a wind farm being built in his seat. In true NIMBY style he says:

“This happens to be one of the most beautiful parts of my constituency which stretches from here to the coast.”

Guido wonders whether he would be saying the same if it was one of his companies involved…

mdi-timer 29 September 2010 @ 08:56 29 Sep 2010 @ 08:56 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments