Report from the Labour Party Conference fringe meeting
LHG held its Party Conference fringe meeting at the Friends Meeting House, Brighton on 27 September.
Paul Eastwood, LHG Secretary reports:
The meeting began at 6:30pm.
More than 80 attendees heard presentations from:
John Healey, M.P., Shadow Cabinet Housing Minister
David Montague, CEO, London and Quadrant Group
Rob Gershon, SHOUT campaign
Steve Douglas, Partner, Altair Ltd.
Roberta Blackman - Woods, M.P., Shadow Minister for Planning
Much discussion took place on proposals that the Tory government had brought forward in July, and which are now included in draft legislation that is passing through Parliament. The main areas of concern were:
Extension of the Right To Buy for housing associations;
The 1% a year rent reduction through 2020; and,
Welfare reform changes, including the benefit cap which will have a particularly acute effect in London
All panel members stressed the need for a long term, cross party agreement to resolving the housing crisis, and the need for local authorities and housing associations to work together and in partnership. John Healey said the need joint working was all the greater as the extension of RTB and the disposal of high value local authority homes to compensate housing associations could create conflict and division in the sector.
The meeting welcomed commitments from all panel members to an increased supply of new homes, good design and quality, and homes that were defined as "affordable" being genuinely affordable.
Kerry Pollard, Chair of LHG, gave a vote of thanks to all the panel and to everyone who attended.
The meeting closed at 8:35pm.
Secretary, Labour Housing Group