Government’s council homes pledge must align with London’s housing needs

October 4th, 2017

Red tape saves lives

June 19th, 2017

Tom Copley AM welcomes Sadiq Khan putting an end to “Johnsonian indulgence” of the Garden Bridge

April 28th, 2017

Margaret Hodge’s Review of the Garden Bridge is a “thorough damnation” of Boris Johnson’s worst vanity project

April 7th, 2017

Reports that some EU citizens are being refused mortgages “deeply worrying”

March 31st, 2017

Response to the Mayor’s Good Practice Guide to Estate Regeneration

March 14th, 2017

Government’s council homes pledge must align with London’s housing needs

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Responding to reports that the Prime Minister will announce a major programme to build council homes, Labour’s London Assembly Housing Spokesperson, Tom Copley AM, said:

“Those of us who have been calling for a return to mass council housing building will be studying the small print of the Prime Minister’s announcement carefully before we begin to celebrate. Just how much positive impact this will have on London’s housing crisis will depend on the detail.

“Let’s not forget that when this policy was touted earlier this year, the Prime Minister was promising us social rents, only for the then Housing Minister to say they would be at the so-called ‘Affordable Rent’ which is much more expensive.

“If the government have now decided that they are going to deliver what we actually need, which is genuine council homes at social rent, they’ve got to get serious about supporting councils to build these new homes. This means lifting the cap on council borrowing to build, providing meaningful grant for councils and formally scrapping the postponed forced sale of high value council homes that still hangs over local authorities.

“Instead of wasting £10 billion further inflating house prices with Help to Buy, the Prime Minister should use that money to deliver 167,000 new social houses.

“If what the government is offering is homes at ‘Affordable Rent’ these won’t be real council homes and they won’t convince Londoners that they’re in touch with their housing needs.”

Ends

Notes

  • In May, Theresa May said the pledge to build a new generation of social housing would deliver “a constant supply of new homes for social rent”. However, the then Housing Minster, Gavin Barwell, said the homes would be at affordable rent.
  • Under Affordable Rent tenancies are offered at up to 80% of market rent levels within the local area.
  • Tom Copley AM is a Londonwide Assembly Member

Red tape saves lives

Monday, June 19th, 2017

Commenting on the DCLG’s request that local authorities should identify whether any panels used in new build or refurbishment are a particular type of cladding, and if so that they should be tested, Tom Copley AM, Labour’s London Assembly spokesperson for Housing, said:

“This action from the government is only necessary because building regulations have not kept up with new materials. A flammable product should have been banned before it was used.

“Following the Lakanal House fire in 2009, both the London Assembly and the coroner recommended that the government review building regulations relating to fire safety. A commitment to do this was only made in 2016, by the then Housing Minister Gavin Barwell. Tragically this review had not yet been published before the fire at Grenfell Tower.

“In 2012, the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, promised to ‘kill off the health and safety culture for good’. Under the Cutting Red Tape initiative, the Communities and Local Government Secretary, Sajid Javid, cut the time of a fire safety inspection from six hours to forty five minutes. He said he was getting rid of ‘unnecessary bureaucracy’.

“We will need to wait for the conclusion of the London Fire Brigade’s investigation before we know the details of what happened here, but I am clear on one thing, despite the dismissive attitude of this and the previous government: red tape saves lives. The government must act immediately to update our building regulations and ensure that they are kept up to date.”

Ends

Notes

  • The London Assembly report following the Lakanal House Fire can be found here;
  • The letter from the coroner to the government following the Lakanal House Fire can be found here;
  • Gavin Barwell’s commitment to review building regulations can be found here;
  • David Cameron’s quote regarding killing off health and safety can be found here;
  • Details of Sajid Javid’s comments on reducing fire inspection times can be found here;
  • Tom Copley AM is a Londonwide Assembly Member.

Tom Copley AM welcomes Sadiq Khan putting an end to “Johnsonian indulgence” of the Garden Bridge

Friday, April 28th, 2017

Responding to the news that the Mayor of London will not provide Mayoral guarantees for the Garden Bridge project, Labour London Assembly Member Tom Copley AM, said:

“It is excellent news that the Mayor will not be signing the Garden Bridge maintenance guarantee.

“How this project got as far as it has done is beyond belief. From the flawed procurement process, to allegations of conflict of interest, to extremely poor value for money, the Garden Bridge project has been disastrous every step of the way.

“Millions of pounds of public money has been wasted on what is essentially Boris Johnson’s vanity project, despite a range of objections from a number of London Assembly Members. I am absolutely delighted that Mayor Khan is putting an end to this piece of Johnsonian indulgence and placing the interests of Londoners and taxpayers first.

“I’d also like to pay tribute to campaigners from the local community around the South Bank who have fought tirelessly against this bridge, and to the investigative journalism of the Architects’ Journal.”

Ends

Notes

  • Tom Copley AM is a Londonwide Assembly Member

Margaret Hodge’s Review of the Garden Bridge is a “thorough damnation” of Boris Johnson’s worst vanity project

Friday, April 7th, 2017

Responding to today’s publication of Margaret Hodge’s report into the Garden Bridge, Labour London Assembly Member Tom Copley AM, said:

“This is a thorough damnation of what has to be the worst of Boris Johnson’s vanity projects. Given today’s report quite clearly states that it would be better to cancel the project than to risk the potential uncertain additional cost to the taxpayer, this must surely be the final ‎nail in the coffin for the Garden Bridge.

“The Mayor was right to call for a review and to apply transparency to every part of this project, from the flawed procurement process to the question of whether value for money has been achieved.

“We have long questioned Boris Johnson’s decision to fritter away TfL funds on a project that won’t actually deliver any real transport benefits. It’s also apparent that if TfL’s internal processes had been properly applied many of the problems that have plagued this development could have been picked up early on. We’re left with a situation in which too much taxpayers money has already been plunged into a project whose financially viability has so frequently been questioned.

“Even if the Garden Bridge Trust raise the necessary funds for completion, it’s highly questionable they’d raise the revenue needed to meet the maintenance costs. We cannot leave Londoners exposed to the risk of having to pick up the bill. We said this was a development on the verge of collapse, now it’s time to sink it. The Mayor must now refuse to sign the maintenance guarantee and dispel the looming threat of more public funds being squandered on this thing once and for all.”

Ends

Notes

  • Tom Copley AM is a Londonwide Assembly Member

Reports that some EU citizens are being refused mortgages “deeply worrying”

Friday, March 31st, 2017

Following the claims that EU citizens in the UK are being denied mortgages, Tom Copley, the Labour London Assembly Housing spokesperson, said:

“The news that some EU citizens are being refused mortgages is deeply worrying.

“EU citizens make a valuable contribution to our community and are vital to our economy. In many cases, they have lived in London for years – building their career, their family, and their lives here. We are talking about our friends, our neighbours, our colleagues.

“They should not be used as bargaining chips to be used during the upcoming negotiations. The Government must urgently provide assurances that those EU citizens who already live and work here will be able to stay. It is deeply unfair – not to mention damaging – to expect us all to live through this level of uncertainty for the next two years.”

Ends

Notes

  • Tom Copley is a Londonwide Assembly Member.

Response to the Mayor’s Good Practice Guide to Estate Regeneration

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Tom Copley AM has responded to the Mayor’s Draft Good Practice Guide to Estate Regeneration on behalf of the Labour Group.

The response is available here:

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