Author Archives: Helen Morgan

Helen Morgan MP writes: It’s Liberal Democrats who build homes

Taking on the housing brief for the Liberal Democrats has been a huge privilege. One of the biggest challenges my constituents face is the lack of affordable housing; nearly a third of my casework is about unsuitable, temporary or downright dangerous housing, and my colleagues report the same. Our government lacks ambition on housing, it has repeatedly taken the easy road, failing to tackle the crisis facing millions across the country.

At the moment we’re facing a cost of living crisis making both renters and mortgage holders deeply worried about staying in their homes, a Levelling Up Bill that has been amended beyond recognition because the Government is too weak to face down its rebels, and yet another broken promise to make life better for renters by banning no-fault evictions.

I have worked hard to champion Liberal Democrat values by amending the Levelling Up Bill to review the broken Business Rates System, to ensure that new homes are built to a decent standard so bills and emissions are low, and for local authorities to be able to set tougher standards for new homes than national ones. Yet the Tories have blocked us every step of the way.

The proliferation of second homes and holiday lets is also harming holiday destinations, from London to York, and the Lake District to Cornwall. Local people are being priced out of the market and in rural areas communities are dying, local services like schools or GP surgeries are becoming unviable, and local shops and pubs are closing. Once again the Conservatives have failed to protect communities, instead protecting the right of people to buy second homes unchecked.

In my constituency, I have stood up for residents of new build properties against dodgy developers who have broken their promises. One developer didn’t build a sewage system leaving new homeowners with an extortionate bill to remedy the situation through no fault of their own. I have  repeatedly called for the end to “fleecehold”, where management companies increase fees extortionately when managing communal areas in new developments.

With all this in mind, I am delighted to be bringing forward the paper “Tackling the Housing Crisis” to this Autumn conference. This paper wants to build homes urgently, it gives significantly more powers to local authorities to build the homes we need and also to hold developers accountable when they don’t build. We will deliver smaller homes for those who want to get their first home or downsize rather than the executive mansions developers make the most profit on.

It will give local authorities binding local targets to build homes, that are independently-assessed to ensure that councils cannot avoid their responsibilities, alongside a national target for social homes – the homes we desperately need and that the government can actually build.  My constituents are desperate for new homes, particularly social homes and I’m delighted for the Liberal Democrats to be advocating for them.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 14 Comments

Helen Morgan: 12 hours with an ambulance crew

It’s midday on a wet and windy Friday afternoon. Normally I’d be in a village hall for a surgery with constituents. Instead, I’m hurtling down an A-road being deafened by a siren in the back of an ambulance.

I’m with paramedics Steve and Julie and we’re responding to the first call of our 12-hour shift. It’s only minutes since we clocked on but the elderly lady in need of help has been waiting more than three hours. She’s got Covid symptoms and chest problems making her a category two call with a target response time of 18 minutes.

Indeed, by the time we pack up just before 1am we’ve been to four category two calls, all of which had been waiting at least two hours, and one category three with a 12-hour delay.

All of our response times are around 10 times longer than the target and today is a ‘good’ day by recent standards in Shropshire.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 6 Comments
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