Tag Archives: Housing and Planning Bill

Farron and Hobhouse condemn planning bill as Tories fail to vote

The Tories aren’t revolting, at least over planning. Yesterday evening, they were told not to vote in the opposition debate over the planning bill. Yet it was clear from the debate that many remained unhappy with the proposals which contributed to the historic defeat in Chesham and Amersham.

The debate lasted for just over three hours and 17 members did not get the chance to speak. All twelve Lib Dems voted for the opposition motion. There were no votes against as the Tories went into hiding at the end of the debate. Many of them might not like the planning reforms but they are certainly not going to be brave enough to defy a whip and vote against them.

Wera Hobhouse and Tim Farron spoke for the Lib Dems.

Posted in Op-eds | 2 Comments

Chesham and Amersham defeat leads to unplanned Tory revolt on planning “reforms”

The Tories are revolting. After Thursday’s dramatic loss to the Lib Dems in Chesham and Amersham, MPs are warning Boris Johnson that the proposed planning reforms will lose them seats. Many Conservatives didn’t like the proposals before Thursday but I suspect many MPs hadn’t paid attention amid the challenges of the pandemic and other excuses. Some in the South East had given voice to their concerns but there has been no open rebellion until now. And now that is mostly on WhatsApp according to the Times.

HS2 certainly came home to roost on Thursday. Protected areas in the Chilterns, north Bucks and Warwickshire lose out badly from this line that brings those areas no benefits. There is still time to cancel this madness and restore the landscape. But I don’t think it will happen.

The HS2 row has spilled over to into planning. The government’s proposed planning reforms strip powers from local councils. It is a Lego approach to planning. Standard blocks. No local sensitivity.

The Tories lost in Chesham and Amersham because they thought they would win against a great candidate and a great campaign. But planning is now the Tories Achille’s Heel. In many areas, it could help us win more seats.

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LibLink: Olly Grender on protecting tenants from wrongful eviction

olly grenderOlly Grender has been writing on this subject on Huffington Post. She writes:

The Lib Dems have a good track record on fighting for tenants against wrongful evictions. Sarah Teather successfully pushed for legal protections against ‘revenge evictions’ when we were in Government, to stop tenants losing their home if they asked for safety repairs to be done.

We got that law passed despite determined attempts from Tory backbenchers to keep the power firmly in the hands of landlords.

Now there is another opportunity to protect tenants. The Government is attempting to give landlords the power to evict tenants on the basis that they have ‘abandoned’ the property, if they have not paid rent for eight weeks or responded to three notices. If those conditions are met, the landlord could reclaim possession within 12 weeks.

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