Quizzing Derby’s politicians on the housing crisis

Last week I attended the first of five pre-election hustings arranged by the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce. It took place in Derby and was attended by:

  • Chris Williamson (Labour PPC for Derby North)
  • Amanda Solloway (Conservative PPC for Derby North)
  • Lucy Care (Lib Dem PPC for Derby North)
  • Sue MacFarlane (Green PPC for Mid-Derbyshire
  • Barry Cooper (UKIP regional organiser for the East Midlands)

Each member of the panel gave a 4 minute opening speech and then the chair took questions from the floor. I had the honour of asking the first question, as follows:

“Futures Housing Group is committed to the Homes for Britain campaign which calls for the next Government to end the housing crisis. Will you pledge your commitment to this and how do you propose to tackle the housing crisis in this area?”

Each panel member had 90 seconds to respond and this is a very brief summary of the topics they highlighted:

Labour: more control and regulation in the private rented sector, building 200,000 homes a year, disagrees with the proposed expansion of RTB to housing associations

Conservatives: building 200,000 homes a year, success of Help to Buy, defended the proposed expansion of RTB as it ‘won’t make people homeless’

Lib Dem: building 300,000 homes a year, create an investment bank, more modular and off-site construction

Green: strongly disagreed with the RTB proposal, carbon neutral development, tackling fuel poverty and affordability

UKIP: focus on brownfield development, increase council tax for empty properties, encourage development of homes under £250,000 price tag, building 200,000 homes a year, tackle migration to address demand

Other audience members then posed questions to the panel, including HS2, delays and costs of planning permission, devolution, the austerity agenda and boosting Derby’s high-tech industries.

It struck me during the event that there is a lot of common ground amongst the five parties (in fact, UKIP agreed several times with the Greens!), i.e. they all support increased housebuilding, the difference seems to lie in their values and the detail of how they will achieve their aims. You can follow the other hustings events on Twitter @EMChamberNews



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s