Monday, 29 November 2010

Schapps' bag carrier

Due to the efforts of MPs from beleagured towns and cities, there was a debate about the changes introduced by Schapps. This is the Hansard report

Nicky Morgan (Loughborough) (Con):

The part of Loughborough to which I am referring has lost its primary school, church and post office due to lack of permanent residents. There is a rather ghostly atmosphere during university holidays, and as students are, by their very nature, transient, there is less of the sense of community and social interaction than is normally found in a stable and balanced community. There are also higher levels of crime. If a burglar breaks into a student house, he is likely to find several laptops, TVs and so on, which is bad news for the neighbours."
A quote from Loughborough residents
"We fail to understand why you are overlooking the responses of 92% of more than 900 respondents to last year's country wide HMO consultation, all of whom saw a change in the Use Classes Order as the preferred way forward for avoiding concentrations of HMOs. Participants did not make a blanket proposal to stop landlords converting family homes into HMOs. We envisaged a change in the Use Classes Order which councils could opt out of in situations where it was expedient to increase such accommodation. We breathed a sigh of relief that Charnwood Borough Council were at last being given the tools with which to control concentrations of HMOs and which could be tied into the existing Student Housing SPD.
Dr Alan Whitehead (Southampton, Test) (Lab)

We then come to the October changes. Frankly-I shall not mince my words-they were an act of legislative vandalism. For example, in Lenton, we have seen many of the local shops disappear, to be replaced by takeaways. Local residents have seen their local primary school shut down for lack of children. During term time, they experience daily problems with parking and, unfortunately, on occasion, with noise, litter and increased crime. Outside term time, they sometimes feel that they live in a ghost town.

Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South) (Lab):

The universities, Nottingham city council and local voluntary and church groups are working hard to restore a sense of community, but they need the support of the Government too. The ability to control the development of HMOs gave local people real hope-the opportunity to maintain balanced and sustainable communities, rather than have their neighbourhoods left to the market.

The minister didnt bother to turn up - he left the underwhelming response to his bag-carrier, Andrew Stunnel

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