Simon Hughes & his action on housing

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Saturday 18 April 2015 4.36pm
Hi, This may be the wrong place for this so apologies if so. I've been following Mr Hughes campaigning and reading articles on SE1 about his claims on housing.

I find it a bit galling. Last May he voted against more protection for those in private lettings as those in Scotland enjoy. See here: http://housingrights.org.uk/news/labour-party-bid-ban-letting-fees-fails-0

As many know there's very little protection, and letting agents charge ludicrous fees. A 10 credit check can cost 150+, renewing a 12 month tenancy costs huge amounts and if someone decides to leave everyone has to pay additional fees. There's many more rip off charges like taking an inventory, leaving fees and more. All agencies seem to be at it so tenants can't escape. It was a tight vote last May that kept this system in place and the coalition only narrowly won the vote against action on these fees, and Hughes voted AGAINST action.

I don't mean for this to be a partisan post (I'm not labour by any means and their record was dire) but Hughes did not vote on something that would have helped the many in private lettings, and he should be reminded of that now.
Sunday 19 April 2015 7.55am
Seems like a clear case of Simon bashing. Simon has a great record of fighting for normal people, including getting involved on an individual basis.
Sunday 19 April 2015 1.20pm
So criticising Simon on his record on housing, that is the main news story on this site right now and he is pushing, is 'Simon bashing'? He is the person now claiming he will do all he can to help those struggling when his actions, just last year, did exactly the opposite.

As I said, the record of all parties the past 20 years is pretty lamentable but as Simon is pushing hard on housing and it's prominently covered in se1 news at the moment, his record is worthy of analysis.
Sunday 19 April 2015 5.26pm
Let's look at things a bit closer to home. Our Labour-run council is allowing developers to get away with making absolutely no provision (there should be at least 35%) for affordable housing on current developments in the borough. Neil Coyle is a current Labour councillor and is complicit in allowing that to happen. Rather than look at things nationally, let's look locally. What has Cllr Coyle done to allow normal people to be housed at realistic rents? Your post IS partisan and for that matter so is mine - I am proud to have Simon as my MP. He helped my mother and father secure a council home 30-odd years ago and his Lib Dem councillor colleagues helped me and my family when we were living in overcrowded situations in securing a larger council home.
Sunday 19 April 2015 6.09pm
I think he may have been a good MP in the past but his involvement with the current government puts that in question. And he also voted against the recent legislation of cigarette packaging, which even the government supported in the end and which will protect children from starting smoking - 60-odd children in London start smoking every day.
Sunday 19 April 2015 9.48pm
Gavin Smith - What Hughes did in the past was good but his recent actions have done nothing to help private tenants, of which his contintuency has a very large number, nor do very much about building houses and in particular more council houses. He needs to be asked why.

And that's not to let Coyle off either. He needs to be asked about his record too. Do you have his voting record to hand? I havn't seen as much about his voting record compared to Hughes' in Parliament. Parliament does hold most of the power now in the UK when it comes to housing. Southwark can't borrow to build as central govt prevents it. They can't do much about private rent regulation either. It all has to come from Parliament and there Hughes has been a big disappointment. That's not to say Southwark council havn't made many mistakes.
Monday 20 April 2015 9.46am
Nick wrote:
I think he may have been a good MP in the past but his involvement with the current government puts that in question. And he also voted against the recent legislation of cigarette packaging, which even the government supported in the end and which will protect children from starting smoking - 60-odd children in London start smoking every day.

I'd say his involvement with the current Government hasn't done him or the Lib Dems any favours, but that's something that his party decided to do rather than Simon personally. In any event, the Lib Dems did manage to achieve something like 75% of their manifesto which, had they not been involved in the coalition, would not have been possible.

As for the point re cigarette packaging, that comes down to a matter of personal opinion. I don't think changing the packaging will prevent kids from starting to smoke. Only parental influence and a general negative view of smoking will do that.

FTMD wrote:
And that's not to let Coyle off either. He needs to be asked about his record too. Do you have his voting record to hand? I havn't seen as much about his voting record compared to Hughes' in Parliament. Parliament does hold most of the power now in the UK when it comes to housing. Southwark can't borrow to build as central govt prevents it. They can't do much about private rent regulation either. It all has to come from Parliament and there Hughes has been a big disappointment. That's not to say Southwark council havn't made many mistakes.

I don't have Coyle's voting record to hand. However, I would say that it was very selfish of him to stand in the council elections last year, knowing that his ambition was to be Ed Milliband's PPC. The cost of a by-election will not be small and in addition he is currently deputy mayor of the Council which, if I am not mistaken, attracts additional remuneration of 8,357.

I feel your comment about the council being, in other words, powerless to do anything is without merit. The council has a duty to ensure that 35% of housing built contains an affordable element to it. Our current Labour administration has allowed developers to get away with making no provision in that regard. Indeed, the esteemed Cllr John has been wined and dined on occasions too numerous to particularise by the likes of Berkeley Homes.

The council doesn't need to borrow to build more council homes. There is a surplus in the housing revenue account and in addition vast sums of money have been accepted as "in lieu" payments by said developers. With the rate of development as it is in Southwark, if the council held developers to the 35% figure then there would be plenty of affordable housing.

I'm not so interested in the national agenda. I'm interested in what goes on here in Southwark and how it affects us as residents. Simon Hughes has stood up for his constituents time and time again, often without public recognition, which is why he is held in such high regard by his long-time constituents.
Monday 20 April 2015 3.19pm
Gavin,
Simon Hughes did make the personal decision to support the Coalition government and it was his decision alone to accept a junior ministerial position within that government.
He has voted consistently with ,probably, the most right wing Tory government I have known to Americanise and destroy the NHS, he has voted five times for the bedroom tax has supported the increase in tuition fees and the abolition of EMA. He voted to keep secret the Civil Service advice on what the consequencies of the NHS reforms would be so that the Commons would not be fully aware of damage that would ensue and vote accordingly.
I admire your loyalty to a constituency MP who has done a lot for your family but I cannot and will not support any member of the Liberal Democrats who have wilfully helped oversee the privatisation and destruction of the NHS
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