Monday 20 April 2015 9.46am
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.
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.