Five observations from Labour Conference 2019

Corbyn weathers a difficult conference and remains in control: As the Labour Party gathered in Brighton earlier this week, Jeremy Corbyn faced a number of internal challenges, with negative headlines about Party disunity and significant pressure on him to change his stance on Brexit. The conference started with a row about Momentum founder Jon Lansman’s attempts to abolish the role of Deputy Leader (and thereby … Continue reading Five observations from Labour Conference 2019

Politics moves fast. Housing moves slow.

While many believe our political system moves painfully slowly, it is nothing compared to the time taken to lay bricks down and build a house. Days after the Windrush migrants’ scandal triggered a mini Cabinet reshuffle, James Brokenshire MP returned to the Cabinet to take the reins at MHCLG, becoming the sixteenth minister to hold the portfolio for housing since 2000. Just days after that, … Continue reading Politics moves fast. Housing moves slow.

Plymouth – Labour’s big victory?

It is telling that it was Plymouth rather than London where Jeremy Corbyn chose to spend the morning of May 4th. Despite expectations that Labour would take control of at least one of Barnet, Wandsworth or Westminster councils, their big victory on the night came in the south west. Standing on Plymouth Hoe, Corbyn declared that the result demonstrated that Labour was ‘back in the … Continue reading Plymouth – Labour’s big victory?

No Dramas: The Local Elections That Suited The Tories Just Fine

Let’s start with the easy bit: UKIP was definitely the biggest loser on the night. Through a combination of not defending some seats and being soundly beaten in others, the party ended up with an overall loss of over 120 councillors. Safe to say, that dog has had its day. Then it gets harder. Labour promised us so much in the weeks leading up to … Continue reading No Dramas: The Local Elections That Suited The Tories Just Fine

Can Uber win the fight to keep its cars on the streets of London?

Whether you love or hate Uber, you have to admit the business model is a great success and they’ve done extremely well in London so far. However, last year Transport for London (TFL) revoked Uber’s license which, if we believe what we read, even came as a shock to Uber. Londoners went into a frenzy, with Uber users quite vocal on their thoughts which mainly … Continue reading Can Uber win the fight to keep its cars on the streets of London?

New research reveals local councillors think housing crisis is getting worse

61% believe housing crisis is getting worse 51% blame slow build out rate by developers Providing affordable homes the top priority 60% believe viability assessments being used by developers to avoid planning obligations 43% agree that Green Belt should be reviewed Newgate Communications’ Planning Committee Barometer reveals local councillors’ views on planning issues with housing delivery high up the agenda. 61% think that the housing … Continue reading New research reveals local councillors think housing crisis is getting worse

Local election hustings – bins, missed manifestoes and vendettas

I recently helped to organise a local election debate. They’re particularly unique experiences that people either love and wouldn’t miss for the world or – more usually – avoid like the plague. This means that the majority of people who attend already have strong feelings about one particular party, candidate or issue. These issues can range wildly, which makes the events unpredictable – part of … Continue reading Local election hustings – bins, missed manifestoes and vendettas

Are the Tories about to lose their Greater Manchester outpost?

In the North West all eyes are on Trafford. A third of the Council are up for election in May and there is a feeling that the Conservatives keeping control is by no means a done deal. For one thing, they currently have a very slim majority and it would only take a loss of two seats to make the local authority go to No … Continue reading Are the Tories about to lose their Greater Manchester outpost?

Britain’s political leadership is a sad indictment on the country

The country’s political leadership ranges from ineptitude to invisibility. Theresa May’s government lunges from crisis to crisis. One has to have some sympathy for her: every time it looks as though she is getting on the front foot – reclaiming an opinion poll lead over Labour, making progress in the EU withdrawal talks, displaying international leadership on Syria, boasting of rising employment and wages – … Continue reading Britain’s political leadership is a sad indictment on the country

What Labour’s Housing Green Paper could mean for housebuilders and developers

The Context Yesterday saw the release of Labour’s Housing green paper, ‘Housing for the Many’, exactly a fortnight from the local elections due to take place in May. It’s tempting to see this as a reprise of Labour’s strategy in last year’s General Election of drip-feeding big headline policy announcements in the run-up to the poll – particularly given the gains it is hoping to … Continue reading What Labour’s Housing Green Paper could mean for housebuilders and developers