My busy time on home front
IT S really hectic at work just now; my postbag is heavier than ever – not that I m complaining! It is good to know that people are finding me when they want to. There is so much I could choose to write about this week that it is hard to decide on just on
IT'S really hectic at work just now; my postbag is heavier than ever - not that I'm complaining! It is good to know that people are finding me when they want to.
There is so much I could choose to write about this week that it is hard to decide on just one subject. It's been Fair-trade Fortnight, Apprenticeship Week (in which I visited Newham College and Tube Lines, talking to apprentices), International Women's Day and World Book Day. All these issues are close to my heart and I could have written about any one of them.
Regular readers will know what a passion I have for libraries and books. I had a truly enjoyable hour or so in Stratford's library, talking about service improvements and how more people than ever are using the library. I was impressed to discover there are homework clubs in every library, and six book clubs dotted around the borough.
I was tempted to use this column to focus on the speech made by the Prime Minister to the American Congress and my very enjoyable evening with Newham Chamber of Commerce. Stephen, Jim and I listened with great interest to the experiences of our local businesses and agreed to meet more regularly in these challenging times. The positive attitude of the Chamber was inspiring.
You may also want to watch:
I could also mention the meetings I have had over the past two weeks about the Olympic Park, but this is a subject I will come back to after I have held a coffee morning with residents of Stratford. Any resident of West Ham constituency wanting to come to this coffee morning should contact me on the numbers below.
And to top it all, I was called to speak in Prime Minister's Questions to ask a question of Harriet Harman as Gordon was in Washington. I got called in the noisiest spot for a back-bencher, just after William Hague had batted for the Tories and before Vince Cable got to his feet for the Lib Dems. I had to bellow to make myself heard above the racket. I raised again the plight of our people living in poor, expensive and overcrowded housing conditions, criticising the Housing strategy unveiled by Boris, which will cut the percentage of new-build homes for rent in the capital.
- 1 Thames Barrier closing for 200th time amid potential east London flooding
- 2 Residents and traders react to proposed A13 tunnel in Dagenham
- 3 Barking woman praises job programme that has helped more than 3,000 people
- 4 'Cheating surge': Dating site reveals how many people are having affairs in your area
- 5 Hundreds arrested after police crackdown on county lines
- 6 Stephen Port inquests: Senior cop wishes he 'pushed further' for murder investigation
- 7 Revealed: The most popular baby names in your area in 2020
- 8 Murder of 'local hero' policeman in Dagenham to be marked after 175 years
- 9 Men reportedly 'impersonated officers' to get access to Barking home
- 10 Dagenham must continue to believe in themselves ahead of Southend clash
There are 52,250 families in London in expensive, often poor quality, temporary accommodation, and 353,130 on council waiting lists. Families in temporary accommodation are shunted from property to property as their lease expires, completely disrupting family life and education.
The London Mayor wants to see fewer homes built for rent and more shared ownership schemes, where tenants can part-purchase houses from housing associations. I am not against these schemes at all. They can, and do, help a few of my constituents, but in London we have a surplus of these homes, as ordinary Londoners do not earn enough to be able to buy them.
What is the point of making more shared ownership schemes available if they are unaffordable to London citizens in desperate need of an affordable home? I do hope Boris listens and responds to these concerns. Too many lives, many of them young, will continue to be blighted if he does not.
If you have any comments on these or any other issues, write to Lyn Brown MP, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA, call my office on (020) 7219 6999, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org