Committee (1st Day)

Part of Housing and Planning Bill – in the House of Lords at 5:00 pm on 9th February 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville Liberal Democrat 5:00 pm, 9th February 2016

My Lords, I support my noble friend’s comments and agree with everything that she has said. I shall speak specifically to Amendment 7, which is in this group and is a probing amendment.

Banning orders are a very important element of the Bill. They are not undertaken lightly and involve a great deal of research and work on the part of the local authorities. It takes many months of gathering information from tenants and consulting with related agencies operating in the sector, such as Citizens Advice, food banks, social services and local housing associations, to build up a picture around a person who they are investigating with a view to considering a banning order. Local authorities’ budgets are extremely stretched, as we know, and while it is to everyone’s advantage that they undertake this work in order to achieve a successful outcome when they apply for a planning order, it seems not unreasonable that they should receive the fine as recompense for the work undertaken. This will be especially important when it is highly likely that the local authority will be expected to house those previous tenants of the landlord subject to the banning order, as my noble friend has indicated.

There is an undertaking that local government will not be expected to take on new burdens that are not listed in the new burdens doctrine, with the expectation that the Chancellor will have had regard to this requirement when making the local government settlement. I would be grateful if the Minister could confirm that this is the case. Might she also be able to find a way forward to recompense local authorities in some way for this additional work, which is desperately needed by private sector tenants?