Committee (1st Day)

Part of Housing and Planning Bill – in the House of Lords at 7:30 pm on 9th February 2016.

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Photo of Lord Beecham Lord Beecham Shadow Spokesperson (Housing), Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow Spokesperson (Justice) 7:30 pm, 9th February 2016

My Lords, I will not keep Members of your Lordships’ House from their dinner or from the dinner break business, whichever they prefer or are committed to.

I have a couple of very short points. The first is that the Minister did not quite reply to my noble friend Lady Hollis’s question, but perhaps she will send her a reminder. Alternatively, of course, the Minister could look at Hansard.

The noble Baroness, Lady Gardner, has raised Airbnb matters more than once in the House. If she looks down the list she will see that I have Amendment 32, which will touch on that matter, so, hopefully, we can revert to it.

Lastly, I shall say a brief word about Amendment 18. Part of the problem is that at the moment we have a selective licensing scheme that operates slowly, and there are hurdles to surmount before you can implement such a scheme. I mentioned the scheme that is now working in my own ward in Newcastle and which has received this additional funding—I repeat my gratitude in the hope that perhaps we will get some more—so it is not a straightforward matter to produce any form of licence scheme on a selective basis.

Having said that, I think it is clear that there is not much support for making this universal and comprehensive, but I invite the Minister to commit to looking at how the current scheme might be improved so that it could be speedier and done much more at the discretion of local authorities. At the moment you have to have a certain number and a certain percentage; it is full of hurdles that get in the way of dealing with what is quite an important problem for many people. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 18 withdrawn.

House resumed. Committee to begin again not before 8.43 pm.