Results 1–20 of 66 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Neil O'Brien

NHS Long-Term Plan (18 Jun 2018)

Neil O'Brien: The Secretary of State recently visited my constituency, so he will be aware of the important capital investments in my area, such as the new St Luke’s Hospital in Market Harborough, the decision to keep Glenfield Hospital’s children’s heart unit and the brand new state-of-the-art A&E at Leicester Royal Infirmary. Does the Minister agree that capital investments that...

Backbench Business - Banking Misconduct and the Fcabackbench Business (10 May 2018)

Neil O'Brien: I congratulate the hon. Member for East Lothian (Martin Whitfield) and the all-party group on fair business banking on securing the debate. I follow very powerful speeches by the right hon. Member for North Norfolk (Norman Lamb) and my hon. Friend the Member for Dumfries and Galloway (Mr Jack). A constituent of mine, Mark Nicholson, had an experience with HSBC that raises exactly the issue...

Windrush (2 May 2018)

Neil O'Brien: It is a privilege to take part in this important debate, and to follow my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Aldershot (Leo Docherty), who rightly reminded the House of the proud record of service and loyalty of people from the Commonwealth. Let me start by taking a step back. In my constituency, I am proud to have a large number of people who came to this country from Uganda in the...

Housing, Communities and Local Government: Local Authority Finances (30 Apr 2018)

Neil O'Brien: If Leicestershire was as well funded as London’s Camden Council, it would be £350 million a year better off. Does the Minister agree that the only way of making good councils financially sustainable is to have a fair funding formula, with transparent formulae and up-to-date data? Will he look closely at the Leicestershire model for bringing that about?

Home Office Removal Targets (26 Apr 2018)

Neil O'Brien: I am lucky to have constituents who have come to Leicestershire from all over the world, and they are inspirational people. Does the Home Secretary agree with them that it would not be fair to abolish the distinction between people who have done the right thing and obeyed all the rules, and those who have come to this country illegally?

School Funding (25 Apr 2018)

Neil O'Brien: After decades of underfunding, schools in my constituency are benefiting from a 6% increase per pupil over the next two years. Parents and pupils in my constituency will be glad to hear that, but can the Secretary of State reassure me that this will not just be a two-year process but that we will continue to move towards fairness afterwards and that he will press for a settlement in the next...

Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Bill (Ways and Means): Higher Education (23 Apr 2018)

Neil O'Brien: My right hon. Friend is making a typically powerful and passionate speech. Does he agree with the small businesses that I met in my constituency last Friday, which say that as they use the new money in the apprenticeship levy for apprenticeships, they encounter problems with getting what they want out of FE colleges? Does he agree that, for that reason, it is very important that we have...

Windrush: Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Bill (23 Apr 2018)

Neil O'Brien: While talking with the Market Harborough chamber of commerce just last Friday, I met a business owner in my constituency who runs a small fishmonger and has a whole set of offices connected by a staircase in a tall building in the most expensive part of the town. Were this ruling to have affected her, she would have been completely clobbered. In fact, even in the current business rates...

Windrush: Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Bill (23 Apr 2018)

Neil O'Brien: Does my hon. Friend agree that this is a good example of the Government addressing some of the most egregious problems with the business rates system, and that it is a further improvement following the revaluation, which has seen 5% cuts in the business rate bills of shops in the east midlands?

Windrush: Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Bill (23 Apr 2018)

Neil O'Brien: Harborough is a place of small businesses and does not have one dominant employer. There is a lot of demand for large buildings, which are broken up into much smaller office spaces. Does my hon. Friend agree that that would be much more difficult if we did not address the problems with the staircase tax that we are addressing and the absurdities that she has pointed out?

Windrush: Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Bill (23 Apr 2018)

Neil O'Brien: My hon. Friend is listing some sensible exemptions. Does she agree that it is important that we remain localists and do not impose the measure on every council? We should give them the power to make the decision for themselves.

Windrush: Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Bill (23 Apr 2018)

Neil O'Brien: My hon. Friend is making her case with great passion on an issue about which so many people care. Will she join me in congratulating the campaign groups that have worked so hard to put it in on the agenda, in particular The Big Issue and its “Fill ’Em Up” campaign and Empty Homes?

Windrush: Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Bill (23 Apr 2018)

Neil O'Brien: I entirely agree with my hon. Friend’s point about the mismatch between empty properties and the homeless, but does she agree with me and the estimate by The Big Issue that in some parts of the country there are 10 empty properties per every homeless family, so surely the Bill can play an important role, along with other measures such as Housing First, in addressing the problem of...

Windrush: Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Bill (23 Apr 2018)

Neil O'Brien: Further to the question asked by my hon. Friend the Member for Bexhill and Battle (Huw Merriman) about the role that corporately owned empty properties might be playing in the problem, does my hon. Friend the Member for Chippenham (Michelle Donelan) agree that the situation might be more severe than we think, given that previous measures against it, such as the annual tax on enveloped...

Windrush: Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Bill (23 Apr 2018)

Neil O'Brien: My hon. Friend will be aware that the number of empty homes—more than 200,000 of them—is down from nearly 300,000 in 2010, so there has been a huge improvement. We have 100,000 more homes for families as a result of the changes that we have already made, which has avoided 100,000 extra homes being built. Many people in green-belt areas will welcome that change. Does he agree that...

Windrush: Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Bill (23 Apr 2018)

Neil O'Brien: I am not in search of flattery. Does my hon. Friend agree that, as well as bringing empty residential properties back into use, it is strategically important to bring into use buildings that are not currently registered as residential properties? Is he aware that the number of conversions and change-of-use properties has increased from 17,000 in 2010 to 43,000 last year—from 12% of all...

Windrush: Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Bill (23 Apr 2018)

Neil O'Brien: I am lucky to represent Market Harborough, which has seen the fastest growth in the number of new shops anywhere in the east midlands, but many retail centres are suffering from the growth of the internet. In future, this country will probably have more retail space with potential homes above than it needs. Does my hon. Friend agree that local government must play a strong role in helping to...

Windrush: Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Bill (23 Apr 2018)

Neil O'Brien: I thank my hon. Friend for his patience. There are currently around 400 empty properties in the Harborough district, and there are also occasionally homeless people in the district. All my constituents would want those homes brought back into use so that we can tackle the problem of homelessness that my hon. Friend mentioned.

Windrush: Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Bill (23 Apr 2018)

Neil O'Brien: Much of the debate about empty homes assumes that the greater part of the problem is in the capital. While we must of course use measures like those in this Bill to bring more homes back into use in the capital, is my hon. Friend aware that the greatest proportions of empty homes are actually in the north, particularly the north-east? About 0.5% of homes in London are empty, whereas about...


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