Results 1–20 of 187 for speaker:Eddie Hughes

Upcoming Business – Commons: Main Chamber (27 Apr 2018)

Carbon Monoxide (Detection and Safety) Bill - 2nd reading – Eddie Hughes. Legislation

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

Eddie Hughes: It is a pleasure to follow my hon. Friend the Member for Harrow East (Bob Blackman). It is obviously a particularly great pleasure to speak on St George’s day and as we in this House celebrate the birth of a new member of the royal family, so today’s speech will certainly be memorable for me. And boy have we got some exciting stuff to discuss today! If I remember correctly,...

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

Eddie Hughes: I agree entirely. When we talk, as we frequently do, about the housing crisis in this country, we can see that there are many elements to it. Of course, it is incredibly laudable that this Government have an ambition, which I am sure they will achieve, to build 300,000 houses per year, but it is also incredibly important that we make the best use of our existing housing stock.

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

Eddie Hughes: The hon. Gentleman makes a powerful intervention given the fact that yesterday, only 24 hours ago, he ran 26.2 miles, and look at the man we see before us this evening—not a break of sweat on him. Clearly, he is not just an incredible athlete, but a gifted intellectual, and I acknowledge what he says, but completely disagree with him. As I was saying, we have moved from 300,000 empty...

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

Eddie Hughes: I agree entirely with my hon. Friend, not least because this Government, being the free-thinking Government they are, are not imposing this duty on councils, but giving them the opportunity to apply this measure should they choose to do so, so they will have the opportunity to increase the premium from 50% to 100%. No doubt, Madam Deputy Speaker, you are thinking, “What might they do...

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

Eddie Hughes: My hon. Friend makes an important point, not least because he uses the word “efficaciously” so skilfully. I hope that Walsall adopts that very approach, because, since 2010, we have seen a 40% decrease in the number of empty properties, owing in no small part to the actions of this Government.

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

Eddie Hughes: I am simply amazed. My hon. Friend is blessed either with psychic ability or intuition. That is the very point that I was about to move on to. In Beechdale, one of the wards in my constituency—

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

Eddie Hughes: All I can say is that I have been in the House for less than a year and I hope that, over the passage of time, I will develop the insight and eloquence of my hon. Friend. Unfortunately for the moment, Madam Deputy Speaker, you have to put up with this stuttering Brummie trying to work his way through his speech, and taking yet another intervention.

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

Eddie Hughes: Were it not for the fact that I am speaking totally extemporaneously, I would have thought that my hon. Friends had read my speech, but, as I have already pointed out, in order to do so they would have had to read my mind. I will indeed be coming on to that very point subsequently, in talking about the excellent period that I spent working for YMCA Birmingham. For the moment, Members will no...

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

Eddie Hughes: I agree entirely. We are seeing a shift in the profile of our town centres. Of course, many people are keen to shop online these days, so there are some empty properties. Unfortunately, there is a particular example of empty shop units in Walsall, where the Labour-led council has decided to spend £13 million buying a shopping centre with empty units and a leaking roof. I hope that the...

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

Eddie Hughes: Of course, Madam Deputy Speaker; I was merely responding to my hon. Friend the Member for Harborough (Neil O’Brien), who suggested that there might be a change-of-use opportunity for empty commercial properties. Hon. Members will no doubt remember that when the Government provided £100 million of funding through their empty homes programme, they were not only targeting empty...

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

Eddie Hughes: My hon. Friend makes a valid point, although there are occasional cases where people who appear to be homeless are not open to the good will and hospitality of neighbouring organisations. YMCA Birmingham was given £1 million to create new residential accommodation at its Erdington site, which was only about 20 or 30 metres away from a Tesco store. Some people used to turn up and beg...

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

Eddie Hughes: As I mentioned previously, there were 300,000 empty properties, so they were clearly spread broadly across the country. Madam Deputy Speaker, if you will forgive me a small indulgence, I just want to mention some research. I would not normally refer to Lib Dem research but, according to a Guardian article in January this year, 11,000 properties in this country have been vacant for more than...

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

Eddie Hughes: I am not sure that the hon. Lady has been paying attention to the entirety of my speech. I have mentioned many millions of pounds that this Government have given to address the issue of empty homes.

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

Eddie Hughes: My hon. Friend makes a valid point. It is important to remember that the Bill will give councils the flexibility to apply that council tax premium, which is currently at 50% and can be increased up to 100%. But I would imagine that some constituents might want to challenge councils that do not take the opportunity to apply the full 100% because, as he said, it will give them the opportunity...

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

Eddie Hughes: My hon. Friend brings me to a point that I had neglected to cover so far: the flexibility that is allowed because we absolutely do not want to penalise people who have genuine reasons for a having a property empty for an extended period. Those people should fear nothing from this Bill. My understanding—I may be incorrect; if so, I am sure that hon. Members will correct me—is that...

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

Eddie Hughes: This is dangerously close to becoming a debate with great interaction. I look forward to more comments from my right hon. Friend, because my understanding is that there was previously a tool that allowed compulsory purchase of properties that had been left empty for an extended period. Some might think that this Government would not apply such rules, which perhaps seem draconian.

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

Eddie Hughes: I think that there are stats available for everybody in the Chamber. Perhaps they could celebrate, as I have, not only St George’s day, and not only the birth of a new member of the royal family, but a 40% decrease in the number of empty properties in Walsall. Those are, I suggest, three very good reasons for a party, or possibly another bank holiday—for St George’s Day, I...

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

Eddie Hughes: One of the difficulties that I had when I first came to the House was recalibrating with regard to the intellectual ability of those with whom I spend time. My hon. Friend was, I believe, a policy adviser at No. 10, and he appears to know everything. I defer entirely to his encyclopaedic knowledge of housing issues, and I agree entirely with his point. When I sit in meetings, I have found...

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

Eddie Hughes: My hon. Friend makes a very valid point. Let me borrow a slightly amended phrase from Shelter, which said, “The housing crisis isn’t about homes—it’s about people.” I agree with that principle completely. When people see that there is an increase in demand for property and know that properties in their neighbourhood have been left vacant for a long time, they are...


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