I have spoken to some housing officials in rural areas who regarded the amendment that was passed at stage 2 as extremely urban focused.
There is an issue to do with the quality of bed-and-breakfast accommodation. We know that far too many people in some of our cities have awful experiences of being placed in entirely inappropriate circumstances, but I have also been told of families, particularly in rural areas, choosing to stay in bed-and-breakfast accommodation in the
There is an underlying assumption that there are people who work in housing in our local authorities who do not share our concern for the needs of families and what will happen to young people at school and in the rest of their lives. We need to support legislation that allows flexibility and puts faith in local authorities to act in the best interests of the vulnerable families whom they are dealing with. There is no monopoly of concern on this matter. We have to have rigorous regulations that allow people to work to the best standards.
The way in which Linda Fabiani, in particular, has attempted to characterise this debate is unhelpful. The existence of the bill alone speaks volumes about our commitment to supporting vulnerable families.