[Mr Peter Bone in the Chair] — Decent Homes

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:01 pm on 27th January 2011.

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Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat, Carshalton and Wallington 3:01 pm, 27th January 2011

Indeed. I thank the hon. Lady for her intervention, and that was going to be my next sentence. I was going to say that £5 million-a limited amount of funding-was to be made available from April 2010 onwards. However, there was no guarantee about what would happen to the remainder of the £112 million that Sutton Housing Partnership was seeking under the decent homes programme. She is right that limited funding was made available after heavy lobbying, but that was all that was on offer to Sutton Housing Partnership.

I like to think that I am reasonably fair in these debates, and I do not want to give Opposition Members the impression that everything will now proceed apace under the coalition Government. Clearly, we face many of the same funding challenges as the previous Government. Sutton Housing Partnership has had to adjust its bid downwards to £84 million. As the hon. Member for Sheffield South East said, it is a two-star ALMO, and it worked hard with tenants, councillors and Members of Parliament to achieve two-star status. It made the necessary investment, thereby demonstrating that it has the capacity to deliver its programme. It is now bidding with ALMOs that do not have two-star status, and its tenants and I feel uncomfortable about that, given that it put so much effort in over so many years to achieve two-star status.