On Sunday 1 October 2017, I appeared on the BBC’s Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria. If you didn’t manage to catch the programme at the time, here is a link. I’m on from 35.52:
The interview covered a variety of topics, including the lack of infrastructure investment in the North East, a round-up of the Labour Party conference, and the impact of introducing a housing benefit cap to supported housing.
On the issue of supported housing, I was clear that the Government’s plans to extend the Local Housing Allowance cap and reduce benefits for people who need supported housing is unacceptable.
These proposals have already lead to a massive reduction in the amount of new supported housing schemes being developed and delivered. This is the opposite of what we need as the UK has an aging population with additional care needs, and so we must see more supported housing being built, not less. I am also concerned that this is causing a huge amount of anxiety for existing tenants, who are unsure what will happen to their ability to stay in their homes in the longer term.
I spoke about the need for the Government to properly invest in infrastructure in Durham, and the North East as a whole. This region has huge potential, and this is not being allowed to fully develop as the Tories are dragging their heels in funding projects that will update our infrastructure.
I outlined the importance of upgrading and extending the Tyne and Wear Metro, as well as the need for investment in our rail services, to name but two areas in which the North East urgently needs support.
I also gave an upbeat summary of the Labour Party conference, and our policy platform to tackle inequality, invest in all the regions of the UK, rebalance our economy, and to ensure that young people can afford to access higher and further education.
If you have any comments on any of the issues that were discussed on the programme, or would like to get in touch, please send me an email at: email@example.com.