As the Tory leadership race drags on, I did a number of interviews this week in my capacity as Labour’s National Campaign Coordinator. I highlighted that if the polls are to be believed and Liz Truss is our next Prime Minister in September, she has some serious questions to answer about her plan for the country. Just this week, she unveiled proposals to cut the pay of public sector workers during a cost of living crisis. This is the second time she’s proposed ‘levelling down’ the pay of nurses, teachers and police officers, which would worsen the recruitment crisis for such vital roles.
This week, I was pleased to see that that Birmingham City Council has been allocated additional government funding to increase and improve inspections of exempt accommodation. The funding is important for building on the work of the supported housing pilots, but we need the government to go much further.
We need councils to have the powers to stop rogue landlords from setting up shop in Ladywood and we need the government to tighten up the regulations that allow landlords to get away with creaming off taxpayers’ cash. Look out for an update from me next week with new information on my ongoing campaigning work to increase the regulations in the supported exempt accommodation sector.
It was also great to see that the English Football League has now confirmed Laurence Bassini’s takeover of BCFC is no longer proceeding – as confirmed to me by the department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. When news of Bassini’s attempted takeover emerged, I quickly raised my concerns publicly, and with the Government and the EFL to try and protect BCFC from further mismanagement.
In the Minister’s letter, he also re-committed to establishing a new owners and directors test through the independent regulator and I will keep pushing for this to be brought in as quickly as possible – not in 2 or 3 years’ time when it could be too late. I know there now appears to be new serious bidders in the final stages of takeover, which will hopefully mean things start to move in the right direction at BCFC, but I will reserve my judgement until we see real progress.
Finally, I hope you are all enjoying the Commonwealth Games. It has been brilliant catching as many events as possible – whether in the arena or just on the TV. A special thank you as well to all my constituents who have been volunteering to welcome and assist spectators and athletes to our great city – you really are the best of Birmingham!
Have great weekends everyone.