After months of delay, the government finally published its plans for the regulation of football this week and after everything that has gone on at Blues, it could not be more necessary. In the months it’s taken the Conservatives to finally publish a football white paper, BCFC has undergone two failed takeover attempts and been slapped with more regulation breaches. That is on top of the existing issues surrounding finances and the state of the St Andrews Stadium.
It is welcome that this includes plans for an independent regulator that will operate a licencing scheme and a proper say for fans. But nothing will change until that regulator is in place.
I am concerned when the government says it will introduce the relevant legislation “when parliamentary time allows”. That could mean anything, and we could still be waiting for it months from now. The government must bring forward legislation urgently, or else take responsibility for the clubs that go under while we wait.
After months of investigating, I discovered that cowboy landlords and criminals have found a new way to defraud taxpayers of cash – by inventing ‘ghost’ tenants using exempt accommodation and claiming enhanced housing benefit for supporting them. In one property in my constituency, housing benefit was being paid in support of a property growing cannabis. Taxpayers were paying criminals to grow drugs. This scandal must be stopped. The guardian reported on my findings: https://amp.theguardian.com/society/2023/feb/23/rogue-uk-landlords-using-ghost-tenants-to-con-taxpayers-out-of-millions
This week, the Labour party pledged that if it were in Government it would bring in new powers to force Fly-tippers in England and Wales to remove litter as part of “clean-up squads”. Under a Labour Government, councils would be able to make offenders remove graffiti or rubbish they had dumped through Fixed Penalty Cleaning Notices,
Finally, it was great to hear that the Villa catering club i employability programme is due to restart in a few weeks’ time. It’s a free course that will support adults seeking employment with hands-on experience of the catering industry. Learn more about it here: https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=748153750005057&set=a.486476379506130
I hope everyone has a great weekend.