James Brokenshire – 2019 Statement on Building Safety

Below is the text of the statement made by James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, in the House of Commons on 6 June 2019.

As we approach two years since the fire at Grenfell Tower and prepare to mark in respect and remembrance that devastating event, I wish to update the House on work we are doing to ensure people are safe and feel safe in their homes.

Today we are publishing a consultation seeking views on our proposals for a new system of building and fire safety which puts residents’ safety at its heart.​
Soon after the fire at Grenfell Tower, we commissioned the independent review of building regulations and fire safety, led by Dame Judith Hackitt.

Dame Judith concluded that the current system for ensuring fire safety in high-rise buildings was “not fit for purpose” and had lost public confidence and residents’ trust. We accepted Dame Judith’s diagnosis of the system and in December 2018, we published our implementation plan that committed to take forward the review’s recommendations as part of a fundamental reform of the system for “higher-risk residential buildings”.

The consultation we are publishing today, titled “Building a safer future: proposals for reform of the building safety regulatory system—a consultation”, outlines how we propose to take forward meaningful legislative reform and is seeking views on five areas of the new regime.

The first is the scope of the new regime. We propose the new regime applies, from the beginning, to all new and existing multi-occupied residential buildings of 18 metres or more, broadly in line with the ban on combustible materials which we brought into force last year. We propose that the system has flexibility to include other building types over time, based on evidence of risk and further research.

Secondly, we are proposing a comprehensive duty holder regime which means that at each stage of a building’s life—through design, construction and occupation, including those buildings already occupied—there will be clearly identified people who are directly accountable for the safety of residential buildings 18 metres or more. The duty holder regime will mean that for the first time there will be clear accountability on who owns building risks and clear responsibilities for managing the risks to ensure buildings are safe for residents. These responsibilities, which include creating and maintaining the digital records of a building and producing a safety case that will be approved by the new building safety regulator prior to issuing a building safety certificate, will be set out in law.

Thirdly, we are seeking views on giving residents a stronger voice in the new regime and ensuring their concerns are heard and acted on. We propose that residents should receive better information on their buildings so that they can participate in decisions about safety, as well as providing clear and quick routes of escalation for their concerns if things go wrong.

Fourthly, we have outlined plans for a new building safety regulator to provide oversight of the new building safety regulatory regime. This regulator will also oversee the wider building and regulatory system, incorporating and improving on the functions currently undertaken by the Building Regulations Advisory Committee (BRAC). We are also proposing to strengthen the oversight and regulation of construction products.

Finally, the system proposed will be underpinned by strengthened enforcement and sanctions to deter non-compliance with the new regime. We believe that this will help to drive real culture change across the industry.

Alongside this consultation, we are also publishing:

A “quick read” version of the consultation document to ensure that the content is accessible to everyone.

The summary of responses to our call for evidence on engagement with residents.

The report from the industry-led competence steering group setting out their proposals for oversight of competence​

The Government are also launching a call for evidence on the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. We want to ensure that the Order is fit for purpose for all buildings it regulates. The call for evidence is the first step to updating the evidence base on the effectiveness of the Order, since this gives an opportunity for fire safety professionals and businesses or individuals regulated by the Fire Safety Order to share their views and experience on how the Order works in practice.

But we have not waited for legislation to make change. While successful, fundamental, real-world change on this scale, and across a complex market and regulatory landscape, will take time, we are acting now to reform the system. We have:

identified over 400 high-rise buildings with unsafe Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding, like the type used on Grenfell Tower, working with local authorities and fire and rescue authorities, ensuring that there are appropriate interim safety measures in place;

made £600 million funding available for the replacement of unsafe ACM cladding on high-rise residential homes in the social and private sectors;

made expert advice available to building owners on a range of other safety risks and taken action to remove unsafe products from the market;

laid regulations and guidance to ban the use of combustible materials during building work on the external walls of new buildings of 18 metres or more in height and containing blocks of flats, hospitals, residential care premises, dormitories in boarding schools and student accommodation;

consulted on a clarified version of the building regulations’ fire safety guidance (approved document B) and issued a call for evidence as the first step in a full technical review of the guidance. We are currently reviewing responses and will publish the clarified statutory guidance and response to the call for evidence in the summer; and

launched the social landlords resident engagement best practice group, to develop and share ways to better engage residents in keeping their buildings safe.

We have also established a joint regulators group to help us develop and pilot new approaches. Some of the proposals set out in the consultation are being tested and piloted voluntarily by construction firms and housing associations who have joined our Early Adopters work. Today also sees the launch of the Early Adopters’ Building Safety Charter. I welcome their leadership in this area and encourage others to follow them.

Our reforms are being developed to complement other important changes we are making elsewhere, such as those outlined in our Green Paper on social housing —“A new deal for social housing”— and reforms in the leasehold and private rented sectors.

The consultation opens today for eight weeks until 31 July. We will continue engaging with residents, industry and the wider sector as we develop these proposals further. The documents are published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/building-a-safer-future-proposals-for-reform-of-the-building-safety-regulatory-system

The publication of the consultation I have announced today is essential for restoring trust in the building safety system and making sure that residents are safe now, and in the future.

James Brokenshire – 2019 Statement on Councils in Northamptonshire

Below is the text of the speech made by James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, in the House of Commons on 14 May 2019.

On 29 November 2018 I told the House that I was launching a statutory consultation on the proposal for reorganising local government in Northamptonshire which I had received from seven of the area’s eight principal councils. The councils had submitted this proposal in response to the invitation issued on 27 March 2018 following the recommendations in the independent inspection report on Northamptonshire County Council.

This locally-led proposal is to replace the existing eight councils across Northamptonshire (the County Council and seven district councils) with two new unitary councils—one for North Northamptonshire covering the existing districts of Kettering, Corby, East Northamptonshire and Wellingborough, and the other for West Northamptonshire covering the existing districts of Daventry, Northampton and South Northamptonshire. The proposal envisaged the new councils being fully operational from 1 April 2020.​
The statutory consultation closed on 25 January and invited views from councils concerned, other public sector providers and representatives of business and the voluntary sector and welcomed views from any interested persons.

I have received a total of 386 responses. The district and county councils—except for Corby Borough Council—and councillors and public service providers, including the Police and Crime Commissioner and health partners, generally supported the proposal. Responses from businesses, members of the public, parish councils and community organisations were more mixed.

This consultation supplements the consultation exercise undertaken on behalf of the Northamptonshire councils by the independent opinion research services. This exercise included face to face workshops, a representative telephone survey of Northamptonshire residents and an open questionnaire.

Ninety per cent of respondents to the telephone survey agreed that there was a need to make changes to Northamptonshire local government and 74% agreed with the unitary proposal; 83% of the over 6000 individuals who responded to the open questionnaire agreed that there was a need for change, with 67% agreeing that a number of unitary councils should be introduced and 44% supporting the proposal for two unitary councils.

I have now carefully considered the councils’ proposal, along with the results of the consultation exercises, a report by the Northamptonshire Children’s Commissioner, submitted to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and me, on how best to ensure continued improvement of the fragile children’s social care service in Northamptonshire in the context of reorganisation, and all other relevant information and material available to me. I have concluded that the proposal meets our publicly stated criteria for local government reorganisation. If implemented, I am satisfied that the proposal would improve local government and service delivery in the area, has a good deal of local support and the area of each new unitary represents a credible local geography.

This is on the basis that there is a children’s trust covering the whole of Northamptonshire, which, with my support, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education is minded to establish, as recommended by the Children’s Commissioner, if the unitary proposal is to be implemented. With such an arrangement children’s social care would not be disaggregated with the trust discharging functions on behalf of both councils. My right hon. Friend will be publishing the Commissioner’s report today. It is also on the basis that work continues to be taken forward in Northamptonshire to do more to integrate adult social care and health services.

I have therefore decided, subject to the issuing of statutory directions requiring the establishment of a children’s trust and to parliamentary approval of the secondary legislation, to use my powers under the local government and public involvement in Health Act 2007 to implement the proposal. These powers enable me to implement a unitary proposal with or without modification and in this case, having carefully considered all the material available to me, I have decided to make one modification to the proposal.

This is to extend the period for fully implementing the new arrangements so that the new councils are operational from 1 April 2021. While I recognise that a ​delay in implementation will mean potential savings estimated in the proposal will not be realised for another year, I am clear that the extended implementation period means we can be confident that there will be a safe and effective transition to all the new service delivery arrangements across the whole of the area, including for those crucial services supporting the most vulnerable. Throughout this extended period my Commissioners will be able to continue to support the County Council.

To support the transition, I have decided to establish shadow authorities. I envisage the May 2020 local elections in Northamptonshire will be elections to those shadow authorities rather than to district councils, with the district elections currently due on that date being cancelled. In line with the approach in the proposal for elections to the new unitary councils, I also envisage the elections to the shadow authorities are held on the basis of three member wards resulting in the North Northamptonshire Council having 78 members and West Northamptonshire ​Council having 93 members. Those so elected would be members of the new councils when these go live in April 2021. Elections to parish councils will proceed as scheduled in May 2020.1 intend to confirm these electoral arrangements shortly after hearing any views the district and county councils may have on this.

I now intend to prepare and lay before Parliament drafts of the necessary secondary legislation to give effect to my decisions. Establishing these new unitary councils will be a significant step towards ensuring the people and businesses across Northamptonshire can in future have the sustainable, high-quality local services they deserve. I welcome the commitment of all the existing councils and their partners to drive forward this process of establishing new councils and transforming local service delivery. I am confident this will continue.

James Brokenshire – 2019 Statement on Rough Sleeping

Below is the text of the statement made by James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State of Housing, Communities and Local Government, on 7 May 2019.

Early adopters of the Rapid Rehousing Pathway

In December, I announced the locations of the first 11 Somewhere Safe to Stay hubs, one of four elements that make up the Rapid Rehousing Pathway which were announced in the £100 million Rough Sleeping strategy last August. I am pleased to say that all 11 hubs are now operational. Furthermore, I can confirm that all 42 early adopters of the pathway, announced in February, are working hard to get staff in place and several are already delivering services. These 53 early adopters are focused on making sure that those who sleep rough, or are at risk of sleeping rough, are rapidly getting the support they need to move away from the street and sustain secure accommodation.

Rapid Rehousing Pathway new funding

I have now announced the allocations of up to £25.6 million of the second round of Rapid Rehousing Pathway funding. For 108 areas of the country this funding will provide:

20 additional Somewhere Safe to Stay hubs, to rapidly assess the needs of people who are sleeping rough and those who are at risk of sleeping rough and support them to get the right help quickly. This will bring the total number of hubs to 31,16 more than the minimum that we committed to in the 2018 Rough Sleeping strategy.

Up to £6.8 million of funding for 61 areas for supported lettings, offering flexible support funding to help people with a history of rough sleeping to sustain their tenancies in homes made newly available across the housing sector.

At least 130 navigators who will develop relationships with and help over 2,500 people who sleep rough to access appropriate local services, get off the streets and into settled accommodation.

Up to £3.5 million to establish or support 30 local lettings agencies to source, identify, or provide homes and advice for rough sleepers or those at risk.

A full list of the areas funded is available at: https://www. gov.uk/government/publications/rapid-rehousing-pathway-2019-to-2020-funding-allocations.

With this funding, local areas will be able to connect people with the right support and sustainable housing to move them swiftly away from the street and facilitate their recovery. This important work is part of delivering on the commitments outlined in the Rough Sleeping strategy and is crucial in bringing us a step closer towards ending rough sleeping.

James Brokenshire – 2019 Statement on the Private Rented Sector

Below is the text of the statement made by James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, in the House of Commons on 23 April 2019.

You will have seen that last week I announced reforms to the legislative framework governing how private tenancies can be ended in England to improve security in the private rented sector for both tenants and landlords. This announcement followed my Department’s recent consultation on “Overcoming the Barriers to Longer Tenancies”. I also published the Government’s response to this consultation.

The private rented sector has changed dramatically in the last 20 years, and the sector needs to keep pace with these changes. The number of people who live in the private rented sector has doubled, and it is home to more families with children and older people. These households need stability and security in their home.

The current legislative framework leaves tenants feeling insecure. They can be asked to leave their homes, with as little as two months notice, without the landlord ​providing any reason, using eviction proceedings under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. This sense of insecurity can profoundly affect the ability of renters to plan for the future, to manage their finances or to put down roots in their local communities.

The Government intend to establish a fairer system for both tenants and landlords by legislating to repeal section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. Bringing an end to so-called “no fault evictions”, would mean that a tenant cannot be forced to leave their home unless the landlord can prove a specified ground, such as rent arrears or breach of tenancy agreement. It would provide tenants with more stability and protect them from having to make frequent and short notice moves. It would also empower tenants to challenge their landlord about poor property standards where this occurs, without the worry of being evicted as a result of making a complaint.

The private rented sector must also remain a stable and secure market for landlords to continue to invest in. The legislation I intend to introduce will include measures that provide landlords with additional safeguards to successfully manage their properties. We will strengthen the existing grounds for eviction available to landlords under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988. This will allow the landlord to regain their property when they want to sell it or move into it themselves.

It is important that landlords can have confidence that the court system works for them in instances when there is no other option but to seek possession of their property through the courts. That is why this announcement includes improvements to court processes, to make it quicker and smoother for landlords to regain their properties when they have a legitimate reason to do so.

Removing no-fault evictions is a significant step. This announcement is the start of a longer process to introduce these reforms. We want to build a consensus on a package of reforms to improve security for tenants while providing landlords with the confidence that they have the tools they need.

We will launch a consultation on the details of a better system that will work for landlords and tenants. The Government will collaborate with and listen to landlords, tenants and others in the private rented sector to develop a new deal for renting. Ministers will also work with other types of housing providers outside of the private rented sector who use these powers and use the consultation to make sure the new system works effectively.

James Brokenshire – 2019 Speech at Kindertransport Conference

Below is the text of the speech made by James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, at the Kindertransport Conference held on 15 April 2019.

It is a genuine pleasure, and privilege and honour to join you all today to mark the 80th anniversary of the Kindertransport.

I’m incredibly grateful to the Association of Jewish Refugees for hosting this really significant, really important conference and quite literally bringing us all together – including so many Kinder from across the world.

It was very special to be able to meet some of you just before this session and hear how the work continues on ensuring that we have that record of history of some of the things we have heard about this morning. And just how much that matters. It’s a mark of just how seminal the Kindertransport has been to countless lives.

There’s also another very special mention, these wonderful surroundings that we’re in this afternoon have equally made me reflect on previous events that we did at the Speaker’s house in the House of Commons, where I was among a number of MPs able to read-out some of the debate in the House of Commons that led to the Kindertransport happening.

And just to be able to read some of those words again in Parliament, to be able to remind ourselves of some the issues that were just so relevant, some of that debate, some of the tensions. But equally to underline its relevance to our politics today. Never forgetting. Always underlining that sense of challenging inequality or division or hatred. But all that we have as a country in that regard and equally the responsibilities that we have in terms of our support for refugees and our place in the world in that regard.

So I think it’s actually quite fitting that we should meet here at Lancaster House, a place that has played such an important role in world events. Indeed, many here will recall Lancaster House as the seat of so many meetings that changed the shape of central Europe after the war.

Legacy

But in turn, the Kindertransport has shaped us as a country. The United Kingdom took in nearly 10,000 predominantly Jewish children, from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland.

It’s something we remain very proud of, yes. But equally, we can be proud of the incredible contributions of the Kinder to the life of this country.

And some of it strikes a personal chord for me. My father-in-law was not one of the Kinder, but he escaped Nazi Germany to Britain as a small child with the help of Frank Foley, the MI6 officer based in the British Embassy in Berlin, who did so much to provide the papers and facilitated so many Jewish people to leave Germany and make a better life elsewhere.

His father – my children’s great-grandfather – was interned in Buchenwald in the aftermath of Kristallnacht. Mercifully, he was reunited with his family.

But I know that so many people, including many people here, were not so lucky.

The Kindertransport is a story of great pride, yes. But it is also marked with deep sadness at every turn. It provokes painful questions. Why only children? What happened to the parents? What became of brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles?

Sadly, we know that the Kinder were often the only surviving members of their family. It is a difficult legacy – but one that we must remember. One that we must never forget.

And the Holocaust has had a monumental impact on our country’s history, our democracy and our values. Even today, it continues to shape us: from people like me, like my family with connections to survivors and refugees, to our society at large as we continue to stand up and challenge the scourge of antisemitism.

Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre

That is why it is right that we remember the Holocaust, that we apply the lessons of the Holocaust – and have a Memorial here in Britain.

Because the murder of the 6 million Jewish men, women and children must never be forgotten. Nor should the murders of the Roma and other victims of Nazi persecution. Nor still, the subsequent genocides across the world that have scarred the decades since.

And today, as we mark the anniversary of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen – by British troops so wholly unprepared for the horrors they found – it is important we all reflect on what they confronted there.

It is why our new Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre, I think, will be so important for our nation.

It will be a centre for remembrance and education at the very heart of our national life. A place where future generations can learn the lessons of the past, through the powerful stories like the Kindertransport and the liberation of Bergen-Belsen.

Beacon of learning and remembrance

And I want to reassure our country’s Holocaust survivors, Kinder and refugees that this important Memorial will be delivered, because we remain determined that our country stands together against the hatred, against the ignorance and against the bigotry that led to the Holocaust and other genocides.

Victoria Tower Gardens will be an exceptional setting for this place of reflection and education, inspiring us all to stand up whenever the values we share are challenged.

Moreover, it is right that the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre should be next to our Houses of Parliament, at the heart of our democracy, standing as an important reminder of parliament’s power to oppress – and its duty to protect.

Which comes back to why we are here today – underlining that sense of past. Underlining that sense of the important role that we have in helping in international crisis and our response through refugees.

So, as we gather today to remember and rethink the legacy of the Kindertransport, it is my sincere hope that our Memorial will become a powerful beacon of future learning and remembrance.

Learning and remembrance which I know is at the heart of today’s events and why it is so important that we come together, that we remember, and that we apply those lessons for the future.

Thank you very much.

James Brokenshire – 2019 Statement on the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission

Below is the text of the statement made by James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, in the House of Commons on 25 March 2019.

At autumn Budget 2016, the Government asked the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission to develop an ambitious vision and delivery plan for North Kent, South Essex and East London up to 2050. In June 2018, the commission, led originally by Lord Heseltine and concluded by Sir John Armitt, announced their vision for the estuary. I sincerely ​thank Sir John and all the members of the commission for their expertise and scrutiny across the duration of the commission.

Comparable in scale to the midlands engine, northern powerhouse and Oxford-Cambridge arc, the Thames estuary has the potential to deliver growth to support the success of the whole of the UK economy. The Commission envisioned that by 2050 the

Thames estuary will be a tapestry of productive places along a global river. The estuary will create 1.3 million new jobs and generate £190 billion additional gross value added.

The Thames estuary has long been a gateway to the wider UK economy but there remain pockets of entrenched deprivation within the region. And this area is not yet fully delivering on its great potential.

I welcome the vision for growth that the commission has set out. I am pleased to announce further commitments from this Government to support the delivery of the commission’s vision, including: £1 million to support a new Thames estuary growth board; appointing a Cabinet-level ministerial champion; £4.85 million to support local partners to develop low-cost proposals for enhancing transport services between Abbey Wood and Ebbsfleet, subject to suitable housing ambition; exploring the potential for at least two new locally-led development corporations; launching a strategic communications campaign to promote the Thames estuary as a great place to live, work and do business; funding for the creation of masterplans and feasibility studies on key sites in the Thames estuary creative production corridor; and bringing together relevant authorities to collaborate on the Thames estuary 2100 plan, to make sure that growth in the estuary is sustainable and resilient. My full response is available: www.gov.uk.

Our response to the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission marks this Government’s commitment to this important area of the country. The Thames estuary has great potential to provide well-balanced, inclusive economic growth and will remain vital for the UK economy following Brexit.

James Brokenshire – 2019 Statement on the Rough Sleeping Initiative

Below is the text of the statement made by James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, in the House of Commons on 25 March 2019.

I am today announcing the allocation of a further £46 million rough sleeping initiative funding to support those sleeping rough and those at risk of sleeping rough in 246 local authorities.

This funding provides continuity from the £30 million fund for 2018-19, which was aimed at an initial 83 local authorities with the highest levels of rough sleeping in 2017.

The 2018 annual rough sleeping statistics showed a decrease of 639 or 19% in numbers of rough sleepers across these areas. While the programme is still in its infancy, the figures continue to demonstrate that the rough sleeping initiative has had a significant impact on the number of people sleeping rough and is working. Therefore, we are providing a further £34 million to these 83 areas in 2019-20.​
I want to go further, and so launched a bidding round in December 2018 for those areas not in the initial 83 and I am pleased to announce that I will be providing an additional £12 million to a further 163 local authorities in 2019-20. This will continue to build on the work we have done so far to make sure we continue to support more people off the streets and into safe and secure accommodation.

This funding will provide for over 750 new staff focused on rough sleeping. This will include more outreach workers to engage with people on the streets, specialist mental health and substance misuse workers and dedicated co-ordinators to drive efforts to reduce rough sleeping in their areas. It will also provide for over 2,650 new bed spaces including both emergency, temporary and settled accommodation. The breadth of this funding will provide coverage of 75% of local authorities across England.

The rough sleeping initiative team, made up of expert advisers with knowledge and experience in areas such as mental health, specialist housing, substance misuse and criminal justice will continue to work closely with local areas to implement the plans and to monitor their progress.​
I have deposited a full list of the individual amounts allocated to the 246 local authorities in the House Library.

I am confident this package of support will achieve substantial results across England. It will also build upon the work we have already undertaken. This work includes publishing our cross-Government rough sleeping strategy which sets out an ambitious £100 million package to help people who sleep rough now and puts in place the structures that will end rough sleeping once and for all, piloting the housing first approach, which has an internationally proven evidence base for effectiveness, in Greater Manchester, Liverpool city region and the west midlands, allocating over £1.2 billion in order to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping, including more upfront funding so local authorities can proactively tackle homelessness pressures in their areas, and, additionally, the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act which means that more people now get the help they need and at an earlier stage so preventing homelessness from occurring in the first place.

James Brokenshire – 2019 Speech on Troubled Families

Below is the text of the speech made by James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, on 19 March 2019.

Introduction

Thanks, Andy [Cook].

I too would like to pay tribute to the work of the CSJ, the Centre for Social Justice. Through you and your founder Iain Duncan Smith you have provided powerful leadership on the issues of poverty and social breakdown; challenging assumptions as well as developing pragmatic, imaginative solutions but rooted in the experience of some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

From Free Schools to the Modern Slavery Act, your influence I think has been hugely significant and very far-reaching and there’s little doubt that you’ve succeed in your mission to put social justice at the heart of British politics.

As such, I’m hugely grateful to you for hosting us today and I very much look forward to seeing much more of your impressive work.

Now we’re obviously meeting at an important moment in our country’s history as we forge a new relationship with Europe and raise our ambitions for what kind of country we want to be – a country with a strong, outward-looking presence on the world stage, but also with a strong foundation of thriving communities at home.

That means renewing the cherished union not just between the four nations of our United Kingdom, but a new unionism between all our citizens – between the multiple units of solidarity; country, region, community and family that underpin it.

These units of solidarity, of identity and belonging, operate in many ways and on many levels.

But it’s clear that the most important and keenly felt of these is family.

Rich or poor, it’s the bedrock on which everything else is built – that teaches us the value of love and support, in good times and bad.

That determines our ability to form healthy relationships, our levels of resilience.

How well we do at school and into adulthood.

That connects us to the wider community and the world beyond.

I know I speak for many when I say that my family is the most important thing in my life – I would certainly have not have got through my illness last year without my wife and children by my side.

That’s why this government is championing families at every turn:

driving down the number of households where nobody works by almost a million

driving up the number of good and outstanding schools

extending free childcare

helping more families onto the housing ladder through Help to Buy and by

scrapping stamp duty for most first-time buyers

easing pressures on families by cutting income tax and introducing the National Living Wage

And let’s not forget milestones like the introduction of same sex marriage, measures to support flexible working and shared parental leave and now proposals to introduce blame-free divorce – important steps that to help somehow to strengthen the bonds of family further and protect them in difficult times but equally recognise the issues and structures that lie behind it.

Now it’s important to see how we can bond that unit of family together.

When families thrive, we all thrive.

But sadly, the reverse is also true.

As the CSJ’s latest research shows, young people who experience family breakdown under the age of 18 are more likely to experience homelessness, crime and imprisonment, educational underachievement, alcoholism, teenage pregnancy and mental health issues.

Quite apart from the dire consequences for communities, there’s the enormous personal toll – in wasted potential, in lives unlived.

It is a dangerous disconnection between these families and wider society – a society in which many feel they have no stake.

And in many ways I have the CSJ to thank for helping make that crystal clear to me.

Back in 2006, I took part in a CSJ Programme which saw MPs spending a week with a charity working on some of the toughest social problems.

I spent my week in Devonport in Plymouth with a charity supporting the adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

It gave me the chance to shadow some of those out on the frontline working to combat social exclusion, deprivation and antisocial behaviour.

One particular moment has guided and informed my thinking ever since.

Walking through one of the run-down estates, I asked one of the social workers why the families of the truanting kids they worked with didn’t actively encourage their children to go to school to improve the opportunities available and give them that step up.

The answer was as direct as it was bleak.

Well if they did that it would remind them of the inadequacies of their own lives.

This stark picture of the engrained challenges of inter-generational deprivation has stuck with me.

It made clear to me that you can’t tackle the complex and overlapping problems that struggling families face – worklessness, persistent truanting, health problems, crime and anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse and vulnerable children – in silos.

That you need to join up support and work with whole families, and not just individuals, to change lives.

None of this is especially revolutionary – it’s just common sense.

And that profoundly is what lies at the heart of the Troubled Families Programme.

The results – as seen in the latest national Programme evaluation being published today – I think speak for themselves.

When compared to a similar comparison group, the programme of targeted intervention saw:

the number of children going into care down by a third

the number of adults going to prison down by a quarter and juveniles in custody down by a third

10% fewer people claiming Jobseekers Allowance

There is of course, more to do, but I think this is a significant achievement and a tribute to the tireless efforts of family workers, local authorities and their many partners in our public services and the voluntary sector.

I’m hugely thankful to them.

What they’ve achieved adds up to more people back in work, often in families where unemployment was seen as the norm.

This isn’t just about the financial boost provided by a regular wage, but about the pride and dignity that comes from taking control of your own life. About children growing up with an example of hard work and aspiration.

Equally important for the next generation is the security and stability provided by more families staying together as the pressures on social care and criminal justice system ease.

This means a lot to the families who’ve benefitted.

People like 13-year-old Kyle whose anti-social, gang-related behaviour – developed against a backdrop of historic domestic abuse and the death of his father – had left him and his mum Sue facing eviction from their home.

Thanks to the wrap-around support organised by the Programme’s family worker, based in the Youth Justice Service, Kyle hasn’t been in trouble since, his behaviour and attendance at school has improved and Sue now has her own support network outside the family.

The Programme has also made all the difference for 16-year-old Daniel and his father John.

Following a difficult childhood, he had developed serious problems – self-harming, threatening suicide, regularly smoking cannabis – which had left John too scared to leave him on his own despite his desperation to get a job.

Again, the family worker’s intervention in organising parenting and employment support for John and counselling and specialist support for Daniel was instrumental in helping improve his mental health, encouraging him to apply to an art college and helping John find work as a security guard.

Just 2 examples.

And it underlines why we must never give up on people like them and the families that this Programme is designed to support.

The problems they face – tangled, entrenched, with deep roots – are among the most challenging in our society.

Before beginning the Programme, over half of the families were on benefits.

More than two fifths had at least one person with a mental health issue.

In 1 in 6 families, 1 person was dependent on non-prescription drugs or alcohol.

And in over a fifth, at least 1 person had been affected by domestic abuse.

One of these issues alone is enough to be dealing with.

When they’re multiplied, the effects are devastating – for the families concerned, affecting their ability almost literally to get through each day.

But also sometimes for their neighbours, their classmates and the wider community; who can find themselves on the receiving end of disruptive and distressing behaviour as a result.

In providing support, equally, we should not make excuses for behaviour which falls well short of what should be expected.

As their issues have burgeoned, these families have usually found themselves becoming the passive recipients of services and becoming more isolated and alone.

This is not, in any way, inevitable and there are plenty of examples of people who have beat overwhelming odds to succeed – and those who will say: “They did it by themselves, so everyone should be able to do it.”

But when you dig deeper, it turns out that there are usually people who had their back.

A loving parent who, even though money was tight, was not short on aspiration.

An inspirational teacher who lifted their sights and broadened their horizons.

A neighbour, a friend of a friend who helped secure a lucky break.

Because the truth is no-one ever does it alone. We are all the product of a multitude of small kindnesses done to us and done for us.

We all need support and commitment to achieve our full potential; to grow, branch out and reach our goals.

That starts with stronger families – as the cornerstone of stronger communities.

And that’s the spirit that runs right through this Programme.

Families working together to rise together.

Agencies across sectors working together to help them succeed.

This represents a fundamental shift in how the state supports those who depend on it; centred not on systems and processes, but on people and forging a common sense of purpose among all involved.

For families previously used to being shunted between a host of different, often disjointed services; all with their own assessments, thresholds, appointments and approaches, the role of the family worker, in particular, is a huge breakthrough.

Someone who builds trust and rallies everyone to agree a plan to rebuild their lives, based on their ambitions – and, who, then, crucially, is a single, consistent point of contact coordinating and mobilising all the necessary specialist services, such as mental health or debt advice.

The impact of this should not be underestimated.

Problems caught early before they escalate into a crisis.

People no longer having to go through the emotionally draining process of repeating and repeating and repeating their stories to multiple services.

A boost in confidence, new skills and resilience as families, as the extra help provided with practical issues – such as parenting and household budgeting – pay off.

We know families value this support – this second chance to not so much transform their lives as rediscover them.

To tap into their own power and agency to change them for the better.

And this is the point – the Programme doesn’t affect this change. They do.

But the benefits of the Troubled Families Programme don’t end there.

It’s changed the way people deliver services too.

Many of those working on the Programme have talked about silos breaking down and a marked change in culture and ways of working; with more sharing of information and discussion between partners as their eyes are opened to a fuller picture of a family’s circumstances.

We know that the improved use and sharing of data across agencies has also helped identify families most in need of help, helped target services and track family progress more effectively, with systems increasingly picking up early indications of need – paving the way for improved commissioning of services in the future.

But perhaps the biggest gain is a greater sense of solidarity among services who have worked with these families, who are among the hardest to help, for years, but who now grasp just how much more can be achieved for them when they come together.

According to the evaluation, over half of Troubled Families Coordinators agree all agencies have a common purpose – up from 43% the previous year (2016).

Moreover, just over two thirds of Coordinators say the Programme has been effective at achieving long-term positive change in wider system reform.

This is really encouraging to hear.

The Programme is breaking new ground in developing best practice and, as with anything new, you learn as you go.

And yes we’ve undoubtedly learned a lot from the first phase of the Programme; improving the way we evaluate it by not only drawing on data from more local authorities over 5 years instead of just 1 year, but also through surveys with staff, including family workers and specialist employment advisers, and by speaking to families who’ve been involved.

And we’re keen to continue to think about what we could do differently and better – and this is where it is fair to say that I think we need to look again at the name of the Programme.

I understand why we alighted on phrase ‘Troubled Families’, but, in reality, it obscures as much as it enlightens.

At its worst it points an accusing finger at people, who are already isolated, and says to them “you are the ‘others’ and you are not like the rest of us”.

When, in truth, they are like the rest of us, they’ve just had a little less help, been a little less lucky, and yes, made choices themselves that haven’t led to the best outcomes.

But we don’t give up on people in this country. People can make the most of a second chance.

That is the lesson of the Programme.

So we need something which better recognises its objective of creating stronger families.

Something that recognises where it might take us.

Because the implications for wider public service delivery are profound.

We had the new public management model under Margaret Thatcher in the Eighties.

Then the choice agenda, followed by the open public services agenda from 2010.

The Troubled Families Programme – with its model of services joining up around a whole family – I think suggests the next wave.

And fresh thinking is needed now more than ever to meet challenges we face.

I’m thinking especially of the horrors of knife crime, which is devastating families and communities.

This cannot go on.

Every violent incident, every injury, every young life lost is an absolute tragedy and we must act to ensure our children can grow up knowing they’re safe and have a great future ahead of them.

The Troubled Families Programme – with its emphasis on early intervention and its track record of tackling complex challenges – has a valuable role to play in this endeavour.

It’s why we’re making a £9.5 million fund available within the existing Programme to focus on supporting children and families vulnerable to knife crime and gang culture – with a further £300,000 available to train frontline staff on how to tackle childhood trauma.

The money will go to community-backed projects in 21 areas across England and I look forward to seeing it making a difference to families on the ground.

Conclusion

I have every confidence that it will make this difference because the real strength of the Troubled Families Programme – the real strength, too, of the CSJ’s approach – is that it’s not just trying to manage the challenges those families face. It’s changing lives in the long term.

In doing so, it’s addressing not just the symptoms, but the underlying issues that have held them back.

Just over three quarters of a century ago, in a similar spirit, Sir William Beveridge drafted the landmark report that laid the foundations for the welfare state.

The 5 “giant evils” he sought to eradicate – want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness – thankfully no longer loom so large, as attested by longer lifespans and better life chances.

But there is no denying that serious challenges remain.

And while we’re doing all we all can to ease pressures on families, we must also face up to new “giants” – such as, for example, increasing social isolation – the sense that while with the internet and social media we’ve never been better connected, many of us have never felt more alone.

And this perhaps is one of the biggest mountains that families on the Programme previously faced – the feeling they were battling multiple problems on multiple fronts on their own.

Not anymore.

At least 400,000 families have been helped by the Programme’s whole family approach as it goes mainstream; winning the confidence of councils and their partners alike with its proven ability to give people hope and a brighter future.

That’s why I believe in the Programme and want to see it go from strength to strength.

And why I will always do my utmost to champion these and other families – the principal units of solidarity that bind our communities and our country.

Put simply; whether as families or communities or as a country, we’re always stronger when we stand together.

And that simple but significant truth should guide our policy making for the future.

Thank you.

James Brokenshire – 2019 Statement on Local Government Finance

Below is the text of the statement made by James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, to the House of Commons on 29 January 2019.

Local government finance

Today I laid before the House, the ‘Report on Local Government Finance (England) 2019-20’, the ‘Council Tax referendum principles report 2019-20’ and ‘Council Tax alternative notional amounts report 2018-2019’, which represent the annual local government finance settlement for local authorities in England.

I would like to thank all colleagues in the House, council leaders and officers, who contributed to the consultation after the provisional settlement was published on 13 December.

My Ministers and I have engaged extensively with the sector, including offering a teleconference to all local authorities, and holding meetings with representative groups including the Local Government Association and with councils and MPs. Representations from around 170 organisations or individuals have been carefully considered before finalising the settlement.

This settlement is the final year of the 4 year offer which was accepted by 97% of councils in return for publishing efficiency plans. This settlement comprises a broad package of measures and confirms that Core Spending Power is forecast to increase from £45.1 billion in 2018-19 to £46.4 billion in 2019-20, a cash-increase of 2.8% and a real-terms increase in resources available to local authorities.

Yesterday, I released £56.5 million across 2018-19 and 2019-20 to help councils prepare for EU Exit.

Adult and children’s social care

The government has listened and responded to the pressures local authorities are facing and announced at Autumn Budget in October 2018 that we will be providing additional resources across 2018-19 and 2019-20 to support social care. This funding includes £240 million in both 2018-19 and 2019-20 to support adult social care services to reduce pressures on the NHS, and an additional £410 million Social Care Support Grant for local authorities to support adult and children’s social care services. Having considered responses to the provisional settlement consultation, I can confirm that this will be distributed according to the existing Adult Social Care Relative Needs Formula.

The additional resources announced at Autumn Budget, alongside the Adult Social Care council tax precept and the improved Better Care Fund, mean that councils will have been given access to £10 billion in dedicated funding that can be used for adult social care over the 3 years from 2017-18 to 2019-20. For 2019-20, local authorities will have access to £4.3 billion in dedicated resources for Adult Social Care, including £1.8 billion in improved Better Care Fund grant.

Business rates growth, and the distribution of funds within the levy account
In addition, every authority in England also stands to benefit from increased growth in business rates income, which has generated a surplus in the business rates levy account in 2018-19. I can confirm that £180 million will be returned to the sector and distributed based on each local authority’s 2013-14 Settlement Funding Assessment.

This highlights the continued success of the business rates retention system, from which local authorities estimate they will gain an additional £2.4 billion in retained business rates growth in 2018-19 on top of settlement core funding.

Business rates retention pilots

As we move towards our aim of devolving additional grants to increase business rates retention to 75% from 2020-21, I will continue to test increased business rates retention with a range of local authorities across a wide geographical spread.

At the provisional settlement I confirmed that 15 new pilots will get underway in 2019-20 in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hertfordshire, Lancashire, Leicester and Leicestershire, Norfolk, North and West Yorkshire, North of Tyne, Northamptonshire, Solent Authorities, Somerset, Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, West Sussex and Worcestershire. I will also be piloting 75% business rates retention in London and continuing ongoing pilots in 5 devolution deal areas.

New Homes Bonus

Local authorities are instrumental in ensuring the building of homes this country needs. As well as providing extra resources for social care, rewarding local authorities for economic growth and testing elements of future reform, I am keen to provide as much continuity and certainty to the sector as possible. As a result, I can confirm that the payments threshold for New Homes Bonus will be retained at 0.4%. To keep the baseline at 0.4%, I am investing an additional £18 million. The total budget for the Bonus this year is therefore £918 million.

The consultation illustrated that the sector wants certainty on the future of the New Homes Bonus after next year. The government remains fully committed to incentivising housing growth and will consult widely with local authorities on how best to reward housing delivery effectively after 2019-20.

Rural funding

The 2019-20 settlement confirms that the Rural Services Delivery Grant will continue to be £81 million in 2019-20, maintaining the highest ever levels of funding provided in 2018-19. This has been welcomed by rural local authorities from particularly sparse communities. Our review of local authorities’ relative needs and resources will consider the specific challenges faced in all geographic areas, including rural areas, to inform the final distribution formula.

Negative Revenue Support Grant

Having listened to representations since the provisional settlement, this settlement also confirms that the government will directly eliminate the £152.9 million negative Revenue Support Grant (RSG) that occurs in 2019-20 using foregone business rates.

Negative RSG is a direct consequence of the distribution methodology adopted for the 2016-17 settlement, whereby for less grant dependent authorities the required reduction in core funding exceeded their available RSG.

The government’s decision will prevent any local authority from being subject to a downward adjustment to their business rates tariffs and top-ups that could act as a disincentive for growth, and I believe this is the most straightforward and most cost-effective means of dealing with this issue.

Council Tax referendum principles

Finally, I can confirm that in 2019-20 local authorities, with the exception of Police and Crime Commissioners, will retain the same flexibilities to increase council tax as in 2018-19, with a core council tax referendum principle of up to 3%. I have agreed with the Home Secretary that the referendum limits for Police and Crime Commissioners will be set at £24 to address changing demands on police forces.

I have also decided to provide Northamptonshire County Council with an additional 2% Council Tax flexibility, to assist with the improvements to council governance and services after their serious issues. Use of the flexibility will ultimately be a matter for the authority’s cabinet and full council.

During the consultation, many local authorities called for referendum limits to be removed. However, I believe the proposed limits allow local authorities to retain the flexibility to raise additional resources locally to address local needs, whilst protecting households from excessive increases in council tax, in line with the government’s manifesto pledge.

Future of local government finance

A strong theme during the consultation was calls for certainty on the future of local government finance. To meet the challenges of the future, we have published two consultations on future reform of the business rates retention system and on the assessment of local authorities’ relative needs and resources. These consultations close on 21 February.

Alongside the 2016-17 local government finance system, the government announced a review to develop a more up-to-date and responsive distribution methodology for the sector. In December, I announced a new consultation, seeking views on the future assessment of relative needs and resources, and on principles for transitioning to new funding arrangements in 2020-21.

Alongside the new funding methodology, in 2020-21 we will also be implementing the latest phase of our business rates retention programme that gives local councils the levers and incentives they need to grow their local economies. The consultation seeks views on how the business rates system can be reformed to: provide a strong growth incentive; strike a desirable balance between risk and reward; and reduce complexity and disproportionate volatility in local authority income where possible.

Conclusion

This settlement recognises the pressures that councils face in meeting growing demand for services and rewards their impressive efforts to drive efficiencies and help rebuild our economy.

This settlement answers calls for additional funding in 2019-20, and it paves the way for a more self-sufficient and reinvigorated system of local government.

James Brokenshire – 2019 Speech at Building London Summit

Below is the text of the speech made by James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, on 30 January 2019.

Introduction

Thanks, John [Dickie], it’s great to be here.

As a London MP, I know just how vital the capital’s businesses and the talented, dedicated people who lead them, work in them and support them are to our country’s prosperity.

And I want to thank you for helping make London the global beacon for creativity, diversity and enterprise that it is.

To be a Londoner, born or adopted, is a badge of pride and testament to this great city’s ability to embrace opportunities and challenges like no other.

As such, I know that our capital – and, by extension, our country – is well–placed to seize the opportunities that lie ahead.

But of course, I recognise that also means delivering economic certainty and stability, that means delivering a Brexit deal in the best interests of our economy, and the best interests of our country.

Last night’s vote in the House of Commons showed that Parliament does not want to leave the EU without a withdrawal agreement and future framework.

The government will now redouble it’s efforts to secure arrangements which will do just that, and secure a deal that Parliament can support and deliver on the vote of the British people in the referendum and get on with delivering our vision of building a country that works for everyone.

That very much means building the homes our country needs and that is central to that ambition, and indeed what today’s event is all about.

There are few places in our country where this need is more acute – where the gap between demand and supply, between what people can afford and what’s on offer, is more stark.

This isn’t just a top priority for Londoners.

As the Prime Minister has said, it’s a top priority for our country.

We’ve made some important progress.

Last year, we delivered the highest number of new homes in a decade – 222,000 – up 2% on the previous year.

And just a fortnight ago, we learned that the number of new homes being built had hit the highest level for a decade – up 12% on the previous year.

This is positive news.

And I want to pay tribute to everyone here today for your contribution to this.

In all, since 2010, this government has delivered over one million new homes and we’re determined to get that up to 300,000 homes a year by the middle of the next decade.

London will be key to achieving that goal.

Which is why it was disappointing to see that net additions in London were down by almost 20% last year, with 21 boroughs showing a dip in their annual supply.

So, there’s no question that we need to raise our game urgently – to seize every opportunity to boost supply across the capital and key transport corridors and deliver for the Londoners who just want a place to call home.

The government is playing its part.

We’re putting billions into housing and infrastructure – at least £44 billion of financial support over 5 years.

We’re reforming planning to provide greater certainty and clarity for developers and communities and have empowered Homes England, our new national housing agency, to take a more strategic and assertive approach to increasing supply around and outside London.

We’ve also removed the government cap on how much councils can borrow to build more – a real breakthrough – and are investing £2 billion of long–term funding to help housing associations deliver.

And I’m delighted to announce today that we’ll be making £497 million available to housing associations to help build 11,000 new affordable homes, including properties for social rent.

These strategic partnerships – agreed by Homes England – will give associations from Essex to Ecclestone the freedom to spend this money where it will have the biggest impact.

Taking us a step closer to meeting our ambition of delivering 300,000 homes a year.

But this isn’t just about getting the numbers up.

It’s also about putting fairness at the heart of the housing market – by restoring the dream of home ownership and championing renters through our new £7.2 billion Help to Buy scheme to 2023 and initiatives like Build to Rent.

And by taking action to end rough sleeping for good and implementing a new regulatory framework for building safety following the tragedy at Grenfell Tower – ensuring we deliver for all parts of our society.

London stands to benefit hugely from these measures – particularly the removal of the removal of the borrowing cap which could unlock around 10,000 homes – and which many in the sector have been calling for for some time.

It’s been great to see how warmly this has been welcomed by councils in London and elsewhere – and how ambitious they are about making the most of this opportunity to deliver the next generation of council housing.

It’s notable, too, that the capital has received around half of the national funding pot for the Affordable Homes Programme in recent years and we’re providing £486 million to the Greater London Authority to help deliver 3 of our new funds: Accelerated Construction, Land Assembly and Small Sites.

Funds that, together, will help generate over 8,000 new homes by unlocking land, delivering homes more quickly and diversifying the house building market.

On top of this, there’s the Budget announcement that the first successful Housing Infrastructure Fund Forward Funding Bid would be in London.

This amounts to £291 million of grant funding for vital infrastructure on the Docklands Light Railway, which will ease pressure on existing services in the area and unlock up to 18,000 homes across East London.

We’re also investing in skills through, for example, a £24 million Construction Skills Fund that will see 7 housing sites in London benefit from on-site construction training hubs.

And, crucially, we’re backing innovation in housebuilding such as Modern Methods of Construction.

I want to see the sector really embracing this more innovative approach over the coming months to build faster, improve productivity and drive up choice and quality for people in and outside the capital.

Which is why I’m delighted to be announcing today that Homes England will be putting £9 million towards building new modular homes on top of some of London’s buildings.

An exciting venture that will see homes constructed offsite and then transported to 5 sites across the city – and that demonstrates our commitment to working with diverse developers to promote innovation and deliver for London.

So, across board, this government is making every effort, from every angle, to get London – and Britain – building.

And we now need to see the GLA also stepping up.

Because despite all the talk of putting housing first, its record in recent years has been disappointing.

And it’s ordinary Londoners who are paying the price.

I share your worries about the consequences.

About the young people who can’t afford to take up a job here because of sky-high rents.

About the family who have to move out to get a place with a garden where their children can play.

About the workers who keep London going priced out of even living within commuting distance.

It’s with them in mind that the government has raised concerns about the Mayor’s draft London Plan, which we will be pursuing through the Examination in Public which is currently underway.

But, first and foremost, we want to see the GLA urgently picking up the pace and delivering against their programme targets on the Affordable Homes Programme as well as the new land funds I mentioned earlier – and working with authorities in London and the South East, as well as private developers, to drive up overall housing delivery.

London’s boroughs can and must also lead the charge – both individually and by working together across boundaries – to match the record of those such as Croydon, Westminster and Wandsworth, which are going the extra mile to build more homes.

Because there has been no better time – with all the support this government is providing – for local authorities to develop new partnerships and to be bolder and more ambitious in their thinking about how to drive up supply and meet their residents’ needs.

We can see this starting to happen through projects such as Capital Letters, an unprecedented collaboration between London’s boroughs and government, backed by £38 million of funding, to provide extra homes for vulnerable families who are at risk of becoming homeless.

And on this same, critical issue, there’s PLACE, the first collaboration of its kind by London’s boroughs to use temporary modular accommodation to tackle homelessness.

Exciting, inspiring examples of just what’s possible when councils join forces and can count on government support when needed.

We need others in the sector – developers, housing associations, forums like this – to also get involved and explore what more we can do.

I’m ready and willing to play my part in this – to work with individual boroughs, if needed, to push up supply.

If you have thoughts and ideas about how we go further, faster, about what might be holding us back from delivering, tell me. I will listen.

And, working together, I’m confident that we can and will fix this – and raise the bar for all our communities.

And, yes, that includes London.

Conclusion

Our capital punches well above its weight in so many respects, but we know that it includes people and places that are struggling to forge their own destinies, to reach their potential.

Who can see success, but feel cut off from it.

We have a chance to change that – to create a housing market that works for everyone.

And, in doing so, create a country that works for everyone.

That means not just building more homes, but building stronger communities.

The terrible events at Grenfell and last year’s terror attacks underline why this matters so much.

So, we must keep this issue in our sights – especially if we’re to ensure all parts of our country and all parts of our capital can take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead.

On this and on delivering the homes we need, there are few places better equipped to take the lead than London, with its endless diversity, boundless ambition and openness to the best the world has to offer.

That’s why this government is doing everything we can to deliver for the capital and its people.

And it’s now time for others with a stake in their future to make the most of the support and tools on offer and make the difference we all want to see…

…this great city continuing to succeed, with all Londoners sharing in this success and being able to truly make it their home.

Thank you.