October 2015 Monthly Archives

Where will our grandchildren live?

October 23, 2015

houses

The next political event in London is the Mayoral election next May.It is quite clear from the opening salvos that the main battleground will be Housing.I welcome this recognition of a very major problem, which is the lack of genuinely affordable housing.  The problem is very acute in our area where it is difficult to buy a one bedroom flat for less than £250k or rent one for less than £1,000 a month. A huge proportion of local income disappears in mortgage or rent payments .  Meanwhile what we are seeing being built is what can be sold,  rather than what the community needs, which is genuinely affordable housing for young people and key workers. I spoke on this recently in a debate in Parliament. I noted a change in the public mood. When I started in 2005, people would ask me “What are you doing to stop development?”. Now people are asking “Where are our grandchildren going to live?” and “How can we build what we need to build without spoiling the area?”.  There is no easy answer to this question but the starting point must be to recognise that across London we are not building enough homes. There is lots of brownfield land that could be developed, most of it in public ownership. There is plenty of money available to invest in infrastructure. There are new techniques for building decent homes in a cheaper way. All this needs to be harnessed with new energy. However we will fail if the planning system continues to impose bad development on areas. If I am right about the change in public sentiment, we have to give communities a bigger voice in making sure that we build more but we build well. I look forward to the debate.

Youth Council Meeting in Parliament

October 23, 2015

Youth council Nov 15 1

On Thursday the 22nd of October, I had the opportunity to hold a youth council meeting with 2 students from each of the secondary schools located within the constituency, ranging from ages 15-18. This session was a great opportunity for me to meet with young people in the area, and to gain advice and an understanding of their opinions on many of the issues affecting students today. A lively discussion took place, and I was delighted with all of the feedback I received.

 

In particular it was a great opportunity to discuss with them one of the main issues I am currently focusing on, this being ways to improve the standard and availability of work experience opportunities for young people in the area. This led to discussions with the group to how well they feel the school curriculum adequately prepares students for life after they leave school. They were all able to provide me with some excellent viewpoints and came up with many invaluable  suggestions. Other, more general, topics that were discussed included universities, that lack of education in politics and political processes in schools and the Middle east. I was very impressed to see how well informed and articulate the students were

Youth council 2

If you are of school age or know anyone who is I would be grateful if you could fill in my work experience survey or point any local young people to it. The survey can be accessed at the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WorkexperiencesurveyNickHurdMP

HS2 Update, October 2015

October 22, 2015

HS2 Train

 

 

Please read my latest October 2015 HS2 Update here.