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The Labour and Co-operative Group have voted in favour of a six-week period of public consultation on changes to City Plan Part One for Brighton and Hove. Tory planning policies mean that the council has had to look at green spaces on the edge of the city. Labour believes it is important that as many people as possible let the Planning Inspector and the council know their views on these proposals during the consultation period from 4 November.

Without an agreed plan, the city would face a development free-for-all, risking the city’s future and its economy.

Councillor Warren Morgan, the Leader of the Labour and Co-operative Group, said:

I voted today to put the changes to the City Plan out to public consultation so that residents of Brighton and Hove can tell the government planning inspector what they think. The Labour and Co-operative Group is firmly opposed to building on allotments and parks. The Tory government is watering down planning controls and we need a plan to be able to stop uncontrolled developments on open spaces around the city that Tory planning policy allows
The Tories chose today to take a NIMBY and populist approach ahead of the election in the hope that resident will not realise it would have the opposite effect: allowing a developer free-for-all on every allotment, park and open space in the city.

Labour votes in favour of public consultation on City Plan

The Labour and Co-operative Group have voted in favour of a six-week period of public consultation on changes to City Plan Part One for Brighton and Hove. Tory planning policies...

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Chris Henry, leader of the Home Sweet Home campaign in Brighton & Hove, has been shortlisted for a national award by the community organisation Movement for Change. Mr Henry's nomination was for his role in leading the campaign for a fairer way to rent in the city and his work in looking at how a license for private landlords would raise standards and stamp out rogue landlords.

Chris, who is also the Labour Party candidate in Hangleton & Knoll, said: "It's a great honour to have been nominated but this was a team effort. We’ve spent 14 months listening to residents about problems in the private rented sector and then creating ideas to solve them.

“My nomination is testament to the hard work of everyone involved from across community groups. We can now look ahead to 2015 and say that landlord licensing is a possible solution to improving the 44,000 homes which fail to meet the Decent Homes Standard and where rent costs are eye-wateringly high.”

“I now have a commitment from Emma Reynolds, Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister, that she will work with a Labour council in the city on implementing three year tenancies, ban letting agent fees and will stabilising rent prices.”

For more information on the Home Sweet Home campaign in Brighton & Hove see: http://southeast.movementforchange.org.uk/home_sweet_home

Community campaigner’s national nomination for housing campaign

Labour HousingLabour in Brighton and Hove have today unveiled radical plans to strengthen tenants’ rights and root out unscrupulous landlords across the City if elected next May. The party has confirmed it will consult on the introduction of licensing regime for all private sector accommodation across the City.

The proposals, based on the successful scheme currently in operation in Newham where over 30,000 licenses have been issued since February 2013, would see landlords pay a small fee for a five year licence to rent their property out. To receive a licence, landlords would have to demonstrate their ability to maintain their property to pre-agreed standards with the Council. Landlords would be required to put in place robust tenancy management arrangements, giving more safeguards and greater protection to tenants across the City.

Commenting on the proposals, Councillor Chaun Wilson, Labour’s Housing Spokesperson said:

"With the largest private rented sector in England outside London, it is only right we look at measures to strengthen tenants rights and protect them from poor quality housing. Building on the proposals previously announced by Ed Miliband this would bring much needed stability and security to those living in the private rented sector and again demonstrates the positive difference electing a Labour Government in 2015 would bring to people living in Brighton and Hove."

If introduced, Labour would look to align the new licensing regime with the existing scheme in operation for HMOs for certain wards in the City, to ensure the same responsibilities are also placed on housing rented out to students.

The Council would have the power to fine landlords who fail to register with the scheme and recover any rents or housing benefits paid while a property was not licensed. In Newham, where the scheme has been operating for the past year, the Council has successfully taken action against over 100 landlords flouting the new rules, curbing anti-social behaviour and crime associated with poor quality accommodation.

  • Under Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004, Local Authorities are permitted to introduce selective licensing of private accommodation providing certain conditions are met, such as higher levels of anti-social behaviour associated with these properties.

  • Brighton and Hove City Council has already used Part 2 of the 2004 Housing Act to introduce a compulsory licensing scheme for smaller HMOs in five wards in the City – Hollingdean and Stanmer, Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, St Peter’s and North Laine, Queens Park and Hanover and Elm Grove.

  • Emma Reynolds MP, Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister, stated in January that a future Labour Government would make it easier for local authorities to introduce licensing schemes.

  • In May, Labour Leader Ed Miliband announced that a future Labour Government would introduce a number of policies to protect tenants in the private rented sector, including longer tenancies and an end to fees put on tenants by letting agents.

Labour unveils plans to strengthen tenants rights across Brighton and Hove

Labour in Brighton and Hove have today unveiled radical plans to strengthen tenants’ rights and root out unscrupulous landlords across the City if elected next May. The party has confirmed...

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