Two go head-to-head for CLG Committee chair role

Clive Betts has one challenger for the role of chair of the Communities and Local Government committee.

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David Lammy will be the sole contender against Clive Betts for the role of CLG committee chair.

The committee, which has taken a particular focus in housing in the past two years, has been vital for holding legislation and ministers to account over policy.

Being elected to the former CLG committee body in 2001, Clive Betts has since been chair of the committee since 2010.

Betts has outlined one of his main focuses will be on housebuilding, putting “the need to increase house-building, and to secure sustainable, affordable housing” in his list of priorities.

Both candidates for the role outline their ambition to help ensure the Grenfell Tower disaster never happens again.

Betts says in his pitch: “The Grenfell Tower disaster raises issues for urgent review.

“While the committee should not duplicate matters being looked at by the public inquiry, it should be concerned with the wider matter of the effectiveness of the fire building regulations, as the committee has done previously with gas and electrical regulations.

“There are also important issues relating to emergency planning and response.”

David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, says he would ensure there was not a ‘London focus’ by taking the committee on a roadshow around the country seeking other voices.

On Grenfell, Lammy says the committee will: “conduct an inquiry into building regulations and fire safety in tower blocks and social housing as soon as possible”.

In his wider pitch, Lammy stated: “The work of the Department of Communities and Local Government covers areas of policy that are vitally important to the lives of all of our constituents – particularly housing, adult social care and the delivery of public services through local authorities.

“If elected chair I would work hard to ensure that these issues are at the top of the agenda and I plan to be a strong voice for Parliament in holding the executive to account.

“Since returning to the backbenches in 2010 I have undertaken a great deal of work on our housing policies, particularly in relation to social housing and affordable housing, and in 2014 I published a 40-page report on the housing crisis.”

He was also one of two MPs who lobbied against Haringey’s development vehicle, which was eventually passed despite concerns from residents.

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