More questions than answers

Ahead of the general election, McVey ends as she was always meant to go on.

Esther_mcvey_1

 

Maybe it’s a new manicure, but Esther McVey had “holding answers” to written Commons questions slipping through her fingers the day before Parliament dissolved.

And faced with the possible dissolution of her term as housing minister – why not finish as you were always meant to go on.

Remedial work on dangerous cladding… future regulation for social rented  housing… high rise insulation… a new national model for shared ownership…

They all had the “holding answer” dropped on them: “It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Dissolution.”

That’s what Labour’s Steve McCabe got for asking what recent estimate had been made of the number of tower blocks and other residential properties with dangerous cladding; and how many of those properties have completed remedial work on that cladding.

Hold on… given that he asked on October 23… given all that had gone with Grenfell…. you would  have thought…

McCabe’s colleague Rushanara Ali asked how many social housing tenants had been denied the right to succeed a tenancy after a parental death.

Asking on October 24, Ali even kept the question specific to London and the Bethnal Green and Bow constituency over 12 months.

“It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Dissolution.”

Surely Labour’s Steve Reed would get something on assessing the potential merits of banning the use of timber cladding in residential buildings – as asked on October 21..

Samuel Garside House… Beechmere retirement complex … Sherbrooke Way…

“It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Dissolution.”

On October 22, John Healey asked what estimate had been made of the number of local authorities who have stepped in to remove flammable cladding from privately owned residential tower blocks.

“It has not proved possible to respond to the Rt Hon. Member in the time available before Dissolution.”

So Healey had another on October 23 asking what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the proposed new national model for shared ownership on the level of affordable housebuilding.

“It has not proved possible to respond to the Rt hon. Member in the time available before Dissolution.”

Ever Green Caroline Lucas asked on the October 17 what estimate MHCLG had made of the number of residential properties in England owned by social housing providers that are less than 18 metres in height and have combustible materials in the external walls.

“It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Dissolution.”

Like Healey, Lucas, too, took a same day shot asking what steps MHCLG has taken to ensure that housing providers have made the necessary assessments for their housing stock on combustible material, taken steps to mitigate risks and had adequate financial resources to improve standards.

“It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Dissolution.”

And so we go into a general election.

See you on the other side.

 

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