14 October 2008
Committee Media Officer: Rebecca Jones
tel: 020 7219 5693
Press Notice No 28
Publication of affordable housing LCO report
The Welsh Affairs Committee today publishes its report on the proposed Legislative Competence Order in Council dealing with housing, in which it supports the intention of the proposed Order but makes a number of recommendations.
Only those powers which are required and for which a clear purpose has been established should be transferred under a proposed Order, says the report. The ability of the Welsh Assembly Government to abolish the Right to Buy/Right to Acquire should therefore be specifically excluded from the scope of the proposed Order, as the Committee has received assurance that abolition is not Welsh Assembly Government policy.
To reflect better the underlying policy intention, the Committee recommends that the draft Order is amended so the ability to suspend Right to Buy/Right to Acquire applies only in areas of extreme housing pressure.
A time limit on the period of suspension of Right to Buy/Right to Acquire, and a requirement for regular review of any suspension, should also be included in the proposed Order.
The Committee notes that suspending the Right to Buy in specified areas would not, of itself, result in an increase in the supply of affordable housing. In applying for such a suspension, a local authority would be expected to demonstrate the measures it would take during the suspension to improve the long-term prospect of meeting housing need in that area.
The Chairman of the Welsh Affairs Committee, Dr Hywel Francis, said:
“This is the fourth LCO we have reported on and, as always, we welcome the opportunity to contribute to the scrutiny process.
“We have made a number of recommendations in our report which we believe reflect the purpose of the proposed Order and which clarify the policy intention behind it. The Welsh Assembly Government has identified a valid need for additional legislative competence and we hope our report contributes effectively to the pursuit of policy in this area.”
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Committee Membership is as follows: Dr Hywel Francis MP (Chairman), David T. C. Davies MP, Nia Griffith MP, Mrs Siân C. James MP, Mr David Jones MP, Mr Martyn Jones MP, Rt Hon Alun Michael MP, Albert Owen MP, Mr Mark Pritchard MP, Mr Hywel Williams MP, Mark Williams MP
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