Went to parliament today to lobby David Curry MP, the former Conservative Local Government Minister, on housing issues. The delegation was a joint one between the Association of Retained Council Housing (ARCH) and ourselves. The irony of the situation wasn't lost on me that we were lobbying a former Conservative Government Minister on the issue of Council Housing and that the ARCH representatives were from Wandsworth. It just shows how much things can change in under 10 years.
David has a first class intellect and being a journalist to trade was very precise with his line of questioning, he obviously had a good grounding in the policy and financial ramifications of the issue and very quickly got to the crux of the matter. In Wandsworths case why should they be financially penalised because they have managed their stock well and have almost completed the decent homes standard without having to transfer or go to an ALMO. £18m is clawed back from their HRA account by the Treasury and then redistributed to authorities who have pursued options the Government wanted. The current system is unfair and must be changed, I suspect that the pressure on Government with regard to this is unbearable and they must act soon rather than continue to defend a position that even they must have realised some time ago is just plain unfair, unworkable and undemocratic.
David has agreed to a number of follow up items with us and he is someone who would add some serious experience to Dave's new boys and girls in any future Conservative administartion.