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Meltdown Monday: the train to nowhere

Just when we thought our morning commute couldn’t get any worse, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) executives got together, thought “outside the box”, and struck on the idea of rescheduling every single train in its franchise – which includes Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern services.   They were hoping that a new streamlined timetable would be...
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Dominic Raab and what he means for housing

The king is dead, long live the king. Or, in this case, Esher and Walton MP Dominic Raab, the successor as English housing minister to Alok Sharma. In a government reshuffle that is notable in the main for the lack of any meaningful reshuffling, housing now stands out. As has already been said today by...
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See Media’s Budget Round-up

Here is See Media’s round-up of the announcements in today’s Autumn Budget, delivered by Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond:   *The speech can be read in full, here   GRENFELL TOWER: A further £28m for the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, for mental health and counselling services, regeneration for surrounding areas and a new...
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Conference, housing and *cough*

A speech marred by ill health, rogue comedians and stage errors – this will be the conference speech that Prime Minister Theresa May will want to forget. Frustratingly for the party, this should have been a good speech – promises to invest in mental health, big announcements on council house building, and energy price caps...
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NHF conference 2017: best bits from Birmingham

1. Sajid Javid walks the rents tightrope The Tuesday morning speech by the Communities Secretary at the National Housing Federation Annual Conference was the talk of the ICC for the rest of the two days in Birmingham. The launch of a Housing Green Paper was Sajid Javid’s key message and, although some delegates pointed out...
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Housing 2017, day three: How are landlords making tower blocks safer?

Grenfell Tower was often the only subject on everyone’s lips at the Chartered Institute of Housing’s annual event in Manchester this week. Yet, it was striking how little common direction existed in efforts to make homes safe in the wake of the tragedy in London. It was unfortunate that Alok Sharma, the new housing minister,...
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Housing 2017, day three: The Missing Minister

It’s been 22 years since a housing minister last failed to address the CIH annual housing conference. But this year, on the final day of conference, the newly appointed housing minister Alok Sharma MP pulled out of his keynote speaking slot, citing practicalities over the Grenfell Tower fire management, and passed the buck to Marcus...
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Housing 2017 day two: time to talk

It’s been four years since I attended the Chartered Institute of Housing conference. The last time I was here, in June 2013, the coalition government was in power and it was placing all of its emphasis on home ownership.
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Housing 2017 day one: social housing in the spotlight over Grenfell

Speakers at the opening day of this year’s Chartered Institute of Housing annual event in Manchester had an unenviable task. They had to acknowledge that everything they said in their presentations was in the context of the tragic events at Grenfell Tower.
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