Queens Speech: Government priorities outlined
Article Posted - 14th October 2019
The Queen's speech was delivered in a packed House of Lords to earmark the direction of the Government's priorities in the next parliamentary session. The address included 26 bills which will be considered, focusing on:
- Brexit preparations and the focus to exit the EU by 31 October 2019
- Improvements to NHS, adult, social care and mental health services
- New legislation to be introduced for longer sentences
- Domestic abuse
- Environmental targets
- Devolution and local government
- Building safety standards
- Infrastructure spending on high speed broadband.
Aside from key legislation on building safety standards, the speech stood out on its silence on housing, with no mention of house building or the private rented sector. This comes after the deadline to respond to the Government's consultation on the abolition of Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.
The building safety standards legislation aims to:
- Create clear accountability for those responsible for the management and safety of high-rise buildings
- Provide residents with a stronger voice to ensure that concerns are understood and enable them to contribute to maintaining the safety of their building
- Stronger enforcement and sanctions for non-compliance with the new regime
- Stronger and clear frameworks to ensure that construction products meet high performance standards
- Introduce a requirement for new build developers to belong to a New Homes Ombudsman.
The Queen's address also confirmed the Government's commitment to re-introduce the Domestic Abuse Bill which will help victims and their dependents to access the necessary support. This will assist with our on-going efforts of engaging with the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance to help landlords be effective, if they comes across or suspect domestic violence in their property.
The Prime Minister's commitment to delivering fast broadband was underlined by the proposed introduction of Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill. This will make it easier for companies to install digital infrastructure when landlords ignore repeated request for access.
The speech revealed that the Government will release a white paper on English devolution to ensure that decisions affecting local people are made at the local level. The paper will detail how to level the powers between Mayoral Combined Authorities and the expectation for greater local democratic responsibility and accountability.
Details of all the proposals within the speech can be found here
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