Charles Walker backs Homelessness Reduction Bill

Charles Walker backs the Homelessness Reduction Bill which places a clear duty on local councils to prevent homelessness.

Mr Charles Walker (Broxbourne) (Con)

First, will my hon. Friend make sure, as he always does, that his civil servants are completely aligned with his objectives? Secondly, I welcome his commitment to work with local authorities; I know that my local authority, Broxbourne, would welcome the chance to discuss these matters with him to ensure that the Bill is successful, as I know it will be. Finally, I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Harrow East (Bob Blackman) for his excellent work over the past few months to make sure that today’s proceedings happened and that new legislation comes into effect.

Mr Jones

My hon. Friend makes an important point about working with local authorities, which we are absolutely determined to do during the Bill’s implementation. He knows that I have already met Broxbourne Borough Council to discuss these important issues, and I would certainly be keen to do that again. He also mentioned making sure that my civil servants’ intention is aligned with my own; I can tell him that the civil servants working on the Bill have done an absolutely excellent job in very testing circumstances. Although the Government wanted to introduce legislation, we must acknowledge the fact that the process for this Bill has been different, in that it is a private Member’s Bill that has also been worked on by the Select Committee, and then had input from local government, the Local Government Association and the housing charities. Our civil servants have done a magnificent job of helping us to bring all those groups together to come out with a product that has broad support.

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