Rural Related Politics - An RSN weekly review

2 November 2020

Below is an RSN review of last week's rural related politics as well as a look forward to the week ahead:


Last week in politics 
(26 October - 1 November)

On Monday 26th October, Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing Kelly Tolhurst MP (Con) announced the publication of new guidance for councils to help ensure care leavers have stable homes, and prevent them from becoming homeless.

On Tuesday 27th October, Warrington moved from local COVID alert level 'high' to 'very high'. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps MP (Con) also announced £12.7 million of investment for upgrades to the A595 at Grizebeck to level up transport infrastructure in the North. Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick MP (Con) also revealed that communities in seven areas across England will receive up to £178.7 million in the new Town Deals - Barrow-in-Furness, Blackpool, Darlington, Peterborough, Norwich, Torquay and Warrington. The funding will go towards sustaining jobs, improving connectivity and boosting economic growth.

On Thursday 29th October, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick MP (Con) announced that more than 3,300 new long-term homes for rough sleepers and other vulnerable people have been approved.

On Friday 30th October, the Government announced that Calderdale, City of Bradford, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield will move from local COVID alert level high to very high from Monday 2 November. Nottinghamshire moved from local COVID alert level 'high' to 'very high' from Friday 30th October. Great Yarmouth Borough Council, South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council were also added to the list of councils that have adopted the Coastal Concordat, which sets out the separate processes for consenting coastal developments in England. The Department for Work and Pensions announced that 4,500 new Work Coaches for the Jobcentre frontline will be trained up to use their expertise to help jobseekers across the country get the support they need to find a job, retrain or gain vital practical experience. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP (Con) also announced a review of the ‘Right to Build’ to make it easier for people to build their own home.

On Saturday 31st October, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson MP (Con) announced tougher national restrictions in England from Thursday. From Thursday 5th November, everyone must stay at home, and may leave only for a limited set of reasons such as education, for work if the job cannot be done from home,, for exercise and recreation outdoors, to shop for food and essentials, and to provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended for a month with employees receiving 80 percent of their current salary for hours not worked and further economic support announced.

This week in politics (2 November - 8 November)
  • On Monday 2nd November, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee will host an oral evidence session on supporting high streets after COVID-19. The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Libraries and for Post Offices will meet, the latter will be joined by Nick Read, CEO of the Post Office.
  • On Tuesday 3rd November, in the House of Commons Dr Liam Fox MP (Con) will host an adjournment on Housing in North Somerset. There will also be a Westminster Hall debate on pothole and highway repairs with Jonathan Gullis MP (Con). The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee will host an oral evidence session on air quality. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Rural Services have a meeting with the Minister for Digital Infrastructure and Mobile UK, to discuss how to level-up digital connectivity to rural communities.
  • On Wednesday 4th November, there will be a Westminster Hall debate on funding for further education with Gill Furniss MP (Lab). In the House of Lords there will be oral questions on ensuring changes to the planning system will deliver more accessible homes for people with disabilities with Baroness Greengross (Crossbench).
  • On Thursday 5th November, the Public Accounts Committee will host an oral evidence session on COVID-19 and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme. The Lord Bishop of St Albans has also tabled a debate on a strategic vision for rural communities following the Select Committee on the Rural Economy report 'Time for a strategy for the rural economy'. The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Council Housing will meet.
  • On Friday 6th November, Sir Christopher Chope MP (Con) will host a second reading of the Private Members' Bill on Local Authorities (Borrowing and Investment).

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