As a member of the Housing, Communities, and Local Government Select Committee, I understand the real need to build more houses in this country, although I welcome the progress that has already been made, with housebuilding currently at a 33-year high. I hope that the Government’s recent white paper on planning reform will lead to a system that allows for better and more affordable homes, including social housing, to be built, whilst also protecting our green belt, green spaces, and the character of our local communities here in Cheadle.
The pandemic has underscored the importance of addressing homelessness. I am pleased that the Everyone In and Protect programmes have helped ensure that homeless people have had roofs over their heads during the pandemic.
On a more long-term basis, the Government is committed to tackling homelessness, including through schemes like Housing First, being piloted here in Greater Manchester. I also recognise that there are often other challenges that homeless people face, and I have called on the Government to consider bringing forward future funding allocations so local authorities, mental health charities, and other agencies are able to offer wraparound support to vulnerable people with more certainty, building on initiatives like Housing First and Protect.
Regarding our economic recovery after the pandemic, I and my Conservative colleagues in the Northern Research Group are making representations to Government to ensure our region gets the support it needs for a full recovery. I asked the Prime Minister to fast track infrastructure investment in the North, and I am pleased that the recent Budget included, among other measures, £13.9 million for Cheadle’s Towns Fund bid, which will go towards a number of projects that will help our local economy bounce back from the pandemic.