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Policy update from CE National – November 17th 2023

Government reshuffle sees new Environment Secretary, Health Secretary and Housing Minister

On Monday (13 November), Rishi Sunak began a reshuffle of his Government, expected to be the last before the next general election. Therese Coffey has been replaced by Steve Barclay as Environment Secretary, the former Health Secretary. As a result, Victoria Atkins, the former Financial Secretary to the Treasury, has replaced Barclay as Health Secretary. Rachel Maclean has also been replaced by Lee Rowley as Housing Minister, the 16th since 2010.


Government introduces provisions for a Decent Homes Standard in the Renters (Reform) Bill

On Wednesday (15 November), the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced a series of amendments to the Renters (Reform) Bill which will aim to ban landlords from refusing renters on universal credit or with children. A ‘Decent Homes Standard’ will also be applied to the private rented sector for the first time, setting a standard or level at which tenants should be able to expect their housing to meet. This standard will be set following a consultation, and will help meet the target of reducing non-decency in rented homes by 50% by 2030.

Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee launches an inquiry into children’s and young people’s health and wellbeing in the built environment

On Wednesday (15 November), the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee announced the launch of an inquiry into the experiences of children and young people in the built environment, seeing how these experiences may differ between different social groups, before looking into how the planning system can be changed to improve these experiences. It will also investigate best practice and evaluation, trying to apply learnings from past examples of policy and good practice in improving young people’s lives.

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs launces scheme to help create affordable housing in rural areas

On Friday (10 November), the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs announced a £2.5 million package to support a network of independent advisors who will work with communities to develop affordable housing schemes. This scheme is being delivered in conjunction with Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE)

Treasury Select Committee on Infrastructure

On Tuesday (14 November) The Treasury Select Committee held a session on infrastructure, featuring evidence from Sir John Armitt, Chair, National Infrastructure Commission; Nick Smallwood, CEO, Infrastructure and Projects Authority; James Heath, CEO, National Infrastructure Commission; Stephen Dance, Head of Infrastructure, Infrastructure and Projects Authority.  The session covered “certainty of policy” as a crucial tool to ensure that private sector operators can secure and deliver long term investment in the country’s energy, digital and water infrastructure.The session also covered strategic rail and road investment, reforms to NSIPs planning and the management of major infrastructure projects. – Treasury Committee

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