Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith will be in parliament this Friday (19 Jan) to support the Bill being introduced by Labour MP Karen Buck which will give renters a new legal right to ensure their home is ‘fit for human habitation’.
The new legislation, long campaigned for by Labour, could help renters in 162,000 dangerously unfit properties across the North West. Nationally, there are over one million rented properties containing the most serious ‘category 1’ hazards, including homes that have unsafe electrics, vermin infestations, or aren’t fire safe. The Labour Bill will give tenants new legal powers to enforce their right to a decent home by taking their landlord to court if the property they live in is not fit.
This change in the law has been backed by Labour previously and was included in the Party’s June manifesto but has been blocked by the Tories on two previous occasions. However, following a Labour campaign, the government now say they will support the legislation.
Jeff said: “It’s shocking to hear that 14% of all homes across the North West are currently unfit for human habitation.
This Government has given bad landlords free reign to let inappropriate and often dangerous properties without fear of reprisal.
This Bill would change that, giving renters the rights they need to hold their landlords to account.”
Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, John Healey MP said:
“Our homes are at the centre of our lives but at the moment renters too often don’t have the basic rights that we take for granted in other areas.
“In practice you have fewer rights renting a family home than you do buying a fridge-freezer, and decisions made by Conservative Ministers have made it easier for bad landlords to let unfit homes. As a result, too many people are forced to put up with downright dangerous housing.
“After the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower, it’s even more important that we ensure all homes are fit for human habitation."
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith will be in parliament this Friday (19 Jan) to support the Bill being introduced by Labour MP Karen Buck which will give renters a new...
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has today backed the Private Members Bill put forward by Labour MP John Spellar calling for greater protections for live music venues.
In particular, the Bill aims to enshrine the ‘agent of change’ principle into law. The principle protects venues by placing the person or business responsible for any change accountable for managing the impact of that change.
For example, if an apartment block is built near an established live music venue, it is the developer who would have to manage the costs to the new tenants. Similarly if a music venue upgrades its sound system, it would be their responsibility to ensure noise emissions don’t increase as a result. At the moment UK law says that whoever is making a nuisance is always responsible for managing the cost.
Commenting on the Bill, Jeff said: “From the Sex Pistols at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in 1976 to iconic nights at the Hacienda, live music has always been at the heart of Manchester’s history and culture.
Unfortunately, live music venues are under threat across the country and without legal protection, more and more will feel the financial pressure to close.
John’s Bill is a crucial step towards ensuring developers take responsibility for the environmental change that arise from new developments.
As a former DJ and events producer, I hope the Government listens to the concerns raised in the Bill, as well as those in the sector such as the Music Venues Trust, and backs the Bill.”
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has today backed the Private Members Bill put forward by Labour MP John Spellar calling for greater protections for live music venues. In particular, the...
Tilly Ronald from Year 6 at Brookburn Primary School has won Jeff's annual Christmas Card competition this year. Her festive bee winning design was a very inventive entry and Jeff visited her school today (Friday) to present her with her certificate and prize. Jeff commented:
"Thank you to all the schools who entered my competition once again this year. I received 100s of entries and the creativity in all the designs was of a really high standard. It was great to see the Manchester Bee feature on the winning entry after all that has happened in our city this last year. Well done to Tilly for her winning entry and to all the runners up from other local schools too. May I take this opportunity to wish everyone in my constituency a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year"
Jeff's card was sponsored by Julian Wadden, Khandoker Restaurant and Sanskruti Restaturant in 2017.
Tilly Ronald from Year 6 at Brookburn Primary School has won Jeff's annual Christmas Card competition this year. Her festive bee winning design was a very inventive entry and Jeff visited...
"Without increased funding, the Prime Minister’s pledge to transform mental health services will not be met" - Jeff calls for increased funding for psychiatrists
The Prime Minister promised to 'transform mental health services' but without more funding for psychiatrists, these are just warm words. As demand for their services increases rapidly, the rise...
Last week Jeff joined MPs from all parties in calling for an independent, judge-led inquiry into the use of hormone pregnancy test Primodos.
Primodos was taken by women in the 1960s and 1970s to test for pregnancy. There is now considerable evidence indicating that those who took the drug gave birth to babies with serious malformations or, in some cases, miscarried and had still births.
The Government agreed to set up an Expert Working Group (EWG) to review the scientific evidence in October 2014 which published its report last month.
The EWG’s report has come under intense criticism from survivors, their families and MPs for failing to review the evidence fairly and for ignoring the regulatory failures that allowed the drugs to be used for over 20 years.
MPs took part in a debate last week to call on the Government to set up an Independent Public Inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005. The inquiry would review the evidence on a possible association between hormone pregnancy tests and birth defects, and consider the regulatory failures of the Committee on Safety in Medicines whose role it was to regulate medicines at the time.
Speaking in the debate, Jeff said: “The lesson we have to learn from previous scandals is that any inquiry must have the confidence of the victims. The report of the expert working group has already failed that test.
Constituents of mine who have been affected by hormone pregnancy tests have contacted me to say that they have no confidence in the process or the conclusions of the [Expert Working Group] report.
Something is not right and we need to get to the truth. We owe it to the victims and to people who may still be taking products related to these drugs.”
“We need to get to the truth” – Jeff joins call for independent inquiry into Hormone Pregnancy Test scandal
Last week Jeff joined MPs from all parties in calling for an independent, judge-led inquiry into the use of hormone pregnancy test Primodos. Primodos was taken by women in the...
In a recent survey of PIP claimants done by Rethink Mental Illness, 38% of respondents felt that delays in decisions meant deterioration in their mental health and 19% had to take higher doses of medication in order to cope with the increased stress.
Jeff pressed the Minister on whether she had read their report, and what the Government was going to do to reform PIP assessments so they don't worsen claimants mental health.
In a recent survey of PIP claimants done by Rethink Mental Illness, 38% of respondents felt that delays in decisions meant deterioration in their mental health and 19% had...
On the eve of an international summit on climate finance, 100 MPs including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith call on the Parliamentary Pension Fund to drop investments in oil, coal and gas companies.
Jeff is among a cross-party group of 100 MPs who demand that their £612 million MPs’ Pension Fund removes its substantial holdings from fossil fuel companies to reflect their concerns about climate change.
The Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund (PCPF) continues to invest millions of pounds of MPs’ savings in fossil fuel companies. Both BP (£5.6 million) and Shell (£4.9 million) are among the fund’s top 20 holdings - along with mining firm Rio Tinto, British American Tobacco and Amazon -which were made available for the first time in March 2017.
This week, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell became the 99th and 100th MPs to sign the Divest Parliament pledge. This milestone comes as 50 heads of state, including UK Prime Minister Theresa May, arrive in Paris for an international summit on climate change and finance.
MPs are responding to a rising call for divestment, with over 800 organisations and investors worth over $5 trillion having already committed to divest from fossil fuels.
Jeff said: “Two years on from the Paris agreement, and with the devastating impacts of climate change already apparent, there is no room for continued investment in companies whose business is incompatible with our climate obligations.
Divesting from fossil fuels would be a great way for MPs to show leadership on the issue of climate change, and send a clear message that we must move away from fossil fuels in order to save our planet.”
Patrick Killoran (22) from the Divest Parliament campaign said:
‘Like the rest of my generation, I’m deeply concerned about the impacts of climate change here and around the world. It’s great to see MPs listening to their constituents and showing political leadership on climate action.
Investing in companies such as BP and Shell, who continue to dig for more fossil fuels and lobby against climate policy to line executives’ pockets, is dangerous and wrong.
I hope more MPs will join those committing to Divest Parliament today, and prioritise concrete action to build a clean, fair energy system for all.’
On the eve of an international summit on climate finance, 100 MPs including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith call on the Parliamentary Pension Fund to...
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has welcomed the launch of a new financial advice service to support those experiencing mental health problems.
The Mental Health and Money Advice service, launched by the charity Mental Health UK, consists of a website with expert tips, free financial tools and calculators, and a list of useful contacts. The service also includes a referable advice line for those looking for specialist services.
Jeff said: “Mental health issues and financial problems are often linked - people with mental health problems are three times as likely to be in serious debt.
This service aims to break the self-perpetuating cycle of mental health and money issues by providing clear and practical advice, as well as putting people in touch with specialist services if they need them.”
You can access the website by clicking here.
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has welcomed the launch of a new financial advice service to support those experiencing mental health problems. The Mental Health and Money Advice service, launched...
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has taken an HIV test as part of National HIV Testing Week to raise awareness of HIV in the UK and encourage others to get tested.
National HIV Testing Week aims to promote regular testing among the most affected population groups and to reduce the rates of undiagnosed people and those diagnosed late. Hundreds of clinics and organisations take part each year to raise awareness, provide extra testing opportunities and promote services across the country.
The UK is witnessing a substantial decline in HIV diagnoses. In 2016, there was an 18% fall in new diagnoses compared to 2015, a decrease largely attributed to more people getting tested early and regularly.
Jeff said: “It’s encouraging to hear that HIV diagnoses are falling in the UK, but we can go much further to reduce the number of people who go undiagnosed or are diagnosed late.
Getting tested is quick and easy – go to your local sexual health clinic, book an appointment with your GP, or you can order a testing kit direct to your home.”
You can find all the information on how to get tested and where your local clinic is by clicking here.
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has taken an HIV test as part of National HIV Testing Week to raise awareness of HIV in the UK and encourage others to get...