Last week we saw the Queen’s speech setting out the legislative agenda for the coming Parliament. Behind the Bills which caught the headlines there were also some less well reported proposals worth noting. For example, I know from my own work with groups in Walthamstow about our need for more facilities for young adults so I was pleased that the Dormant Funds Bill will allow the use of unclaimed assets in bank accounts to support a youth facility in every constituency. It is proposed this will be administered by the Lottery, although it not clear at present whether this would be used as revenue to support outreach work, or for capital investment in buildings and premises. As these issues are resolved, its a piece of legislation and a pot of funding which I’ll be watching developments around closely. I’ll also be seeking to ensure young adults are involved in designing and deciding how the money is spent.
So too the establishment of the independent regulator for social housing landlords will affect many local residents who are tenants of our local social housing associations. Due to come into force in 2009, the new office will take on the regulatory powers of the Housing Corporation and could also force badly performing associations to hand over the management or ownership of their homes, trigger inspections and issue improvement notices. Having set up several tenants groups working with our local social landlords over my years as a councillor I’m keen for tenants to be given greater powers to hold these bodies to account. You can read the full text of the Queen’s speech here. Let me know what you think.