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Local members have selected Damien Egan to be Labour’s candidate in next year’s Lewisham Mayoral election. Current Mayor of Lewisham, Labour’s Steve Bullock, is standing down after 15 years of service.

 

Damien Egan is currently a Lewisham Councillor and Cabinet Member for Housing, as well as Training Manager at Ethical Trading Partnership.

 

Damien Egan said:

 

“It is a huge privilege to be selected by my fellow Labour Party members as our candidate to be Mayor of Lewisham. I want to thank the other candidates for giving their all in an intense campaign, as well as the many hundreds of Labour members for getting involved and helping to shape our ideas for making life better in Lewisham.

 

“Steve Bullock has given Lewisham fantastic service over the years, and now we must prepare for the future. Lewisham, like much of London, has been left behind by the Tories and their pro-Brexit, austerity agenda. That is why it is so important that we have a Labour Mayor to protect the most vulnerable and fight to ensure we all have a stake in Lewisham’s future.

 

“But whatever the Tories may throw at us, Lewisham’s greatest asset is our strong community. I care deeply about our diversity and tolerance and will always make sure Lewisham is an open and welcoming home for everyone. 

 

“If elected I look forward to working with the rest of the Labour Party: our national leader, Jeremy Corbyn, our Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan, and our local MPs and Councillors, in delivering a Lewisham we can all be proud of.”

 

You can see the full breakdown of the result here.

Damien Egan selected as Labour's candidate to be Mayor of Lewisham

Local members have selected Damien Egan to be Labour’s candidate in next year’s Lewisham Mayoral election. Current Mayor of Lewisham, Labour’s Steve Bullock, is standing down after 15 years of...

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Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Housing John Healey has today pledged that under a Labour government there would be a ‘consumer rights revolution’ for renters, starting by introducing tougher legal minimum standards for all private rented homes.

Mr Healey said that Labour’s new minimum standards will empower renters to “call time on bad landlords” letting out dangerous or sub-standard homes and who are being let down by Conservative Ministers who have weakened key legislation.

Labour analysis released alongside the pledge shows for the first time the cost of England’s 1.3 million sub-standard private rented properties, now home to 400,000 families with children. In London, 226,000 private rented properties are substandard. Tenants nationally are spending £800 million every month (£9.6 billion a year) on homes which the government classes as ‘non-decent’. In London the figure is  £249 million, almost £3 billion annually. Around a quarter of this is paid by housing benefit.

At present, there are effectively no minimum standards for private renters, and tenants are reliant on over-stretched council environmental health teams to weed out dangerous homes rather than being able to take matters into their own hands.

Mr Healey pointed out that in practice people have “fewer rights renting a family home than you do buying a fridge-freezer”. Consumer rights legislation is limited in housing so while consumers will normally get protections requiring that goods and services are ‘satisfactory quality’, and ‘fit for purpose’ with clear redress and ‘repair or replace’ provisions, there are no equivalent protections for renters.

A Labour government would consult with landlords and relevant professionals on new legal minimum standards to ensure properties are ‘fit for human habitation’ on specified criteria, for example:

-          safe wiring and appliances

-          freedom from serious damp and vermin infestation

-          appropriate water and sewage facilities

-          appropriate facilities for the preparation and cooking of food

-          general good repair.

Research by Shelter in 2014 found that six in ten renters (61%) have experienced at least one of the following problems over the last 12 months: damp, mould, leaking roofs or windows, electrical hazards, animal infestations and gas leaks.

As part of Labour’s five point plan on standards announced today Mr Healey will also pledge new powers for councils to license landlords and tough fines for those who flout the rules. 

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 basic consumer 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. As a result, too many are forced to put up with unacceptable, unfit and downright dangerous housing.

“The number of families renting from a private landlord has soared since 2010 but decisions made by Conservative Ministers have made it easier for a minority of bad landlords to game the system. Most landlords provide decent homes that tenants are happy with, but these rogue landlords are ripping off both renters and the taxpayer by making billions from rent and housing benefit letting out sub-standard homes.

“After seven years of failure the Conservatives have no plan to fix the housing crisis. The next Labour government would go further and call time on bad landlords. We’d introduce proper minimum standards to put renters back in control, and give councils the powers they need to tackle the worst offenders.”

£249 million a month in rent going to bad landlords in London

Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Housing John Healey has today pledged that under a Labour government there would be a ‘consumer rights revolution’ for renters, starting by introducing tougher...

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