Liz Collis's blog

The housing borrowing cap and the need for more social housing in Brighton and Hove

At the Conservative Party conference last week, aside from the distraction of Theresa May cracking jokes and dancing to Abba, she announced that the Government would be lifting the cap on the ability of councils to borrow money to build new homes.

The cap was introduced by the Tories, and along with other housing policies introduced by them decades ago, its role in the housing crisis is significant - effectively stifling local authorities from acting to address the shortage of affordable social housing, including council housing.

Meeting local JD Wetherspoon staff to hear about pay and conditions

 

On Friday I met with staff from two JD Wetherspoon pubs in my constituency, The Bright Helm and the Post and Telegraph. 

 

Staff at the pubs are balloting on strike action over pay and working conditions. It’s part of a growing campaign to draw attention to the many people working in the hospitality sector, who are undervalued and underpaid – a campaign being championed by the Bakers, Food, and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU).

 

Supporting the Every Breath campaign - calling for Motor Neurone Disease respiratory care in Sussex

In April I contacted the Central Sussex and East Surrey Commissioning Alliance about Motor Neurone Disease (MND) respiratory care in the region, and the need for a non-invasive ventilation (NIV) service locally.

Raising questions about post Pride problems

It already felt like it would be an exceptional Pride when it was announced in January that Britney Spears would be headlining. Britney fan or not, there was no denying that this was big news.

When tickets went on sale in February and systems crashed because of demand, it reinforced the fact that this year Pride was going to be huge.

With the promise of good weather, and the draw of brilliant Brighton on a sunny day, people from outside of Brighton were always going to come – in the thousands.

And it was an exceptional Pride.

Support for Mortgage Interest changes risk increasing repossessions

In recent weeks a number of constituents have contacted me about changes the Government is making to the support it offers to people on low incomes to help maintain the interest element of their mortgage.

Since 2010, the Government has already more tightly targeted Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) on a number of occasions, for example by introducing an upper cap on the interest payable, and increasing the waiting time from 13 weeks to 39 weeks.

Caroline joins UCU members striking at the University of Sussex

Earlier today I visited the University of Sussex to support University College Union (UCU) members taking strike action about proposed changes to their pensions.

All staff working in universities should have access to a secure and decent pension, and it’s wrong that their pensions are under attack.

Supporting those affected by the collapse of DMB Solutions

At one of my recent surgeries a constituent came to talk to me about the local building firm, DMB Solutions, who went into voluntary liquidation over the New Year.

The fallout from the DMB collapse has gained national media attention, both due to the number of people affected, and the scale of the financial losses they’ve suffered. It was shocking to hear first-hand just how devastating the situation has been for those left in the lurch by the company folding.

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