Introduce national register of landlords

The lack of decent, affordable housing in the Rother Valley is a huge issue; yet the Government has cut the budget for building new affordable homes by 60 per cent.

There has been a huge increase in the number of people who rent homes privately, including more than one million families with children, but there has also been a rise in problems with renting.

While estate agents can be banned for bad practice, lettings agents are not subject to the same complaints and redress procedures.

I would like to see the introduction of a national register of landlords as well as local authorities granted greater powers to root out and strike off rogue landlords. This would make it easier for local authorities to tackle rogue landlords found to have broken the rules. A system could also be provided for people to get redress when a lettings agent has ripped them off, as we have for estate agents.

There was more evidence last week that ordinary families are paying the price for this Government’s failure as Warm Front, its programme for household energy efficiency support, is closed down before even half the budget is spent.

The scheme has been mired in chaos with thousands turned down for help, more left waiting to hear whether they qualify, as well as a massive backlog.

A debate in the Commons last week revealed a Government that is both incompetent and unfair expecting ordinary families and the environment to pay because of their failure to get a grip.

At a time when millions of families face a cost of living crisis, with energy bills soaring - up by nearly £300 since 2010 - the Government needs to step in and find ways of helping people cut their energy bills and the most sustainable way to do that is through energy efficiency.

Local voluntary organisations and a school are to benefit from Big Lottery Fund grants through the Awards for All programme.

The Kiveton-based Discreets Urban Dance Academy will use funding to run regular dance sessions for young people, while the Let’s Get Crafty Club in Dinnington will use it to continue to provide weekly craft workshops for older and disabled people.

Laughton Junior and Infant School secured support to develop learning and enrichment activities for pupils, families and the community in subjects such as arts and crafts, adult ICT skills and healthy cookery.

Congratulations to everyone involved in making these successful funding applications.