Housing and local government

Given the serious questions that have been raised about the disposal of council land in Sandwell, does my hon. Friend agree that the council should also investigate the case of my constituent, Patricia Barlow? Her late mother repeatedly tried to buy a piece of land next to her house, only to find out—after years of asking—that the council had disposed of that land to another business without even notifying her. Should the council look at the price at which that land was sold, and at whether it was all above board?

 

James Morris 

There is a clear need to get the cost of housing benefits under control, but it is also vital that the needs of the most vulnerable are met. These costs have continued to rise, even at times when the number of people receiving housing benefits has reduced. Unless the spiralling cost can be controlled, the system would soon become unviable, severely limiting our ability to support many of the people who need our help the most.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the introduction of Staying Put arrangements on foster children.

 

Edward Timpson ​(Minister of State (Education)): Staying Put arrangements help to provide the security and stability that care leavers need to make a successful transition to adulthood. The Department for Education has provided funding of £44m to local authorities for 2014/15 to 2016/17 to support them in implementing the new duty.