New housing secretary appointed

New housing secretary appointed

30 April 2018

James Brokenshire has been appointed as Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. He said: “I am honoured to have been asked by the Prime Minister to serve as Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. I am determined to get Britain building the homes our country needs so everyone can afford a place to call their own.

“One of my top priorities is going to be ensuring everyone affected by the Grenfell Tower fire gets the support they need and we learn lessons from the tragedy so something like this can never happen again.

“As the son of a former chief executive of a council local government is in the blood for me. So, I look forward to working with councils across the country by supporting them to deliver quality public services and build strong integrated communities.”

Commenting on the appointment, Christian Cubitt, director of communications and engagement, UK Markets at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), said: “While we look forward to working with the new secretary of state, [his appointment] sees yet another change in leadership within the department only four months after including housing in the role. Hopefully, this time we will see some consistency and continuity of approach in dealing with the housing crisis, given what a key issue it is.

“Since 2015, the ministry has had four different housing ministers and has now changed the first secretary of state for housing four months in, which serves to highlight the sometimes kneejerk approach. Even while housing is cited as a top priority and the prime minister declared it her ‘personal mission’ to solve the housing crisis, government refuses to commit ministers to the cause long term, leading to a revolving door that shows no signs of slowing.

“We urge the secretary of state to continue his predecessor’s work to effectively regulate the sector in partnership with industry and to act on the review of planning regulations that will concluded shortly. RICS will work diligently to support the government with its housing aims and assist the new secretary of state in any way that we can.”

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