Last week in the House of Commons we held a debate about the private rented sector. 9 million people now rent privately including over 1.3 million families with children. Almost 50% of private rented households are over the age of 35 and many of this group struggle with the growing cost of renting and with the insecurity and uncertainty built into the rental market. That’s why Labour has proposed making 3 year long term tenancies with predictable rents the norm. We will also stop lettings agents from charging fees to tenants.
I was also in the House for the statement on Jimmy Savile’s appalling activities at the LGI and other hospitals. The report make sickening reading. He abused vulnerable patients in the most shocking way and got away with it for years. Our hearts go out to his victims.
I recently welcomed the American Ambassador Matthew Barzun to The Tetley. He was on a two day tour of Yorkshire so I invited him to see our newest artistic venue, meet local artists and get a great view of the city from the rooftop. I also talked to him about the problem of poverty and foodbanks.
Last Saturday was pretty busy. First the Belle Isle Gala where spirits were not dampened by a bit of rain, and then the Burmantofts Gala where I tasted some delicious food. There were big crowds at both, and thanks to all those whose hard work made the day so successful. And then it was on to Armed Forces Day in the city centre where a moving drumhead service was held. Finally, a quick visit to see the crowds at the wonderful Leeds Waterfront Festival, with the ever-popular Dragonboat race.
Today we had a statement from the Prime Minister about his humiliation at the EU summit last weekend over the appointment of the new Commission President. The aim is to win allies and influence people, but the PM failed on both counts as Ed Miliband pointed in a very effective response.
And finally, just four days to go to the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in Leeds city centre. See you there for this unique event !