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(c) the resources required to enable respective authorities to acquire, rehabilitate and build new housing to be held within their Housing Revenue Accounts that contributes to meeting the need for affordable housing within their respective areas..
(3A) Ground 8 in Part 1 of Schedule 2 shall not be used in possession proceedings brought by registered providers of social housing, as defined in section  of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008..
(b) that some rent is in arrears as a consequence of a delay or failure in the payment of relevant housing benefit, it shall not make an order for possession unless it considers it reasonable to do so..
(2) The regulations made under subsection (1) shall provide that all leases granted by local authorities for residential properties shall be deemed to include provision for tenants to make contributions to a sinking fund to be used to finance any proposed works in relation to tenants properties.
(e) to enable tenants or the recognised tenants association to submit, within a specified period of time, a counter proposal in respect of proposed works, specifying alternative provision of the proposed works;
(ii) hold a ballot of the tenants directly affected by the proposed works on any counter-proposal that is supported by 25 per cent. or more of those tenants directly affected by the proposed works, and
(h) in cases of dispute, for a leasehold valuation tribunal or other independent arbitration tribunal to make a determination in respect of proposed works or agreements upon application by a landlord, residential tenant or the recognised tenants association..
(3A) If the relevant contribution of any residential tenant in any 12 months period exceeds £12,000, arrangements must be made by the landlord for such tenants to pay that contribution in monthly instalments not exceeding £250 for that period...
(ba) a proposed measure or policy relating to the matters specified in paragraphs (a) and (b) about which the Secretary of State has published a consultation document to which the landlord authority intends to make a written response..
Let me set out my general approach to the consideration of the Bill. Hon. Members will be pleased to hear that I will be as brief as I can in setting out the pertinent points relating to Government amendments. I want to ensure that the Bill gets as much scrutiny as possible on the Floor of the House. I also want other hon. Members to have time to raise important points and discuss important amendments.
In answer to the hon. Member for Montgomeryshire, I have to say that I do not believe we are changing the fundamental nature and scope of the Bill. The Government amendments result from closeforensic, I may sayscrutiny in Committee in January. We agreed to bring forward a number of thingsI will talk in a moment about the importance of tolerated trespassersand have tabled a number of minor technical amendments relating to the Committees scrutiny and deliberations. I should also like to give the House notice of a significant series of amendments and a new clausenew clause 27regarding the standards, the direction and the relationship between the Secretary of State, Oftenant and registered providers in the regulatory framework. Notwithstanding my point about being brief, I want to mention direction and standards at some length.
Lembit Öpik (Montgomeryshire) (LD):
I hope that you will bear with me, Mr. Speaker, while I make my final procedural point about the timing. The Minister must accept that we have a ludicrously short time in which to discuss an enormous number of amendments, as I am sure the spokesperson for the official Opposition agrees. Can the Minister therefore give us an assurance that, should we run out of time, he will not only meet us proactively to see what we can do to put things right in the Lords, but act informally to get feedback from all the many housing-associated organisations, which are extremely frustrated at not
being able to provide us or him with sufficient feedback, given that we first saw the amendments only five days ago?
Mr. Wright: I reiterate the point that I have already made: we are not amending major parts of the Bill out of the blue. Many of the amendments are technical and complex, but the Bill has been through the Committee stage, which is important. I want to be as brief as possible, to give other right hon. and hon. Members time to speak, but let me first make the point again that the Bill has been through the Public Bill Committee stage. There was tremendously detailed clause-by-clause scrutiny, and I am satisfied that it is in a better state on Report, thanks to the deliberations of right hon. and hon. Members, than it was when it first started on 10 January.
Bob Spink (Castle Point) (Con): I am grateful to the Minister for generously giving way. New clause 11 refers to the status of existing occupiers. Can he explain exactly how those occupiers will be protected when tenants have voted to stay with the council, rather than going with a housing association? How will those occupiers ensure that the finances are in place for the council to continue to maintain their properties properly, achieve the decent homes standard and deliver additional social housing units where they are needed, in constituencies such as Mr. Speakers and mine?
Simon Hughes (North Southwark and Bermondsey) (LD): Just to be clear, so that we can save time later, can the Minister tell us how many Opposition amendments were accepted in Committeeso that we know whether the Bill was amended only where the Government wanted to amend itand how many Opposition new clauses and amendments that are tabled for today are the Government willing to accept?
Mr. Wright: Those are two important questions. On the first, there was detailedforensic, I would sayscrutiny of the Bill in the Public Bill Committee, thanks to the hon. Member for Montgomeryshire, who played a sterling role. Despite taking to the field late in the day, he did an excellent job. In conjunction with the detailed and, importantly, forensic scrutiny of the Bill, there was an element of consensus in certain key areas, too, such as sustainable development, with regard to the Homes and Communities Agency, on which the hon. Gentleman tabled an amendment. He has tabled another amendment todayoff the top of my head, I think it is amendment No. 229which will become irrelevant, because we are bringing forward something else.
In response to the distinct questions that the hon. Member for North Southwark and Bermondsey (Simon Hughes) asked, I can say that we have shaped the Bill according to what we need to do and, taking a consensual approach, have brought forward measures on tolerated trespassers, sustainable development and, crucially, the regulatory framework for Oftenant, about
which hon. Members in all parts of the House mentioned concerns, particularly the right hon. Member for North-West Hampshire (Sir George Young). It is important that we should debate that.
Grant Shapps (Welwyn Hatfield) (Con): The Minister will know that we had a good debate in Committee on all 242 clauses but, to our amazement, another 137 clauses have been tabled for todays debate, which will last about four hours. How he can define that as forensic scrutiny of the Bill, I have no idea. As we were given just three days to get our heads around the incredible number of amendments tabled by the Governmentfor procedural reasons, it was only a couple of hours ago that we found out what we would be facing todayI call on the Minister at least to acknowledge that that is not a satisfactory way to go about taking the Bill through Parliament.
Mr. Wright: I take the point that the hon. Gentleman and others are making. I am proud of the Bill, so I am keen to make sure that it gets the scrutiny and deliberation that it deserves. I want to make sure that it receives sufficient attention. The hon. Members for North Southwark and Bermondsey and for Welwyn Hatfield (Grant Shapps) mentioned the hard work done in the Public Bill Committee; the Bill received a good deal of forensic examination there.
The amendments that we are introducing today concern tolerated trespassers, the Homes and Communities Agency, sustainable development, and directions and standardsfor the Secretary of State, Oftenant and registered providersrelating to the regulatory framework that I mentioned. We have listened and learned; we listened to stakeholders and to right hon. and hon. Members. I want to ensure that we discuss the Bill. I deliberately did not table a programme motion because I wanted to avoid debate about procedure. I want to get on with the debate and ensure real scrutiny of the Government amendments that I am introducing. I would like to get on with the job.
Simon Hughes: I am not trying to delay the Ministerhe knows we think he is a good blokebut he is beginning to emulate the Prime Minister, in that he did not answer the question. The question is straightforward: how many Opposition amendments and new clauses were accepted in Committee?
Simon Hughes: I have had a hint, but it would be helpful if the Minister could tell us the answer. Also, how many of the new clauses and amendments tabled todaythere are 98 Opposition amendments and 18 Opposition new clausesare the Government willing to accept? That is a simple question. Is it one, 10, 20, 30 or none?
Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Michael Lord): I would not like the Minister to be led astray, so before he answers, let me say that that is not the matter before the House. I would be grateful if the Minister dealt with the issue that we are considering.
Mr. Wright: I will give way to my right hon. Friend, but first may I pay tribute to him on the Floor of the House? He did an amazing and sterling job in Committee, and made sure that the Bill is much better than it was when the Committee stage started, so I thank him for that.
Mr. Raynsford: I am extremely grateful to my hon. Friend for those kind remarks, and may I return the compliment by saying that I, for one, am extremely pleased that a significant number of Government amendments have been tabled today that build on issues raised by hon. Members in all parts of the House in Committee? The hon. Member for North Southwark and Bermondsey (Simon Hughes) knows perfectly well that Opposition amendments are rarely accepted, because the way in which many of them are drafted makes it impractical to incorporate them in a Bill. He has been in the House long enough to know that the reality is that the key test is whether the Government respond positively to issues that have been raised, where there is a case for change, and I congratulate my hon. Friend the Minister on doing just that.
Mr. Wright: I am grateful for that contribution. My right hon. Friend makes the point well that we have been a listening Government when it comes to the Housing and Regeneration Bill. There were major concerns, particularly with regard to the regulatory framework. Accusations were made, and I hope to deal with that subject at length later in our proceedingsif I stop taking interventions, that is. The point was made that there are major concerns about the regulatory framework. There were accusations that the Secretary of State could policy-passport matters for registered providers, that there was no freedom as regards the corporate direction of the boards of registered social landlords, and that there could be micro-management on the part of the Secretary of State. We have listened and we have learned, and I pay tribute to my right hon. Friend for helping to make that happen.
My hon. Friend the Member for City of Durham (Dr. Blackman-Woods), who is not in the Chamber, made an important point about sustainable development and the Homes and Communities Agency; we took that on board. The hon. Member for Montgomeryshire mentioned tolerated trespassers. New clause 11 deals with that subject, and I shall say more about it at some point.
The essential fact, which I must state very firmly, is that we are not introducing measures that were not discussed in Committee. The level of debate has been appropriate to the magnitude and stature of the Bill.
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