ARLA and NAEA comment on new Minister of State for Housing and Planning

ARLA and NAEA comment on new Minister of State for Housing and Planning

14:33 PM, 19th July 2016, About 6 years ago 8

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Gavin Barwell MP

Gavin Barwell MP

David Cox, managing director of ARLA, and Mark Hayward, managing director of the NAEA, comment on the appointment of Gavin Barwell MP as the new Minister of State for Housing and Planning & Minister for London:Gavin Barwell MP

“We would like to congratulate Gavin on his new appointment and welcome him to his new role. This is a crucial time for housing, with demand greatly outstripping supply and an urgent need to reshape Britain’s housing mix. We worked closely with the previous administration to increase transparency in the UK property and sector and remain very supportive of the need for a beneficial ownership register. Property transparency is particularly a problem in London where housing stock has increasingly become a vehicle for money laundering operations, so we applaud the decision to provide the Minister with a duel oversight for London.

“Despite this, Gavin will have a lot on his in-tray and a number of key concerns still exist in the sector. The Government’s decision to sell the Land Registry risks reversing its good work on transparency and we call on the new minister to work with the new Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Department to think again on this proposal. Secondly, it is also essential that Gavin honours the commitment of his predecessor to bring forward a review of the need for mandatory Client Money Protection (CMP) for letting agents, following the discretionary powers that were brought in as part of the Housing and Planning Act. Only this can provide the adequate level of protection for landlords and tenants alike.

“These challenges are not insurmountable and we greatly look forward to working with the new Minister to find a solution to these issues in the months and years ahead.”


by Dr Rosalind Beck

11:33 AM, 20th July 2016, About 6 years ago

It's a pity David Cox didn't use this opportunity to mention the war on private landlords declared by George Osborne and the need to reverse this immediately. Letting agents will see their businesses suffer as landlords cut their costs to pay the tax on fictitious profit, so it would be greatly in their interests to highlight these. Instead, they make vague references to 'transparency.' What's that all about? And if I don't know what the jargon is referring to, do they think Gavin Barwell will, who probably knows very little about housing (I don't know anything about him, though, so maybe he has an encyclopedic knowledge of it). A key problem has been that it is not the Housing Ministers who have been deciding the fate of the PRS, but rather the Treasury, so Arla should be getting on to them asap.

by terry sullivan

12:32 PM, 20th July 2016, About 6 years ago

barwell has no real world experience

by Neil Patterson

12:56 PM, 20th July 2016, About 6 years ago

He received quite a grilling on Daily Politics before PMQs!

by Mandy Thomson

16:23 PM, 20th July 2016, About 6 years ago

I've met Gavin Barwell a couple of times (as I have rental property in Croydon). I don't doubt that he will try his very best to make inroads into the housing crisis, but his hands are tied before he even starts. The housing minister's post is a junior ministerial post within the Local Government Department, and isn't a cabinet post. Moreover, two other departments - the Treasury, and the newly created Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, are responsible for financial policy and construction respectively, two areas which have a profound impact upon housing (as we landlords know only too well thanks to Clause 24 of the Finance Bill 2015/16).

Here is a bit of background information about Gavin Barwell:

He is a one nation conservative who has lived all his life in Croydon. Although he was educated at Trinity school and Cambridge, he comes from a working class background – he got to Trinity on a scholarship. However, his childhood was far from carefree – he was diagnosed with cancer when he was seven, which has informed his life long devotion to the NHS.

As he has been a whip since October 2013, during this time he has almost always followed the government line when voting. However, a notable exception is his votes in favour of assisted dying.

However, before he became a whip, he introduced the Mental Health (Discrimination) Bill in 2012 and that same year, he successfully lobbied David Cameron over “Lillian’s Law” which resulted in a law against driving under the influence of drugs under the Crime and Courts Act 2013, following the death of a young Croydon girl who was killed at the hands of a hit and run driver who was under the influence of drugs.

He was also quite vocal in his condemnation of Zac Goldsmith’s mayoral election campaign, stating that the person being portrayed by that campaign was not the Zac Goldsmith he liked and respected.

Given Gavin's liberal conservative stance, you might expect him to be somewhat anti landlord. However, when Croydon’s Labour council announced its plan to introduce landlord licensing, Gavin actively led a campaign against it, chairing a meeting with the NLA’s Gavin Dick in September 2014 ( and when we later established a campaign group to take a judicial review against the scheme, again he gave us his support.

While he recognises the importance of building more homes, he is strongly opposed to green belt land and green spaces being used for this, where there is a viable alternative, and has again spoken out against Croydon Council’s plans for housing which would completely change the character of such parts of the borough.

by Phil Ireland

16:38 PM, 20th July 2016, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "terry sullivan" at "20/07/2016 - 12:32":

Agree with Terry Sullivan above. Clearly Mr Barwell has a first class education but no real business or commercial experience.
He has gone straight from university into politics!

by Mandy Thomson

16:54 PM, 20th July 2016, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Phil Ireland" at "20/07/2016 - 16:38":

He had a more than thorough grasp of the business impact of Croydon Council's borough wide selective landlord licensing scheme, and the business model of the small landlord generally - much more so than some of his more senior colleagues previously in positions of power!

by Dr Rosalind Beck

18:41 PM, 20th July 2016, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "20/07/2016 - 16:54":

Hi Mandy.
This sounds very promising. It would be good if you could write to him as well as the rest of us on this site - we need to get him to take notice of all the problems and repercussions of Osborne's war against private landlords and see if he can become a voice of reason and also bend the ear of Philip Hammond.

by Mandy Thomson

15:41 PM, 22nd July 2016, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Dr Rosalind Beck ." at "20/07/2016 - 18:41":

Hi Rosalind, I've started a poll to see how many people are affected in my area, Harrow, and in Croydon. I will then approach Gavin via my MP, Gareth Thomas (as I'm advised that's the best chance to get a minister's attention). Perhaps understandably, Gavin isn't currently responding to Tweets.

I will update you on here when I get a response.

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