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Tory conference gears up to debate housing, but it’s only a fringe affair

Main stage is bereft of any housing debate but over a dozen meetings outside the main hall are scheduled featuring new housing minister Esther McVey.

Nigel Lewis


If any Conservative MPs make it to their annual conference in Manchester next week then they’ll find a bonanza of fringe talking shops where the nation’s housing market problems are to be discussed.

Although the main stage during the conference next week is bereft of any housing debates despite several key and controversial policies due to come to fruition later this year including plans to reform leaseholds and evictions, the party’s famously lively fringe scene has at least 12 meetings scheduled.

These include several key meetings on the private rented sector; its problems appear to be vexing Conservatives following the 2016 election in which the ‘broken housing market’ played a key role.

And the conference includes a meeting to discuss the ‘Conservative vision for the private rented sector’ to be attended by Kevin Hollinrake, chairman of Hunters and a Conservative MP.

The meetings will tackle other subjects including the housing crisis, rough sleeping and house building.

Housing sector companies sponsoring fringe meetings or attending them at the conference include Barratt Developments, RICS, the RLA, the British Property Federation, Savills and the Home Builders Federation.

The biggest presence at the conference is from RICS, which this year is running a mini exhibition in central Manchester and has invited new housing minister Esther McVey along to speak, along with leading members of the industry.

McVey (pictured, left) is certainly making up for her lack of knowledge about the housing sector with enthusiasm; she is scheduled to attend or chair over a dozen fringe meetings next week.

September 26, 2019

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