Press Watch 16/11/19

Continuing with our policy of covering news which lies behind the headlines but which reveals much about the state of modern Britain after ten years of Tory government, Scarlet Standard refers to a number of stories this morning.

The Financial Times states this morning that private landlords have been slow to react to the problem of inflammable cladding following the Grenfell disaster.

In fact, according to the paper, there are up to 17,000 households who still live in privately owned apartment blocks with dangerous cladding similar to the Grenfell Tower.

The FT reminds its readers that this failure by private landlords, putting tenants at risk, presumably for profit, comes despite a Government scheme aimed at making the buildings safe. The Guardian writes that record numbers of young adults in their 20s and 30s are living with their parents, according to official figures.

According to the paper, critics of the system are blaming soaring house prices and rents. The Office of National Statistics has said that over the last two decades, there has been a 46% increase in the number of young people aged 20-34 living with their parents.

Over the same period, average house prices have tripled from about £97,000 to £288,000. In total, 1.1m more young men and women are now living at home, with the number increasing from 2.4m in 1999 to 3.5m in 2019.

Let's be very clear, the private market in housing has never worked. One of the greatest critiques of British capitalism must surely be this failure.

Meanwhile, Centrepoint, the Housing Charity yesterday was reported to have expressed fears over the number of young homeless at Christmas.

More than 22,000 young people could be homeless or at risk of being made homeless in England this Christmas, according to a study by charity Centrepoint.

‘Thousands of new homes planned in danger areas’ according to The Times. Greenpeace has said almost ten thousand homes are due to be built on flood-prone areas of the country.

At the same time, it is now clear - according to the same paper – that flood warnings about rivers which were seen as at risk were ignored for years.

The Environment Agency ignored repeated warnings for more than a decade that a lack of maintenance along the River Don in South Yorkshire would worsen the impact of flooding.

In the North, there is huge resentment that river catchment areas were left unprotected in part because funding to the Environment Agency in the north was cut by 14% whilst in the south-east they received an increase of 14%.

Press Watch is a look at the day's news by Labour MPs.

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