Mayor Fiaz OBE responds to government’s King’s Speech of ‘missed opportunities and nothingness’

Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz OBE, has responded to the first King’s Speech delivered by King Charles III, highlighting missed opportunities and empty policies of government that won’t help residents, including:  

  • No new measures to tackle rising homelessness and lack of affordable social housing
  • No measures to fund the rising pressures in Children’s and Adult Social Care
  • No new measures to tackle cost of living pressures.

Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz OBE, said: “What is remarkable about the programme laid out in the King’s Speech this week is not so much what is in it, but what is not, reflecting missed opportunities and nothingness.

“There is nothing new to tackle the acute housing crisis, in London. In Newham alone, we have 6,000 households living in insecure temporary accommodation which is adding to the financial pressures facing the Council because of high temporary accommodation costs alongside 37,000 people on our housing waiting list. Thousands of households are threatened with homelessness and facing eviction. But there’s nothing to end no fault Section 21 evictions in the Renters Reform Bill which should be banned. Our people need homes they can afford, and there’s nothing new to support Council’s to deliver social rent genuinely affordable housing our residents desperately need at the scale and speed to avert a catastrophe.

“There is nothing new to support councils facing financial challenges like never before to address the huge pressures in Children’s and Adult’s Social Care. Nothing new to advance our commitment to tackle global warning and the climate emergency. Instead of securing the future of the planet, we are going backwards through plans to expand North Sea Oil and Gas licenses with harmful fossil fuels being prioritised over renewable energy and our commitments to net zero.

“The “crack-down” on crime comes with no clarity on funding, no increase in funding for the police, or prisons or the courts. No firm commitments or funding to tackle the epidemic of violence against women and girls or to end the abhorrent practice of conversion therapy as had been previously promised.

“Our residents are suffering and need a lifeline to avert devastating hardship. With current financial support measures expiring at the end of this financial year, the Autumn Statement on 22 November 2023 must provide more funding to councils like Newham so we can support our residents across our borough facing the corrosive impact of cost of living pressures.”

Published: 09 Nov 2023