To: Chris Grayling and Baroness Stowell of Beeston, co-Chairs of the Joint Committee on the Palace of Westminster

Use money earmarked for refurbishing the Palace of Westminster for social housing.

Use money earmarked for refurbishing the Palace of Westminster for social housing.

Move the UK Parliament to northern England and use four of the five £billion earmarked for refurbishing the Palace of Westminster for urgently needed social housing instead.

Why is this important?

This is the twenty first century and Britain is one of the richest yet most unequal places on earth. The Palace of Westminster is no longer fit for purpose and homelessness among English households has risen by over 50% since 2010, with 57,750 formally recognised cases in the financial year 2015-16. In London alone, households becoming homeless increased to 17,530 (9%) in the last year.

According to homelessness charity Shelter, more than a million households living in private rented accommodation are at risk of becoming homeless by 2020 because of rising rents, benefit freezes and a lack of social housing.

The Grenfell Tower disaster, the highly questionable mass sale to private property developers of land and buildings previously used for social housing, along with the continuing unacceptable rise in homelessness and ever increasing inequality of wealth and opportunity all point to the urgent need for radical solutions to the housing crisis, especially in London.

Even multi millionaire Conservatives such as Jacob Rees Mogg recognise housing as the single most important issue facing the people of Britain in 2017.

The Government have recently been considering the refurbishment of the Palace of Westminster at a reported cost of an eye watering £5billion of taxpayers' money. Instead of using this enormous amount of money patching up an antiquated building that is no longer fit for purpose, the Government should instead use the vast majority of this money to provide decent, affordable social housing for the most vulnerable and marginalised, and simultaneously move the UK Parliament to a northern city in order to help construct a more equal society: London and the south-east are wealthy but most regions are poorer than the European Union average.

Growing inequality and the absence of decent affordable housing is unacceptable in what the Government claims is the fifth largest economy in the world.

Updates

2017-07-11 21:56:07 +0100

25 signatures reached

2017-07-07 22:11:33 +0100

10 signatures reached