Sadiq Khan: A long list of failings including ‘housing’ – Russell Quirk shares his thoughts

Headline hitters both of them, though the mayor of London has by far a longer list of mostly failures whereas Russell Quirk is still very much respected by his industry peers following taking his idea (Emoov) from start up to nationally recognised online estate agency brand and now leads a fast growing and widely used PR agency servicing the UK property industry – Properganda PR.

The mayor of London is known for declaring figures that he bluffs his followers that he can achieve and in most situations fails miserably to keep. Headlines such as ‘knife crime remains at near record levels in London with more than 40 offences reported every day‘, ‘Crime is up by 12 per cent since he took office, with a far bigger rise in murders‘ & ‘For the first time in 25 years, public transport use is falling‘ and this within news publications that are fairly central / left in their views – This does not touch upon on central / right publications!

His recent rants against President Trump including the battle of the balloons as well as him supporting a second people’s vote and happy to highlight this failed campaign on London Transport brought about even more headlines such as:

‘GLA Conservative leader Gareth Bacon slammed Sadiq for permitting the prohibited ads: This is disgraceful behaviour from Sadiq Khan; he’s allowing public resources to be used for Remain propaganda.

So what about the housing situation and the promises to build more affordable homes? Again we get headlines such as from respected news sources as Inside Housingfailing to meet his targets on affordable home starts‘ and from City AM2,400 affordable homes have been built in the first six months of this year, far below the mayor’s annual 14,000 target‘.

Ultimately the requirements are not being fulfilled and figures are below what is expected though this blame will not all fall upon his shoulders as battles need to be fought against the government, land owners and especially those keeping hold of brownfield / planning permitted plots, restrictions on planning and purchasing powers of local councils and more. There is no magical wand, though a pot of £1.67 billion should really be making his job a lot easier and gaining better housing results surely?

Russell Quirk recently shared some Tweets relating to this subject to include ‘The Mayor fudged his answers and incorrectly declared ‘record’ housing starts last year. In fact, actual starts were DOWN 52% on 2017.‘ so I thought I would ask him a couple of questions:

 

Has the current mayor of London any real grasp as to the declining situation of housing in London? Is he familiar with the targets set for affordable housing in your mind?

Actually, I think he does yes. He understands the problem and the need for 65,000 new homes in the capital every year, 50% of these to be affordable. He has set this out in his Draft London Plan. The definition of ‘Affordable’ is homes that are either for social rent or shared ownership in a social housing sense, or are priced at >20% less than the equivalent market value home.
The problem with Sadiq Khan is not that he does not understand. It’s that he is a typical bloody politician that articulates a big hairy goal to appease voters and to win them over but without a clue how to actually EXECUTE on that delivery. Aspiration? Yes. Knowledge and ability to follow through? No. Khan is not unique. Successive Chancellors, Prime Ministers and Housing Ministers have fed us headlines and promises since the 80’s yet without fulfilling those promises.
One of the problems is that talk is cheap. It’s easy to issue a press release to a salivating media that says ‘I’ll build more homes than the last guy did’. Also, politicians serve a maximum of four years and so they actually don’t get much time to show results. But above all, career politicians like the current London Mayor (and the two before him) will simply say anything they need to in order to make it look like they have a plan even when their ‘plan’ is simply to regurgitate some big numbers.
Frankly, it’s simply not bloody good enough given the HUGE housing deficit the UK faces of over 100,000 homes short annually.

The mayor certainly puts investment of money and time in to a second referendum, is though enough being done in your mind with his budgets towards affordable housing in London – Is there in-deed any realistic possibility to meet the required  65,000 new homes per year (50% affordable)?

See above. talking of budgets, when I challenged the Mayor on LBC last week he avoided the question, fudged the answer (typically answered the question he WANTED me to have asked, not the one that I actually did ask) and then threw in some inaccurate numbers despite me having told him that I had the latest GLA housing starts and completion numbers right in front of me.
To be clear, his 2018 affordable housing starts number is a whopping 52% DOWN on 2017 at just 6,066 homes begun. That’s what HIS OWN stats say. Completions between Apr and Dec 2018 were at just 5,500 versus his promise to complete 32,500 per annum. This is an appalling fail and yet all we hear from Sadiq Khan are misplaced rhetoric that seeks to show that the numbers are better than they really are.

Christopher Walkey

Founder of Estate Agent Networking. Internationally invited speaker on how to build online target audiences using Social Media. Writes about UK property prices, housing, politics and affordable homes.

You May Also Enjoy

Breaking News

Breaking Property News – 28/02/24

Daily bite-sized proptech and property news in partnership with Proptech-X.   Birchgrove and Hybr launch intergenerational living scheme A unique partnership will see students, key workers and retirees live together at new north London retirement development. Birchgrove, the UK’s leading provider of rented retirement homes, and Hybr, the UK’s leading student letting platform, today announce an industry-first…
Read More
Estate Agent Talk

Benefits Of Choosing Roger Bates Properties

Roger Bates Properties stands out as a prominent real estate agency that offers a myriad of benefits to individuals seeking to buy, sell, or invest in real estate. With a stellar reputation and a commitment to excellence, choosing Roger Bates Properties can prove to be a decision that yields numerous advantages. 1. Experience and Expertise…
Read More
Love or Hate Rightmove
Breaking News

Rightmove’s weekly mortgage tracker – 28/02/24

The average 5-year fixed mortgage rate is now 4.80%, up from 4.59% a year ago The average 2-year fixed mortgage rate is now 5.15%, up from 4.92% a year ago The average 85% LTV 5-year fixed mortgage rate is now 4.73%, up from 4.64% a year ago The average 60% LTV 5-year fixed mortgage rate is now 4.30%, up from 4.25% a year ago The average monthly mortgage payment on a…
Read More
Love or Hate Rightmove
Breaking News

Rightmove calls for stamp duty reform with only 4% of London homes exempt

Ahead of the Spring Budget on March 6th, the UK’s biggest property website Rightmove suggests three policy reforms that could help people moving home: A reform of stamp duty to consider regional property price variations: Only 4% of homes in London are stamp duty exempt for all buyers, compared to 71% in the North East Less than…
Read More
Breaking News

Breaking Property News – 27/02/24

Daily bite-sized proptech and property news in partnership with Proptech-X.   Alto reveals ‘next generation’ of Lettings Progression Alto, software for estate agents and part of Houseful, has revealed further information about the improvements being rolled out in 2024 to drive a step change in business efficiency for letting agents. Leading the way is a…
Read More
Home and Living

The Versatility of Parquet Flooring in Contemporary Homes

What comes into your mind when you hear about parquet flooring? Most probably Victorian era, historic estates, grand ballrooms, and grand mansions but what if I tell you that the parquet flooring has redefined itself with warmth, texture, and classic elegance? Parquet flooring in contemporary homes is a delight to the eyes because when you…
Read More