Derek raised the concerns of Halton residents with Housing Minister Grant Shapps MP last month at a meeting he arranged at Westminster.
Derek pressed the Minister on what he is doing to meet the massive demand for social housing locally, reflecting the contact he has had with constituents on the issue, in the discussions on a whole range of housing issues, ranging from empty homes and mortgage interest support to the localisation of business rates.
Following the meeting, Derek said:
"It was a useful discussion and the Minister seemed to be engaged on the issues I raised with him on behalf of local residents in Halton.
The reason I asked for the meeting is that it is important that I bring to the attention of Ministers the concerns and queries in terms of housing demands and standards that my constituents have consistently raised with me in recent weeks and months, and in particular to impress upon him the urgent and massive need for social housing in Halton. Mr Shapps did appear somewhat taken aback by the sheer numbers of local people on housing waiting lists, reflecting the scale of the challenges in terms of meeting housing needs.
I am concerned about the lack of urgency, decisiveness and effective co-ordination in the Government's approach, and I fear that the measures are somewhat piecemeal and will not deliver real change on the ground.
I appealed to Mr Shapps to do more to ensure that he and his fellow ministers in the Department for Communities & Local Government and across Whitehall work more effectively with local authorities and local housing associations in tackling pressing housing needs in Halton and across the country."