The All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment (APPGEBE) is pleased to announce that Eddie Hughes MP, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Walsall North is to become the Group’s chair.
He succeeds Jo Churchill MP who was promoted to the Whip’s Office earlier this month. Mr Hughes was elected to Parliament in June 2017 having started his professional career as a civil engineer and has also been involved in housing and maintenance during his pre-parliamentary career.
He will chair the Group’s sixth Commission of Inquiry, which will look into the potential and detail for a New Homes Ombudsman.
"I'm delighted to be taking over the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment and conducting this latest Inquiry. It is vital that as we increase house building we strive for the highest quality of new homes and provide a clear and fair means of recourse for homebuyers who have problems," said Mr Hughes.
Graham Watts OBE, Chief Executive of CIC and Secretary to the Group, said: “We were sorry to lose Jo as chairman, before she had a chance to lead an Inquiry, but it is not surprising that she has received such quick recognition to join the government. We couldn’t have found a better replacement in Eddie since he also has a wealth of knowledge of the construction industry and the housing sector. We will be very happy to give him and the Group all the support that they need and we are greatly looking forward to the current Inquiry.”
The latest Inquiry follows the Group’s 2016 report, More homes, fewer complaints which made recommendations for a New Homes Ombudsman to help new homeowners find redress for problems they were encountering with new homes. The Government has announced it will consult on setting up a Housing Ombudsman to cover all tenures and we hope the new Inquiry will feed into that process.
Following a call for evidence, the Commission of Inquiry will start hearing oral evidence in February.
Members of the Commission of Inquiry have also been confirmed, as follows:
Eddie Hughes MP – Chairman, Conservative
Lord Best, Crossbench
Earl of Lytton, Crossbench
Helen Hayes MP, Labour
Lord Stunell, LibDem
Lord Kerslake, Crossbench
Ben Derbyshire, President, Royal Institute of British Architects
Prof John Nolan, Chairman, Construction Industry Council
Tony Burton, Deputy Chairman of CIC /Partner of Gardiner and Theobald
Stephen Stone, Chairman, Crest Nicholson
Chris Blythe, Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Building
Prof Tony Crook CBE, University of Sheffield, formerly Chairman of Shelter and former Deputy Chairman of CIC
The Secretariat for the Inquiry and the Group is provided by the Construction Industry Council.