24housing magazine has published their list of Power Players Top 50
An interesting list. Housing Minister Grant Shapps came in at number one. This compares with Iain Duncan Smith in third place, George Osborne in fourth place, Eric Pickles at number 10 and David Cameron at number 18. Grant is "the most high profile Housing Minister in years."
Always tricky in this sort of list as to where you would put the Prime Minister. Second place goes to David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation and champion for improving mobility in the social housing sector. Fifth place goes to a housing regulator called Julian Ashby. Let's hope a housing deregulator makes it as high next year.
Tony Pidgley, founder of Berkeley Group, makes it in at 15.
Given the shift in emphasis to renovating empty homes rather than just knocking them down, the inclusion of David Ireland, Chief Executive of Empty Homes, is reasonable (although he only squeaks in at 46).
Of course we can all have fun making our own changes. Some Labour bloggers and councillors are included who don't have power – but Sir Robin Wales, the Mayor of Newham, who does, was missed out.
Among Tory council leaders, Cllr Ravi Govindia really should have made the cut, but didn't.
There were some Housing Association chiefs that surely should have been included. Mark Henderson of Home Group. Kate Davies of Notting Hill. David Cowans of Places for People. We could have fitted them in by knocking out three who made it by virtue of their involvement in the Local Government Association.
Delighted that my boss (for a few more days at least) Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh made it. But why not John Moss, co-author of Principles for Social Housing Reform?
At number 19 we have the chief executive of the charity Shelter, Campbell Robb. But Shelter no longer provides housing for anyone. Robb used to work for the Labour Party and now runs predictable political campaigns against the Government. (This anti Government campaigning is funded by the Government with £10 million a year of our money.) Why is he on the list? Perhaps because while Labour's Shadow team in the Commons have been muddled in their response to the Government's housing response it is Robb that offers the real opposition. So he is important, albeit in an entirely negative way. By contrast, people like the Shadow Housing Minister Jack Dromey just duck out of the debate.
On the other hand John Bird, founder of the Big Issue, thoroughly deserves his place in the top 50.
Generally, Conservatives should be pleased by how many of us have made it. It indicates that we are making a difference in this key area of policy.
As the introduction says:
“Politicians and those with political influence, perhaps unsurprisingly, dominate the list – especially those of the Conservative persuasion. A total of seven Tory ministers feature in the list along with the likes of Boris Johnson and Stephen Greenhalgh.
"The Labour Party, meanwhile, is conspicuous by its absence. Perhaps summing up the sector’s frustration at the opposition’s failure to provide a compelling housing strategy of its own, the Shadow Housing Minister Jack Dromey and the Shadow Communities Secretary Hilary Benn are nowhere to be seen. Instead it is left to the old guard of Steve Hilditch and Nick Raynsford alongside some forward-thinking Labour councillors to keep the red flag flying.”