Chief Executive's blog
A blog written by our Chief Executive, David Montague. Each month David reflects on events at L&Q and in the housing sector, and offers his opinions on current and future events.
About David Montague
David Montague has been chief executive of L&Q since February 2008. He has been with L&Q since 1989 and served as Group Director of Finance before his current appointment.
David is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and writes and lectures on social housing and business planning issues.
Yesterday afternoon, I wasn't too sure what to make of the Budget. But last night, as I sat in Gala Bingo - pint in hand, I had a chance to reflect. On the positive side the gates of a new garden city opened. Maybe Ebbsfleet will be our Roger Bannister moment; maybe the Easter prospectus will see many more garden cities follow. Maybe, in a few years, every council will want their name on a beautiful new town or city.
I met an old colleague today who also grew up on a council estate and became a housing association chief executive. We got to talking about the good old days and it left me wondering where my mum and dad would live today. Where do those communities form now, where can ordinary working people afford to live?
Today the English housing survey reported that home ownership has fallen to 65%, its lowest level since 1987, and private renting has overtaken social renting.
I was delighted to hear this morning that Government is considering two new garden cities, one in Buckinghamshire and one in Kent. But if garden cities get the green light there are three big challenges ahead - plenty of opposition, no more money and we need them now.
Chancellor George Osborne is planning a further £25 billion public spending cuts which could come from government departments or from the welfare budget. On the previous day David Cameron promised to protect pensions, so George's options are limited.