Alan England

party: English Democrats
constituency: Wentworth and Dearne

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To what degree should access to information on the internet be restricted by the state or private companies?

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

I do not regard the state and private companies as being equal or equivalent. Therefore, I am unable to address the question as posed.

Would you support the creation of a Royal Commission to review Britain’s drug laws?

organisation: CISTA

Yes if its terms of reference included recommendations for control of the quality of currently illegal drugs, licensing of suppliers and taxation as for tobacco and alcohol.

How would you reform surveillance law, oversight and practice to respect the rights of law-abiding people?

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

Yes

Should people in Scotland and Northern Ireland have the same free speech protections from libel bullies as their neighbours in England and Wales?

organisation: English PEN

I do not accept the terms in which this question is posed.

The standards of goods and services that are essential, such as food and water, are generally highly regulated. Do you support enforced minimum standards in housing as a precondition of a renting?

organisation: Generation Rent

I believe that a return to Parker Morris standards is long overdue. Abolition of these and other standards was yet another of Mrs Thatcher's 'reforms'!

Governments implement policies that directly and indirectly impact on house prices. Do you think house prices are too high?

organisation: Generation Rent

Yes, and the absurdly high levels [in relation to pay] renders an already imperfect market even more distorted. The most basic of societies are able to house their citizens.

Private sector landlords receive over £27bn a year in housing benefit and tax breaks. Would you support a rent tax that recouped up to a third of this to fund new housing supply?

organisation: Generation Rent

An objective assessment of such a measure and its social and economic consequences should first be made before implementing it. However, in principle I am inclined to consider this approach. Even so, it would need to be accompanied with other measures.

Britain spends £24 billion on housing benefit and less than £1.5 billion on building homes. Do you support an increase in the social housebuilding grant to £5 billion a year to build homes?

organisation: Generation Rent

It needs to be emphasised that the failure to build more homes is another private sector failure exacerbated by the 'Right to Buy' policy accompanied by obstructions placed in the way of building replacement housing. A programme of building replacement local authority housing would need additional funding of course. I have insufficient knowledge to support a specified increase.

Recent polling show that people support rent control by a margin of nine to one. Do you support a rent control that limits rent rises between tenancies as well as during tenancies?

organisation: Generation Rent

In a highly imperfect market in which house prices generally bear little relation to workers' incomes, I'm afraid that such controls are vitally necessary.

The right of parents to remain with their children in hospital has been established for over forty years. How would you ensure carers of people with dementia are equally welcome in hospital?

organisation: John's Campaign

I have insufficient knowledge of hospitals to propose any sensible measures. Indeed, I have difficulty in distinguishing between nurses (and their various grades), nursing auxiliaries and cleaners! Doctors and consultants are often to be identified by them being in white shirts as they proceed around hospital wards. However, I agree that mental health has long been neglected in comparison with physical health and that additional measures are needed in consequence.