Thank you for your email. Frankly, although I did not watch the Despatches programme, from what I have read it was sensationalist rubbish. Certainly, in my experience, the programme makers could not have used every local authority area for their story, as they claimed, because we simply do not have the same sort of unscrupulous landlords operating in our area that were highlighted in the programme.
Please let me assure you that I am working very closely with local landlords to try to ensure that the law is changed to better protect both landlords and responsible tenants, indeed, we dedicated a recent Sittingbourne and Sheppey Link 2 Business breakfast forum to local private landlords who were able to discuss with me the problems that they faced.
One of the outcomes of the meeting was that we have facilitated regular meetings between Swale Borough Council housing officers and local private landlords, to ensure that individual housing benefit problems are ironed out as quickly as possible. Perhaps you might like to attend those meetings.
GORDON HENDERSON MP