The Week

The Week, 26 July 2019

Reformer of the Week

The Public Accounts Committee, for criticising the Government’s failure to use its position as a major landowner to help tackle the housing crisis. The report argued that the Government has not sold enough land for homes, and has given little consideration for how the land it has sold will be used.

Quotes of the week

“The greatest place to live. The greatest place to bring up a family. The greatest place to send your kids to school…And the most compassionate approach to care of elderly people. That is the mission of the Cabinet I have appointed. That is the purpose of the Government I am leading.”

 “The UK needs more houses. As a major land holder, the government is in a unique position to release land for new homes; and yet the objectives of its land disposal programmes are chaotic and confused.”

  • Meg Hillier MP, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Wednesday 24th July.

Good week for

Rushed policies

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the recruitment of 20,000 more police officers will begin “within weeks.”  Reform has previously criticised this blanket approach, arguing that investment in back office analysts and prevention needs to be taken just as seriously as frontline policing if the government wants to make streets safer.

Cross-government working

The Department for Work and Pensions and the Ministry of Justice have published a ‘National Partnership Agreement’, setting out how both departments can work together to improve an offender’s journey from custody into the community.

Bad week for


According to new Ministry of Justice statistics, there was a record number of assaults on prison staff and self-harm incidents in prisons last year. Reform commented on the data, calling for investment in prison safety and rehabilitation to help offenders turn their lives around.

Public Health

On Monday, the Government published its long-awaited prevention green paper, ‘Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s’. However, it has been criticised for failing to tackle the root causes of ill-health, including poverty and poor housing.

Reform’s week

On Monday, Dr Joshua Pritchard, Researcher at Reform, argued in Public Finance that Labour's proposed "insourcing revolution" is largely redundant and fails to address key concerns about job losses and cost effectiveness.

On Thursday, Charlotte Pickles, Director of Reform, was quoted in the Financial Times commenting on new prison statistics which show self-harm and assault have reached record levels.