After a week of reshuffles - both for David Cameron's cabinet and Ed Miliband's shadow cabinet - it appears the coalition haven't just changed personnel, they've relegated housing on the political agenda...
Last month, Inside Housing reported that only 101 of the 597 Traveller pitches allocated government funding in England since 2012 have managed to secure planning permission. Without permission, it is unlikely any of the remainder will go ahead; another broken promise in the ongoing struggle for adequate Traveller accommodation in the UK.
In a way, Eric Pickles has a point. The dire shortage of legal traveller sites in England is a blight on our society; fuelling social-exclusion and appalling health and educational outcomes for gypsy and traveller communities.
Today (July 18) is a sad day in Stratford upon Avon for all of us who've been trying to stop 800 houses and a new road being built on historic land behind Anne Hathaway's Cottage in Shakespeare's hamlet of Shottery.
Eric Pickles is in no position to lecture councils. He may cultivate a reputation as a no-nonsense straight talker, but has he actually delivered on his tough rhetoric? Just like the rest of David Cameron's Government, he makes big promises but over and over again reality lets him down. Let's look at just ten of Eric Pickles' biggest failures.
In a couple of days' time, Stratford on Avon District Council goes to court in its latest attempt to stop 800 houses and a fast link road being built on historic greenfield in the hamlet of Shottery, right behind the family cottage of Shakespeare's wife, Anne Hathaway.
Only in England could this happen: in a few days' time a judicial review will decide whether the countryside immediately surrounding Anne Hathaway's Cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon can be torn up to make way for a new housing estate. No, seriously.
If only the Prime Minister had, say, a straight-talking Northerner he could turn to, to lift the party's appeal outside of the South East. Maybe someone who was uninterested in PR spin but was a take-me-as-I-am kind of bloke, educated perhaps at the local comp, maybe even went to polytechnic, the sort of background that would help to balance the coiffeured posh brigade.
Cultural diversity has played a key role in forming the multicultural Britain of today, far more so than adherence to one set of 'national values' has. The role of the state is to enforce this tolerance through laws and expose children to the true diversity of the world they are entering in the education system.
The use of local authority borrowing powers should be carefully controlled and leveraged with private sector cash to reduce their exposure to debt risk. Local authorities should, in effect, deploy borrowings on the same basis as grants - by making contributions to projects that are serviced at a lower rate of interest.
In the light of the negative media coverage of the potential influx of Romanian and Bulgarian migrants, just in the last month I have been referred for the first time as 'being of less desirable origin' because of my ethno-national background. I swept the two incidents under the carpet and moved on, as most migrants do when faced with such stereotyping.
From day one of this parliament, Pickles and Lewis have treated small businesses with contempt - and it doesn't stop there. To huge consternation in the business community they've cancelled a revaluation of business rates this year to make sure properties are tied to a 2008 rating close to the peak of the property boom.
I am happy to say that the tech community has already picked up this baton and there are a growing number of small start-ups in David Cameron's Tech City developing services that answer this challenge.
When the wider provision of support for vulnerable children and families is under systemic assault from the decimation of central and local government budgets, some old recycled statistics and 16 isolated families do not merit a reason to be cheerful.
This week offers a chance to celebrate the progress made in bringing some of Britain's 710,000 empty homes back into use. Unfortunately, there is also reason to fear some of those responsible for 'regenerating' our towns and cities remain overly-fond of bulldozers and land-banking deals with developers.
Town planners, it seems, are the people everyone loves to hate. When was the last time you heard someone spontaneously eulogise their local planning department?