THAT great philosopher - and promotion-winning manager of Fulham - Mickey Adams was fond of saying that failing to prepare means preparing to fail and I've been using a little of the quieter time in Westminster this week to look at the work we'll have to be doing in the new session of Parliament in the autumn.

The safety and security of the public will be the first priority in all that we do and the implications of climate change will inform every piece of legislation but we'll also be spending a lot of time on welfare reform and housing provision.

Both areas contain superficially simple solutions but are fiendishly hard to get right.

We all want to see slackers and shirkers off benefits but it has to be done without causing pain and distress to the genuine claimants and those in need. In particular the implications for children and older people will take centre stage when we get into the details.

Housing policy has never been got right by any government in the history of our country.

Providing subsidised housing looks like a good idea but how do you balance that provision so that it does not lock people into benefit dependency and remove any incentive for people to make their own way?

We've gone a long way towards removing the benefits trap and shared ownership is a real success for many key workers and young people in our part of the world but the demand is so much greater than the supply.

Twenty thousand people are registered on Ealing's housing waiting list and their needs will be very much in my mind and the government's thinking as we set out the parliamentary programme for next year.

Fortunately the Palace of Westminster is fairly quiet at the moment - except over at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs where all the offices are full for good reason - and I can get stuck in the sort of hard detailed work that is needed to get a grip on what truly is a housing crisis.

My new colleague, Virendra Sharma, has already shown that he is as committed as I am to getting moving on the housing front and I profoundly hope that we will have some good news to share with the readers of the Ealing Times before too long.