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POWERS TO UNELECTED BODIES: WHY LIBERAL DEMOCRATS WILL NOT SUPPORT THE PLANNING BILL

October 27, 2003 12:00 AM

Matthew Green MP for LudlowMatthew Green MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow ODPM Minister, yesterday stated why the Liberal Democrats will not support the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill.

Speaking in the Standing Committee, Matthew Green MP, stated that the most controversial aspect of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill was the fact that powers will be taken from elected Planning Bodies and handed to unelected Regional Planning Bodies.

Matthew Green MP said:

"This is, potentially, the most controversial aspect of the Bill-the taking of powers from elected bodies and handing them to unelected bodies. If a line is to be drawn in the sand on this Bill, this is probably where it is. If the Minister does not accept amendments here or on Report, this is the issue that will cause us to continue to vote against the Bill, as we did on Second Reading. We accept that there is much in [the Bill] that would improve the planning system, but to take powers away from elected people and hand them to unelected people is a step too far. We cannot find that acceptable."