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Initiation of Legislation (Local Authorities)

Volume 580: debated on Thursday 8 May 2014

9. What scope there is for local authorities to initiate legislation in Parliament; and if he will make a statement. (903917)

Under the rules of the House, local authorities may initiate legislation by way of private Bills, which may make specific provision for their local authority area only, as opposed to amending the general law of the land. There have been six such private Bills before Parliament this Session.

Given the great initiatives of the 19th century to reform towns and cities around the country and recent initiatives such as Liverpool’s push for smoke-free public places and Canterbury’s action on street traders, and as we have a zombie Parliament, in which the coalition can agree no business, will the Leader of the House invite local areas to come forward with initiatives for their communities?

First, of course we do not have a zombie Parliament: we are about to have a Queen’s Speech that will set out a detailed programme of government. The Government do not have any plans to review the procedure that the hon. Gentleman mentioned for private Bills, but we would be open to considering other ways in which such business could be transacted.