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Parish Councils

Volume 658: debated on Monday 8 April 2019

We are absolutely committed to giving parish councils the tools they need to shape their communities’ future. Neighbourhood plans are giving them a real say in the future of the areas that they represent. Through the general power of competency, we have made it easier than ever for them to work on behalf of their communities. We are also making it easier for people to petition to create a local parish council if they so desire.

Hankelow parish council in my constituency is facing developers seeking to avoid their responsibility to build affordable homes on the only brownfield site in the village. What powers can be given to parish councils to enable them to ensure that affordable housing development is met?

My hon. Friend is an exceptional champion of the people of Eddisbury and has been extremely active on this very local issue. Local planning authorities must consult parish councils before deciding on an application. Parish councils can offer important insights, and are closely connected with the community. We have revised our approach to viability in national policy to strengthen that position.

I sincerely hope that the hon. Member for Eddisbury (Antoinette Sandbach) will have the Minister’s tribute framed and displayed in an appropriate place in her home, for she is not merely a champion but an exceptional champion.