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Statutory Public Consultations

Volume 728: debated on Monday 20 February 2023

7. What recent assessment he has made of the contribution of statutory public consultations to local decision making. (903619)

Meaningful engagement with local communities is essential to the improvement of public services, and our reforms in the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill will strengthen community engagement in planning and increase the opportunities for engagement through the development of digital services.

I thank my hon. Friend and welcome her back to her well-deserved place on the Treasury Bench. Would she agree that the Mayor of London’s decision to go ahead with the expansion of the ultra low emission zone despite overwhelming opposition to the scheme expressed in a public consultation shows complete contempt for the people of outer London? Would she further agree that what appears to be a clear attempt by Transport for London to interfere with the outcome of the consultation in order to predetermine the result further undermines the democratic process?

I thank my hon. Friend for his vital question. I have seen the reports he refers to and I totally share his concerns about the consultation process led by the Mayor of London. Clearly these plans will have a significant impact on the communities that my hon. Friend represents so ably, which is why we must get to the bottom of what happened and hold the Mayor of London to account.