Archive for April, 2017

Doing the washing up!

MPs have voted in favour of the PM’s motion that the country should go to the polls meaning the present Parliament will be dissolved 25 working days before the 8th June unless it is prorogued (i.e. suspended) earlier.  At that stage, any legislative issues, be they in public or private bills, before either the House of Commons or Lords, will fall.  Prior to then, the government will attempt to reach agreement with the opposiiton re passing pet pieces of legislation but many controversial proposals will have to be dropped.  This intervening period is commonly known as ‘wash up’.

There are numerous Bills presently before Parliament covering everything from air quality, bats, energy, housing, neighbourhood planning, prisons and courts.  We will have to wait and see which, if any, of these Bills will catch the eye of those deciding which pieces of proposed legislation will be pushed through during the wash up period.

Any which fall could of course be re-introduced by the new government.  There will be many who wish to see more support for, for instance, neighbourhood planning which will build on the reforms introduced by the Housing and Planning Act, 2016 and give local communities ‘real statutory weight in the planning system’ (see the Department for Communities and Local Government fact sheet entitled Neighbourhood Planning).  This fact sheet reports that some ‘2000 groups have started the neighbourhood planning process since 2012′ leading to over 280 successful neighbourhood planning referendums having taken place.  Over 260 community plans have been adopted and are being used as a starting point for determining local planning applications.

Watch this space for more news in due course.