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Greg calls for Parliamentary time to be given to cross-party Protection of Local Services Bill

November 11, 2009 5:00 PM

Greg Stone, Lib Dem parliamentary spokesman for Newcastle East, has called upon Government whips to work with the Leader of the House to find time to allow a Lib Dem proposed private members bill with cross party support to be debated in the new parliamentary term.

The current session of Parliament is due to be closed tomorrow (Thursday) ahead of the State Opening of Parliament and Queens Speech for the new parliamentary term. This is likely to see any "unfinished" bills become void, effectively killing off the prospect of Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland's Local Planning Authorities (Protection of Local Services) Bill becoming law, despite support from Labour and Conservative MPs.

Greg Stone said "This is a simple yet well-supported bill which would give local authorities new powers to ensure that buildings used for important local services should be retained for that use, rather than demolished or otherwise redeveloped by speculators. It would potentially safeguard important local facilities such as pubs, shops, doctors and dentists, and post offices from instances where they have been bought up to turn into care homes or estate agents offices. It would have helped campaigners to save pubs like the Egypt Cottage from redevelopment."

"This bill has support from MPs across the three main parties but has no chance of being debated due to the Parliamentary session ending tomorrow. Without assistance from Government whips such as Newcastle East's Labour MP, the bill will automatically fail. With their help, a popular and potentially important Bill can be properly debated and voted upon in the new session. Will they put local services first, or will they put the interests of their Government first?"