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Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:41 pm on 24th March 2011.

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Photo of Adrian Bailey Adrian Bailey Chair, Business, Innovation and Skills Committee 3:41 pm, 24th March 2011

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that intervention. For personal reasons, I could not join the Committee’s visit to China. However, he put those proposals to me forcefully, and I have spent the morning with the appropriate Ministers pressing that very point, because a lot of damage has been done. We need to rectify it if we are to realise any of the potential in the document.

On the localism agenda, noises were made in the Budget about improving planning for local businesses. Despite the fact, however, that the Localism Bill places planning priorities in the hands of local communities and neighbour planners, the local organisations set up by the Government—the local enterprise partnerships—have no defined role in that. I do not understand how we can have a legal process for devising planning programmes locally without incorporating the representatives of the local business community. There is enormous concern among the business community about the potential damage that that could cause.