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New Clause 14 — Expenditure of Greater London Authority on housing or regeneration

Part of Infrastructure Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 5:30 pm on 26th January 2015.

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Photo of Stephen Williams Stephen Williams The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 5:30 pm, 26th January 2015

I thank my hon. Friend, a former Minister in the Department, for his intervention. We did indeed seek to concur with the GLA: it identified the problem, and now we have introduced the solution.

I turn to new clause 3 and Labour party policy on the proposed introduction of a national infrastructure commission. The Bill covers a range of important issues, but the debate we had in Committee on this proposal from the Opposition was one of the more thoughtful and interesting: we dealt not only with the intricacies of formulating infrastructure policy, but with the role of the Government and Members of Parliament in formulating a vision for rail, road, energy and other infrastructure development? I am grateful to Richard Burden for re-tabling the new clause and allowing us to deal with these issues again.

We recognise that infrastructure development does not happen fast enough in this country, but, since 2010, we have started to turn this around and address the regulatory barriers that have held back delivery of our infrastructure networks. We have introduced the national infrastructure plan for transport, energy, flood defences, communications, water and waste networks, and we have agreed long-term funding settlements for public infrastructure investment. This has generated a new momentum in infrastructure delivery, and, as a result, more than 2,500 projects have been delivered during this Parliament. However, we are not complacent, and we understand that there is still much to do to reverse the long-running issue of under-investment.