1ABecause it is not appropriate to restrict the application of a regional spatial strategy only to regions which have elected assemblies.

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:30 pm on 26th April 2004.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Baroness Hamwee Baroness Hamwee Shadow Minister, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister Local Government & the Regions 3:30 pm, 26th April 2004

My Lords, as the Minister says, the issue has always been sensitive. The sensitivity was eventually addressed when the Bill reached this House after its extended—sometimes almost undetectable—progress in another place. In our system, of course there are negotiations and discussions while a Bill is in progress. However, to characterise what happened as dishonourable on the part of those who took part is unfortunate.

The Minister used examples of cross-boundary arrangements, the sort of examples that I intended to use in a debate that we may have later on sub-regional arrangements. Those cross-boundary arrangements are happening now. I do not accept that what is proposed is a recipe for inaction. The Government have not moved on the fundamental question of the lack—indeed, I would say the loss—of democracy. They have not come up with any way of meeting their concerns at the same time as meeting that basic and important concern. Therefore, again I wish to test the opinion of the House.