Public Bodies Bill [HL] — Committee (7th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:00 pm on 28th February 2011.

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Photo of The Bishop of Guildford The Bishop of Guildford Bishop 5:00 pm, 28th February 2011

My Lords, I am enormously grateful to the noble Lords, Lord Taylor and Lord Henley, for their interventions this afternoon, and for the Secretary of State's intervention in another place some time ago. I speak as one who would have supported the amendment in the name of my colleague the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Gloucester, had the question been put.

Your Lordships' House will be anxious to move on fairly quickly now, so I make one simple point as someone who has taken a close interest in the Forest of Dean in particular and in the general debate about forestry. I refer to the process of preparing Bills. We have heard about the huge public response to the proposals as they have been understood, or even misunderstood. Had the section on forestry been researched with close attention to the debates in your Lordships' House in 1981 and in another place, almost all the issues that have been in the public domain and which have been debated so fiercely and strongly-although, I agree, not always accurately-would have put an amber light in the preparation of the Bill. Therefore, to save further embarrassment in government and policy, I gently propose that looking at what Parliament did on the previous occasion on an issue such as this would help in the construction of Bills.