Localism Bill — Committee (10th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 20th July 2011.

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Photo of Lord Newton of Braintree Lord Newton of Braintree Conservative 6:15 pm, 20th July 2011

If nobody else wants to say anything, I do. However, I only want to say it once otherwise I suspect I will have the Chief Whip charging in here to tell me to shut up. I am prompted by the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Best, but more particularly-although I am ashamed to say I did not hear the debate but noticed it on the screen while I was otherwise preoccupied-by the amendments of the noble Lord, Lord Rix, and by what has just been said by the noble Baroness. I did on one occasion incur some possible unpopularity on my Benches by making the point that we have at least three-if not more-Bills on the go at the moment: the Welfare Reform Bill, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, and this one, all of which impact on various disadvantaged groups, including disabled people. It is far from clear that there has been a joined-up approach to these bits of legislation. I am signalling in these bits that relate to homelessness-but it also applies more generally to those parts we are about to come to on housing policy-that I would not want my noble friends to think that, because I am not talking in detail or going to talk endlessly, I do not have some concerns about all this, which might get ventilated further at Report stage, depending on what is said now. I hope that is brief and to the point enough and at least puts my stake in the ground on these issues.