Canterbury City Council Bill — Third Reading

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:36 pm on 3rd December 2012.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Blair of Boughton Lord Blair of Boughton Crossbench 3:36 pm, 3rd December 2012

My Lords, it gives me great pleasure to speak after the noble Baroness, Lady Knight, and to thank the one person whom she did not thank-namely, her. I am sure that I speak for all my colleagues on the committee when I say how marvellously she chaired it and how enjoyable the experience was.

I shall speak extremely briefly. Having heard from the noble Lord, Lord Bilston, and the noble Baroness, Lady Knight, I am not sure that there is much more to say. The crucial issue is that we cannot go on having private Bills on the same subject for the next 300 councils. The intellectual experience of trying to combine the provisions of 19th century legislation with the EU services directives of 2010 or 2012 should not be imposed on any other committee.

I urge the Government, when the consultation is over, to go back to the existing legislation and other councils. We are now in a position where the four councils whose Bills we examined will have a regime that is more restrictive of them than is the case, for instance, in London, which is much harsher towards pedlars.

Our real triumph was to look at the trolley, decide what size it was, look at the photographs of ones that looked like small cars being pushed round the streets of Leeds and decide that enough was enough.

Finally, in a period when city centres are under such pressure and there are too many closed shops, why would we wish to close down the seed corn of the pedlars who bring some brightness to those streets? I commend the Bills.